AFCON 2019 – Day Two wrap: Nigeria win, Guinea held
Nigeria held nerves to beat Burundi 1-0 while Madagascar almost pulled a surprise on Guinea before the West Africans scored from the spot to salvage a 2-2 draw.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations day two action shifted to the Mediterranean City of Alexandria on Sunday with two Group B matches played. Neighbors Burundi saw their resilience broken off late with Nigeria winning 1-0 while in the late kick off, Madagascar almost pulled a surprise on Guinea before the West Africans scored from the spot to salvage a 2-2 draw.
In the late kick off, Burundi looked to be on the way to get a valuable point off three-time champions Nigeria before Odion Ighalo stepped off the bench to score in the 76th minute and hand his side a valuable three points.
Burundi had looked to be the better side in terms of chances especially in the first half. In the 14th minute, Cedric Amissi was picked out by a great pass from Gael Bigirimana, but the winger’s shot was straight at the keeper from good scoring range.
Burundi came close again after 28 minutes when Bigirimana who had been impressive in midfield struck a brilliant freekick from 40 yards which keeper Daniel Akpeyi fisted away.
The Eastern Africans were denied by the upright in the 37th minute when Cedric Nsabiyumva’s header off a Shassir Nahimana freekick on the left came against the woodwork.
Nigeria were forced to make a change six minutes to the break when Abdullahi Shehu was stretchered off and his place taken by Collins Chidozie on the right side of defense.
In the second half, Nigeria came back a better side and the introduction of Ahmed Musa and Ighalo saw them improve offensively. They were rewarded just four minutes after Ighalo came in when he raced to a through pass from Ola Aina before beating Burundi keeper Jonathan Nahimana one on one.
In the late kick off, Madagascar came from a goal down to lead Guinea 2-1, but they dropped the ball from the penalty spot to see Paul Put’s men earn a point.
Guinea had opened the scoring in the 34th minute through Sory Kaba who had the easiest of tasks to tap into an empty net after the keeper came off his line to try and pick out Francois Kamano in failure.
However, a second half rally from Madagascar saw them score two goals in six minutes to take the lead. Man of the match Ancet Andrianantenaina put in a thumping header past Ally Keita in the fourth minute of the second half off a Charles Andriamahitsinoro corner.
Six minutes later, Madagascar took a shocking lead when Andriamahitsinoro ran behind the defense to beat the offside trap and beat the keeper one on one.
Immediately, Guinea made changes bringing on Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita who had started off the bench due to fitness issues. Guinea were more solid and the got the equalizer in the 65th minute through Kamano from the penalty spot.
They were awarded a spot kick after skipper Ibrahima Traore was clipped inside the box by Romain Metanire off a counter attack.