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Poor finishing the theme in scoreless draw between Sudan and Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau had a few excellent looks late in their opening match against a young Sudan team, but both teams failed to find the net in Tuesday’s Group D encounter at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Sudan goalkeeper Ali Abu Eshrein saved a penalty kick in the final ten minutes to help the Falcons earn a point against a Guinea-Bissau side that was missing multiple players. Following the result, both teams will need to earn results against either Nigeria or Egypt to have any chance of advancing.

With Sudan fielding a young team that has played few games together and Guinea-Bissau dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak, there was little chemistry in the opening 45 minutes. Sudan in particular were limited to catching the Djurtus on the break and did not have their first look until the end of the half. The first opportunity fell to Guinea-Bissau striker Joseph Mendes in the 16th minute, who could only direct his header from Moreto Cassama’s free kick onto the post.

Sudanese playmaker Mohamed Abdelrahman was the greatest threat to Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Maurice Gomis’s goal. Just before halftime the Al-Hilal Omdurman player unleashed a blast from the corner of the penalty area that stung the gloves of Gomis but was kept out. Abdelrahman was back at it in the 67th minute, nearly beating Gomis to a pass over the top but the Djurtus keeper smothered the ball.

Guinea-Bissau increased the pressure and should have had a winner in the final ten minutes. Just before the eighty minute mark, the influential midfielder Cassama played an exquisite through ball to set up a race between Eshrein and Guinea-Bissau substitute forward Steve Ambri. As Ambri attempted to touch the ball past Eshrein, the Sudanese keeper tripped him up in the box for a penalty kick. Midfielder Pelé struck a poor spot kick effort that was saved by Eshrein before the rebound fell to Piqueti, who blasted off the crossbar for Sudan to somehow escape. Soon after Djurtus forward Frederic Mendy had a golden opportunity when Eshrein misplayed a cross, but center back Mustafa Karshoum did excellently to cover back and block Mendy’s shot.

Highlights of the match are below from the duel in Garoua.

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