African Cup of Nations - Manucho screamer earns Angola win

Sun, 22 Jan 21:15:00 2012

Manucho scored a superb winner as Angola got their African Cup of Nations campaign underway with a 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso.

Angola's Mateus Contreiras Alberto know as

Angola took the lead three minutes into the second half when Mateus struck a low effort inside the far post.

Burkina Faso's approach play was impressive and they hit back through Alain Traore's stunning free-kick.

But former Manchester United striker Manucho won it for Angola courtesy of a thunderous long-range effort.

With Ivory Coast beating Sudan 1-0 earlier in the day, both sides were looking for a win to stay with the tournament favourites.

Burkina Faso went into the game having gone over five hours without a goal in an African Cup of Nations finals tournament. And initially they struggled to create anything against a well-organised Angola side.

Instead it was Angola's danger man Mateus causing the most problems as he combined several times with right-back Marcos Airosa.

But Burkina Faso felt their way into the match and created the two clearest chances inside the last five minutes of the first half.

The first saw Florent Rouamba float a beautiful cross in from the left that missed Beli Moumouni Dagano and narrowly evaded Traore at the far post.

Moments later Traore picked out Jonathan Pitroipa with an incisive through ball that allowed Pitroipa to cut back to Dagano - but Angola managed to make a desperate clearance.

But the game swung Angola's way three minutes into the second half when the dangerous Mateus made the breakthrough.

Collecting the ball wide on the right after Babary Kone decided to juggle the ball inside his own box and only half clearing, Mateus cut inside his man and struck a fierce low shot inside the far post.

The goal boosted Angola, who started creating chances and pinning Burkina Faso back.

But Burkina Faso always possessed the triple attacking threat of Dagano, Traore and Jonathan Pitroipa - and the latter's quick feet earned him a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

Traore, Burkina Faso's standout player on the night, stepped up and brilliantly bent the free-kick around the wall and inside the opposite corner.

Burkina Faso were the more impressive side in possession and their approach play merited more than the one goal they mustered - but they came away with nothing.

Burkina Faso allowed themselves to be robbed off possession inside their own half and, with Kone backing off, Manucho shifted the ball onto his left foot before unleashing an unstoppable drive past Daouda Diakite.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game but Burkina Faso deserved more and will rue the string of chances they were able to create, but not finish.

Michael Da Silva - on Twitter @mjdasilva / Eurosport

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