Ibrahima Traore (R) of Guinea in action against Ibrahim Amada of Madagascar
Sunday Jun 23, 2019. 00:01
Guinea were unable to make a winning start to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, as they were held 2-2 by debutants Madagascar in the teams’ Group B clash at Alexandria Stadium on Saturday night.
Barea came from behind to lead 2-1 early in the second half, while the Syli Nationale needed a penalty from Francois Kamano to ensure they avoided a potentially embarrassing defeat against the Nations Cup rookies.
Guinea created the first genuine chance of the match, with Ibrahima Cisse teeing up Francois Kamamo for a curling shot from the left side of the penalty area which flashed just wide of the target in the 14th minute.
The Syli Nationale had to wait another 20 minutes to claim the lead, with striker Sory Kaba running onto a ball over the top of the defence from Amadou Diawara, lobbing it past goalkeeper Melvin Adrien and then tapping it into the empty net for 1-0.
Guinea were well in control of the game and led by the same score at half time. However, the West Africans were caught cold just four minutes after the restart when Madagascar’s Anicet Abel was able to sneak between two defenders at a corner kick and score with a well-placed glancing header to make it 1-1.
Kaba nearly restored Guinea’s lead a short while later, shooting just wide from the edge of the box, but Barea then claimed a shock lead on 55 minutes: a hopeful, lofted pass forward allowed Carolus Andriamatsinoro to spring the offside trap, control the dropping ball and steer a shot past goalkeeper Aly Keita for 2-1.
Guinea responded by introducing Naby Keita (who came into the tournament with an injury cloud hanging over him) just past the hour mark, and they were soon level from the penalty spot.
Ibrahima Traore raced free into the 18-yard area before being tripped up by Romain Metanire. The referee pointed to the spot and Kamano tucked home the penalty to restore parity at 2-2 in the 66th minute.
Guinea looked the likelier team to go on and win the match, but neither they nor Madagascar were able to summon another goal and claim all three points on offer. The match ended all square at 2-2, leaving the teams tied in second place in Group B on a point apiece – Nigeria lead the way with three points, while Burundi complete the quartet.
Guinea (1) 2 (Kaba 34’, Kamano 66’ pen)
Madagascar (0) 2 (Anicet 49’, Andriamatsinoro 55’)
Guinea: A. Keita, Dyrestam, Jeanvier, Falette, Is. Sylla, Cisse, Diawara, M. Camara (N. Keita 62’), Kamano (Koita 78’), Kaba (M. Yattara 86’), Traore
Madagascar: Adrien, Mombris, Razakanantenaina, Fontaine, Metanire, Amada (Raveloson 64’), Anicet, Ilaimaharita, Andriamatsinoro (Voavy 73’), Andriatsima, Nomenjanahary