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Monday 21 January 2013

ACON: Mulumbu's DR Congo stage comeback; Mali make winning start

A review of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals matches that got under way at the weekend

  • Ghana's Jerry Akamito forces an acrobatic save from DR Congo goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba

  • A Congolese supporter watches his side claw back a 2-2 draw against Ghana

  • Mali's Seydou Keita celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Niger

Goals were at a premium on the opening day of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but Youssouf Mulumbu helped DR Congo stage a second-half fightback to earn a draw with Ghana, while Samba Diakite's Mali were the only side to triumph in the tournament at the weekend.

West Bromwich Albion battled back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw against Aston Villa on Saturday and their defensive midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu helped DR Congo do likewise in the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday as they recovered a two-goal second-half deficit against Ghana in Group B.

The Black Stars looked in control after scoring goals either side of half-time through Emmanuel Agyemang Badu and Kwadwo Asamoah, but Mulumbu, who played the full 90 minutes, and his team-mates battled back to earn a share of the spoils thanks to goals by Tresor Mputu and a Dieumerci Mbokani penalty.

Mali top the section after former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita, who now plies his trade in China for Dalian Aerbin, grabbed the only goal of his side's encounter with Niger. Queens Park Rangers midfielder Samba Diakite helped influence the outcome after coming on for the last 11 minutes of the match, while West Ham United's Modibo Maiga was an unused substitute.

The tournament got off to a slow start as hosts South Africa were held to a goalless draw by Cape Verde Islands, while Morocco were also held to a stalemate by Angola despite the presence of Liverpool midfielder Oussama Assaidi and Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi who both featured from the start.

On Monday afternoon Southampton's Zambian striker Emmanuel Mayuka – a winner in this tournament last year – will be looking to find a way past Ethiopia's defence, while in the evening the Chelsea duo of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses take on Burkina Faso in the green of Nigeria. For Moses, who has recovered from a knock received in training, the match will mark his Africa Cup of Nations finals bow.


Saturday 19 January
Group A

South Africa 0-0 Cape Verde Islands
Angola 0-0 Morocco

Sunday 20 January
Group B

Ghana 2-2 Congo DR
Mali 1-0 Niger

Monday 21 January
Group C

Zambia 1-1 Ethiopia

Imminent Fixtures

Monday 21 January
Group C

Nigeria v Burkina Faso

Tuesday 22 January
Group D

Ivory Coast v Togo
Tunisia v Algeria

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Key Points

  • West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu helps DR Congo earn a 2-2 draw against Ghana
  • West Ham's Samba Diakite makes cameo appearance as Mali snatch late win over Niger
  • Liverpool's Oussama Assadi and Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi in action for Morocco