Guinea 2 Madagascar 2: Francois Kamano penalty denies AFCON debutant

Francois Kamano scored from 12 yards to earn Guinea a hard-fought draw against minnows Madagascar at the Africa Nations Cup.

Bordeaux and Guinea forward Francois Kamano.   -  AFP

Africa Cup of Nations debutant Madagascar played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Guinea in its tournament opener on Saturday.

After seeing Uganda upset DR Congo earlier in the day, minnow Madagascar came close to producing a shock result of its own as second-half goals from Anicet and Andria turned the match on its head. But Guinea, which earlier led through Sory Kaba's smart strike, equalised with a Francois Kamana penalty, sparing its blushes in Alexandria.

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita appeared as a substitute, returning from an adductor injury sustained in Champions League action last month, yet Guinea was forced to settle for a point in Group B.

Kamano shaped a superb early effort just past the right-hand post from 20 yards, then Julian Jeanvier saw his downwards header deflected against the outside of the same upright. The Guinea opener soon followed as Amadou Diawara lofted a gorgeous pass in behind the Madagascar defence and Kaba skillfully beat goalkeeper Melvin Adrien with a twisting lob before passing into an empty net.

REPORT | DR CONGO 0-2 UGANDA

But Madagascar was level four minutes into the second half with its first AFCON goal through Anicet, flicking unmarked past Aly Keita from Andria's left-wing corner.

Guinea almost restored its lead when Kaba dragged a low shot against the post, but instead it sensationally trailed as Andria found time and space beyond the back line to control a looping ball and finish coolly.

Keita was called from the bench, yet it was Ibrahima Traore's pace on the counter that drew a desperate lunge from Romain Metanire, allowing Kamano to roll in the spot-kick to earn a share of the spoils.

 

Key Opta Facts:

- Guinea is winless in its last four opening games at the Africa Cup of Nations (D2, L2), after winning its previous three.

- Guinea is unbeaten in its last six group stage games at the AFCON (W1, D5), with five draws in a row.

- Sory Kaba has scored two of Guinea's last three goals in all competitions. 

- Andria has been involved in three of Madagascar's last four goals in all competitions (2 goals, 1 assist).

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