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Angola Goes On Top Beating Malawi In African Cup Soccer

PTI 15 Jan 2010, 16:46:28 PM IST

The second game in Group A kicked off with hosts Angola taking on one of the surprise teams from the first round Malawi.

Angola made just one change from the side that started against Mali on Sunday with Djalma coming in for Dede in the midfield. Malawi meanwhile were forced into two changes, the most notable being the loss of Russel, who scored the opening goal for his country in the 3-0 win over Algeria.

In front of a noisy and expectant home crowd, Angola started the game at breakneck speed, but were unable to force clear cut chances despite seeing the majority of the ball. The tricky surface at the Estadio 11 de Novembro also didn't make life any easier for the players with the ball bouncing away in unpredictable fashion and on other occasions rearing up. Nevertheless it was a high tempo beginning to the game, if rather low on outright quality,

Several half chances fell the way of midfielder Djalma for Angola, who timed his runs into the Malawian penalty area well, but couldn't make any of his opportunities count. Whilst on 27 minutes the two-goal hero against Mali, Flavio could have done better with a chance he curled straight into the gloves of Swadic Sanudi in the Malawian goal from about 20 yards out.

Malawi very nearly gifted Angola a lead after conceding dangerous possession in their half on 33 minutes. Former Manchester United forward Manucho collected the ball and fired towards goal with a well placed effort. However Sanudi performed heroics in the Malawian goal to turn the effort behind via his fingertips for a corner.

In another match of the group, Rafik Halliche scored with a header Thursday to give World Cup qualifier Algeria a 1-0 win over Mali in Group A of the African Cup of Nations.

Algeria kept its hopes of reaching the quarterfinals alive after winning a tough physical contest and bounced back following its surprising 3-0 loss to Malawi.