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Guinea Conakry is back on track

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Latest update : 2008-01-26

The Moroccan Lions' roars in the last minutes did nothing to change the result as the Guineans, down to ten players, were strong enough to hold and win their second game of the competition with a final score of 3-2.aa

Guinea are back in the hunt for a place in the last eight after a dramatic 3-2 win over Morocco at the African Nations Cup here on Thursday.

This was a must win game for Robert Nouzaret's men after losing their Group A opener to Ghana, and they duly pulled it off with goals from captain Pascal Feindouno, who got a double, and Ismael Bangoura.

Seconds after his second goal Feindouno celebrated by kicking out at the Atlas Lions' Amin al-Erbate to earn the Saint Etienne striker the dubious distinction of becoming the first player to be sent off at this African Nations Cup.

Guinea had enough in the tank to hold on with the result leaving Morocco, Guinea and Ghana, in action against Namibia later, all on three points.

Morocco coach Henri Michel made three changes from the team that wiped the floor with Namibia for this meeting of the finalists at the 1976 African Nations Cup won by Morocco.

One, Soufiane Alloudi, who was injured after his hat-trick heroics on Monday, was enforced on him, while Abderrahmane Kabous and Marouane Chamakh started as substitutes.

Guinea also made three changes from the side that lost to Ghana, with Mohamed Sacko, Alseny Camara and Victor Correa relegated to the bench.

The poor old pitch at the Ohene Djan Stadium, dismissed as 'a potato field', at least had been given a haircut for the occasion, the long grass coming in for criticism from players in the first two games staged here.

On the improved surface both sides went at it hammer and tongs with Guinea taking an 11th minute lead after Feindouno curled in a free kick from the left, Morocco's keeper Khalid Fouhami caught out as the ball sneaked in by the near post.

The north Africans inevitably retaliated, with Youssef Hadji forcing keeper Kemoko Camara, sporting a moustache, into action with a well placed shot in the 20th minute.

But the Lions' lacked bite against a very different Guinea to the subdued version that had lost to Ghana and they were causing the Moroccan defence all kinds of trouble with Fouhami having to be at full stretch to tip a 35th minute Fode Mansare freekick over the bar.

The second half was only two minutes old when Morocco produced their best chance of the game up to then, Camara edging Hadji's 25 yard shot over the bar with his fingertips.

Michel made a tactical switch on 55 minutes, bringing on striker Aboucherouane in place of midfielder Houssine Kharja as he looked to ways to break down the Guinea defence.

His introduction triggered six minutes of pure bedlam.

First Guinea increased their lead with a neat three-player move culminating in Bangoura slamming the ball past Fouhami.

Seconds later, with his first touch of the ball, Aboucherouane scored down at the other end with a controlled shot from the edge of the area.

The drama though was only just beginning as Guinea were then awarded a penalty when Souleymane Youla was felled in the box, Feindouno steppping up to convert the penalty.

The Guinea captain then saw red, stamping on al-Erbate with South African referee Damon Jerome having no hesitation in giving the Saint Etienne striker his marching orders.

Morocco pulled one back in the 90th minute when Abdeslam Ouaddou headed past Camara but time had run out leaving the group wide open and Morocco facing a stiff task with hosts Ghana waiting for them in their final game.

 

Date created : 2008-01-24

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