Live Commentary: Angola 0-0 Morocco - as it happened

Morocco's Abderrahim Achchakir challenges Geraldo Bartolomeu of Angola during their African Nations Cup match on January 19, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Angola's goalless draw with Morocco in Group A of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Angola and Morocco got their Africa Cup of Nations Group A campaigns underway on Saturday when they met at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Johannesburg.

Both sides knew that a win would take them to the top of the standings following hosts South Africa's goalless draw with Cape Verde earlier in the day.

However, they could only muster another stalemate between them as the tournament got off to an uneventful start.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to see how the action went down.


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6.48pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of this evening's Africa Cup of Nations Group A encounter between Angola and Morocco in Johannesburg.

6.50pmThe tournament got off to an inauspicious start earlier today as hosts South Africa drew 0-0 with debutants Cape Verde in Johannesburg. Simply put, whoever wins tonight will top Group A.

6.53pmThis match tonight will have to be something quite incredible if it's to be any worse than the goalless draw earlier. It was a truly woeful 90 minutes of football.

6.57pmThe players to watch out for tonight are Morocco's Younes Belhanda and Angola's Manucho. Belhanda is a bag of tricks with pace to burn, while former Manchester United striker Manucho has hit the net 22 times in 44 games for his country.

6.58pmANGOLA: Lama, Lunguinha, Dany Massunguna, Mingo Bile, Bastos, Miguel, Dede, Pirolito, Geraldo, Mateus, Manucho
Subs: Landu, Airosa, Fabricio, Djalma, Manucho Dias, Zuela, Gilberto, Amaro, Yano, Manuel, Neblu, Guilherme

6.59pmMOROCCO: Lamyaghri, El Kaoutari, Achchakir, El Adoua, Benatia, El Ahmadi, Hermach, Barrada, Amrabat, Assaidi, El Hamdaoui
Subs: Zniti, Bergdich, Kantari, El Arabi, Belhanda, Kaddioui, Noussir, Belghazouani, Chafni, Hamdallah, Namli, Askri

7.02pmCall that the commentator's curse. Belhanda doesn't make the starting lineup, failing to shake off a muscle injury that he's been carrying all week.

0 minHere we go then, it's Angola who get us underway...

2 minIt's been all Angola in these opening couple of minutes. They're passing the ball around with plenty of purpose, it must be said.

3 minSAVE! The first real chance of the match comes from Angola's Mateus, who forces a low save from Lamyaghri at his near post. Not a bad effort that, it was low and powerful.

4 minCorrection: That shot was actually from Mingo Bile. Either way, it was a good effort.

5 minSAVE! Angolan goalkeeper Lama is called into action now as he tips away El Ahmadi's shot for a corner. However, Morocco can't make anything of it.

7 minNot a bad start at all in Durban, with both teams showing the quality that was lacking in today's other contest. Still early days though.

10 minSAVE! What a strike from Amrabat! The midfielder is given time to run before unleashing a fizzing drive at goal from 25 yards. The ball is heading for the top corner, but Lama is there to push the ball away. Morocco then fail to create anything from the resulting corner.

12 minThe Moroccans are starting to take hold of this game now. They look sharp going forward, spreading the ball out to both flanks. Angola are holding on through.

14 minCHANCE! Liverpool winger Assaidi jinks into the Angolan area, but flashes hit shot over the crossbar on the angle. The opposition struggled to cope with the 24-year-old there.

16 minEl Ahmadi is the latest Morccan to have a crack at goal, only to see his 20-yarder go out for a corner. Angola defend the resulting kick well before seeing their counter attack break down.

19 minAngola are starting to enjoy a bit more of the ball now. They've won a couple of free kicks in the Moroccan half that have come to noting, but they're growing in confidence.

22 minAngola are lucky to survive there as Mingo Bile is dispossessed in midfielder by Amrabat, who drives into the area. However, Bastos is there to put in a superb challenge that breaks down the attack.

25 minAngola try their luck by going direct as Dany Massunguna looks for Manucho. The former Manchester United striker can't latch onto the ball, but the Moroccans were alert to the danger there. They can't afford to give the forward a sniff of goal.

27 minAmrabat, who has been impressive in the opening 27 minutes, goes off the pitch to receive treatment for what appears to be a cut on his knee. Nothing a bit of magic spray can't sort out.

30 minMorocco have got slightly sloppy in these last few minutes, losing the ball cheaply as they look to punt it upfield. Angola are more than happy to gain possession, but they can do little better.

33 minBOOKING: Manucho is lucky to still be on the pitch here. The striker gets a yellow card for what can only be described as a lunge. It's a reckless challenge and Angola could easily be a man down.

36 minBoth teams are still struggling to keep possession. It was a promising start to the match but it's all turned very scrappy.

38 minClose call for Morocco as Mateus is brought down on the edge of the area by Benatia. However, the referee waves play on. In fairness, it looked like the Angolan forward took a bit of a dive there.

40 minFive minutes of normal time to play in this first half and we still haven't seen a goal in this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Someone put us out of this misery!

43 minTwo minutes left in this half and Angola have a free kick in a decent position following a foul on Mingo Bile.

44 minIt's a terrible waste again. Both teams have been woeful with their deliveries from set pieces tonight and Manucho is the latest culprit as he whacks an effort from about 35 yards over the bar.

45 minHALF TIME: ANGOLA 0-0 MOROCCO

7.52pmThere goes the half-time whistle and it's been another poor 45 minutes at the Africa Cup of Nations as Angola and Morocco go in goalless at the break.

7.55pmThat said, it was an improvement on the match earlier today. Morocco have provided much of the attacking threat so far, but Angola have also had their chances on the break.

7.57pmAmrabat has been the liveliest player on the pitch so far, while Assaidi was also full of tricks out wide. However, the final 15 minutes of the half saw Morocco settle for some fairly ineffective possession football.

8pmMeanwhile, Angola just need to keep the ball better. Manucho has cut a very frustrated figure up front as he fights what has been a losing battle with the Morocco defence so far. Mateus has offered some support, but there needs to be a bit more ambition.

45 minAngola make a change here as Afonso Guilherme comes on to make his debut in place of Mingo Bile. Morocco get us underway...

47 minCHANCE! Huge opportunity for Angola as Morocco goalkeeper Lamyaghri spills the ball, allowing Guilherme to poke the ball at goal. However, the youngster's effort - his second touch since coming on - drifts wide of the post. What an introduction that could have been

50 minMorocco have a corner that's whipped in with real menace, but the Angolan defence stand firm to clear the danger. At the other end, Guilherme is hustling the Moroccan defence, who know that they have to be on their toes now.

52 minCHANCE! Morocco come close as El Hamdaoui lashes a fierce drive narrowly wide of goal from a difficult angle. The striker really put his foot through that one, but it just didn't have the accuracy needed to trouble Lama. To be fair, it would have probably torn the goalkeeper's hands off if he had got to it.

55 minBOOKING: Benatia is the latest player to go in the book following a challenge from behind on Manucho. It was a poor tackle.

58 minThere has been a distinct lack of discipline from both sets of players in this half. Both teams are giving away a glut of needless free kicks.

61 minSUBSTITUTION: Morocco make a change now as Younes Belhanda, who has been struggling with a leg injury, comes on for Abdelaziz Barrada.

62 minThere's plenty of expectation on Belhanda's shoulders - can he deliver?

66 minMorocco have taken charge of the game ever so slightly in the last few minutes, but a goal still looks about as likely as Chelsea naming a stand after Rafael Benitez.

67 minCHANCE! Angola come close to making the breakthrough as Manucho's diving header from a corner goes wide at the back post.

69 minCHANCE! It's all happening now! Belhanda shows great balance to dance into the area, but he can only drag his finish wide of the goal. Lively stuff from the substitute.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for Morocco here as El Arabi replaces El Hamdaoui.

73 minGreat defending from Achchakir as the defender dispossesses Manucho brilliantly with the striker on the edge of the box. The centre-back needed to be alert and he was.

76 minBOOKING: Belhanda picks up a yellow card for Morocco for his challenge on Pirolito. The substitute is unlucky to go into the book - there have been far worse tackles that have gone unpunished in this match.

79 minCHANCE! Wonderful work from Amrabat out on the right side as he whips in a teasing cross, but El Arabi just can't get on the end of it. The striker's positioning wasn't the best there, it must be said, and Amrabat lets him know it.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: Angola make two changes with Lunguinha and Geraldo coming off for Airosa and Gilberto. Meanwhile, El Ahmadi is off and Belghazouani is on for Morocco.

85 minThere's five minutes of normal time left in this one and it's still goalless. Can someone snatch a goal? Please?

87 minCHANCE! That's a great hit from Mateus. The Angolan striker lets rip about 30 yards from goal, but it's straight at Lamyaghri, who collects. Either side of the goalkeeper and we would have had our first goal of the 2013 AFCON.

89 minCHANCE! Best opening of the game! A wonderful cross if whipped into the Moroccan box, only for Manucho to head wide of goal. He was put off by a teammate there, though he really should have converted with his diving effort.

90 minThere will be three minutes of added time...

90+3 minFULL TIME: ANGOLA 0-0 MOROCCO

8.55pmThe full-time whistle goes which means that we have had two 0-0 draws to start the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Hosts South Africa and Cape Verde both failed to find the net earlier and now Morocco and Angola have played out a stalemate.

8.56pmThe tournament is sure to improve but it's not been the greatest 180 minutes of action today.

8.57pmAnyway, that's all from me for now but we'll have live text coverage of both Group B matches tomorrow as Ghana take on DR Congo (4pm) and Mali face Niger (7pm). Be sure to join us!

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