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African Cup of Nations: Mali comeback stuns Angola while Togo return home



There was a somber mood over the opening of the Africa Cup of Nations, but they played on in spite of the attack on the Togo national team.

Angola was all over Mali for the first 75 minutes, scoring four goals to get the jump on their opponents. Amado Flavio scored two goals and Gilberto and Manucho added penalties to give the hosts a seemingly insurmountable lead.

And when Seydou Keita of Barcelona opened the scoring for Mali in the 79th minute it seemed like nothing more than consolation. But Mali wasn't done, and scored three in the final five minutes to draw the match at 4-4.

Highlights and an update of the Togo saga are after the jump.

Togo future remains unclear

In the wake of the horrendous attack of the Togo bus Friday, the national team departed Angola, but left the door open to return. Reports suggest that the team apparently made a decision to stay and honor the dead, but Togolese prime minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo and president Faure Gnassingbe ordered the team home.

While they have returned to Togo, the sports minister asked to keep the spot open. It's not clear how that will work with the team scheduled to begin play tomorrow against Ghana. At this point, it's assumed that the game is canceled.

What do you think of the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations? Shocked to see Mali come back? Will Togo return to the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Seriously, how to use such a blanket statement? Angola was spent and got picked off. It had nothing to do with sitting back they were out of steam. Did you watch this match? If so, how did you come to that conclusion?

  2. It’s a part of the country that’s trying to break away from Angola. What better way to get attention than by doing what they did to Togo.

  3. Soumare is #13 and played the entire match. The match tracker was completely screwed. He was not responsible for the phantom 1st penalty.

  4. This is not a commercial for US Soccer. I expect to see a new line of US Soccer commercials leading up to the WC, but this is not one of those.

    This looks like a teaser trailer for this youtube guys movie chronicling our qualification through CONCACAF.

    None the less, thanks for posting it, nice find!

  5. The penalty was committed by Mamadou Bagayoko, though. Even in the crap internet footage, you can see he’s nowhere near as tall as Soumaré.

  6. Whoops… my bad… the announced lineup I looked at yesterday didn’t have him going to Angola for the tournament.

    You can never trust the internet. Especially not blog comments. 😉

  7. well, that answers the question about who brought in Holden to Burnley. I wonder if coyle wanted to sign him, but burnley insisted on a trial? Clearly mr. Coyle has a thing for young Stuart

  8. Yeah, but there is a difference between sitting back against Mali and sitting back against Brazil or Mexico. Credit has to be given to Mali/Brazil/Mexico, as all the comebacks were good.

    Was that Bakary Soumare who commited the first penalty?

  9. The answer: Don’t let the opposition have the ball in your end with any sort of rhythm or repetition. Even bunkering allows a team to settle down into the attack. Disrupt the other teams possession, get the ball in the other end, and hold it up.

  10. Haha. I seem to recall after the US losses to Brazil and Mexico that many, many USMNT supporters were advocating the same strategy. Hunker down vs. attack…..the eternal question.

  11. This is alot of African teams downfall,tactically alot don’t know how to sit back and just hold out,your up 4-0 why attack anymore????Amazing comeback by Mali though,well done


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