Debutantes Madagascar recorded their first ever point in the history of Africa Cup of Nations when they held Guinea to a thrilling 2-2 draw in Alexandria as both sides kicked off their Group B campaign.
The point was historical for “Barea” who are having their AFCON debut this year, while Guinea’s Syli Nationale would feel undone with seeing an expected victory slipping from their hands.
The game started nervously with both sides committing a number of fouls in midfield. Madagascar had the first shot on goal after 21 minutes when Lalaina Nominianahry tried to shoot but the ball went easily to the hands of Ali Keita between the posts for Guinea.
Ibrahim Cisse had Guinea’s best effort in the first half when he saw his shot kissing the upright after 27 minutes. Ima Andriasima could have broken the deadlock for Barea but his shot just missed the target at the half hour mark.
And it was Guinea who took the lead after 34 minutes via Sory Kaba. Amadou Traore’s long shot found Kaba one on one with Malagasy goalkeeper and he rounded him to put Guinea in lead with the goal that separated both sides at halftime.
The equaliser gave Madagascar confidence as they controlled possession. And it was not so long till they took the lead. Anicet Andriamatsinoro found himself one on one with Keita and he made no mistakes to give Madagascar the lead after 55 minutes.
With defeat looming Guinea had Liverpool star Naby Keita in after 62 minutes. Just three minutes layer they were awarded a penalty when Roman Metanire fouled Ibrahima Traore inside the vital area. Francois Kamano scored calmly from the spot to restore parity again.
Both sides tried to snatch a late winner but without success which brought about the first 2019 AFCON draw.