Wasteful Angola draw with Morocco

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Angola and Morocco failed to produce a goal as they played to a 0-0 draw in their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations opener on Saturday.

It was the second successive 0-0 draw at Soccer City after South Africa and Cape Verde had also played to a stalemate earlier in the evening, leaving the competition still awaiting its first goal.

After Angola had weathered an early storm, they gradually took control of the game and by the second half were the dominant force.

They had a number of late chances to win it, but poor finishing let them down and could come back to haunt them later in the competition.

Angolan defender Mingo Bille forced a decent save out of Morocco’s Nadir Lamyaghri, who had to grab the ball at the second attempt.

From then on in it was all the north Africans in the opening period, Oussama Assaidi having perhaps their best chances as he jinxed through the box, but fired over from an acute angle.

Winger Nordin Amrabat was a constant threat with his trickery and pace on the ball, while Mounir El Hamdaoui also forced a fine finger-tip save from Angolan keeper Lama.

But the Moroccans appeared to battle in the second period, perhaps the altitude affecting their game as they battled to find their passing range.

That gave Angola a sniff and an excellent opportunity to find a winner, especially late in the game.

They should have been ahead when Lamyaghri drops a routine cross, but substitute Guilherme Afonso could only toe-poke the ball agonisingly wide of goal.

Manucho then had two chances for his side, the first he put wide of goal when the ball broke lose to him 18-yards out. He should have hit the target at least.

The second was an even simpler opportunity as Mateus did brilliantly to get his cross in from the right, but with Manucho and Afonso going for the same ball, it was the former who again failed to hit the target, this time from inside the six-yard box.

Mateus had a rasping shot of his own in the dying minutes, but it was too close to Lamyaghri and the keeper was able to save.