Angola 2-0 Malawi: Black Antelopes Extinguish Harmless Flames

The Black Antelopes had it all their way as they outplayed a disappointing Flames team...

Angola showed some good character as they came out all guns blazing to give Malawi a football lesson in both teams' second Group A encounter.

The 2010 Africa Cup of Nations hosts needed all three points after a dramatic draw with Mali in their tournament opener, while Malawi seemed to still be basking in the glory of their shock 3-0 drubbing of the World Cup bound Algeria.

The match started at a snail's pace with both teams seemingly cautious and trying to read each other's play and plot a way through.

The first half offered nothing to write home about as Malawi stayed back, allowing Angola to come at them. The Kinnah Phiri coached outfit clearly came out with the idea to absorb pressure and frustrate the hosts who were under immense pressure after their 4-4 draw with Mali in the first game.

It was in the 7th minute that Goncalves Manucho almost put Angola in the lead as goalkeeper Swadick Sanudi struggled to deal with his shot and had to double handle the ball from the ground.

The same player came close again in the 33rd minute but for goalkeeper Sanudi parried the ball out for a corner.

Angola were forced to make an early change in the 35th minute as Gilberto limped out with an injury after a tackle from behind and in came Manuel Jamauna.

Malawi midfield kingpin Joseph 'Shakira' Kamwendo dictated matters in the middle of the park, dishing out some brilliant passes.

Malawi's Peter Wadabwa had the fans on their feet as he cleverly directed a brilliant back heel to goal, after receiving a cross from Chavula, but Angola goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes was equal to the task, easily collecting the ball.

Defender David Banda summed up the first 45 minutes with a yellow card for a rough tackle and soon after the set piece the referee blew the whistle for half-time. Angola had an upper hand in the opening stanza but were disappointed that their all out attack on Malawi's goal proved fruitless.

The second half resumed with Malawi introducing the 21-year-old Maupo Msowoya who replaced the obsolete Nyirenda. The Black Antelopes' patience and continuous raid of the opposition goal finally paid off as Flavio scored a beautiful goal in the 48th minute, his third of the tournament, clearly showing what a nightmare he is for defenders despite his height.

Manucho, who went to half-time thinking maybe he took the wrong boots finally got his name on the score sheet five minutes after the opening goal. Breaking lose from the jittery defence and showing them a clean pair of heels as he unleashed a scorcher that gave Sanudi no chance to make it 2-0.

Peter Mponda was to blame for the goal as he failed to deal with a poor back pass from Peter Wadabwa. Manucho took advantage to score his second goal of the tournament in as many games.

The home fans broke into song and frenzy but showed little energy in their celebrations maybe still picturing that nightmare opener of the tournament.

The man in black added four minutes and the fans looked cautions, hoping that the ghosts of the first game would not come back to haunt Angola again as they had hardly put a foot wrong in the whole game.

Group A is now wide open and anyone stands a chance. The hosts now top the group and it is safe to say the real thing has just begun.

Clyde Tlou,