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Africa Cup of Nations

EXCLUSIVE: Paul Put infuriated by wasteful Guinea in Afcon 2019 opener against Madagascar

1:23 PM EDT 6/23/19
Paul Put
The National Elephants suffered a setback in Alexandria as they failed to put away the debutants and had to settle for a share of the points

Guinea coach Paul Put lamented his side's wastefulness in front of goal after they squandered several chances in their 2-2 draw against Madagascar.

The shock draw against the Africa Cup of Nations debutants put a little dent in the 1976 runners-up’s chances of reaching the Round of 16 and left them two points behind Nigeria with two games to play.

Sory Kaba handed the Guineans the lead in the 34th minute before Nicolas Dupuis’ side clawed back to take the lead through Anicet Abel and Carolus Andriamatsinoro. It was Francois Kamano who rescued the National Elephants from defeat after converting a 66th minute penalty.

Put's men dominated possession throughout the game and had 13 shots, but they found Madagascar goalkeeper Ibrahima Dabo in fine form as the debutants held on for a remarkable point.

Understandably, Put is not pleased that his side left Alexandria Stadium with only a point to show for their efforts, despite their dominance.

“It is the team’s first time in the Africa Cup of Nations and they came with nothing to lose,” he told Goal.

“Before the game, I warned my players that it was going to be a tough and mental game. We controlled the game and took the lead.

“Nevertheless, they came back strongly to take the lead, and we were made to work very hard before we got the equaliser.

“I’m very disappointed because we controlled the first half but threw away the game we should have won because we were wasteful in front of goal.”

Guinea need to be at their best against Nigeria and Burundi to seal a place in the competition’s knockout round, and Put is optimistic of his side’s chances in Egypt.

“Everything is possible in football. Remember that my first game with Burkina Faso was a draw yet, we reached the final against Nigeria,” he continued.

“Too early to rule us out because we played didn’t win our first game. There are still two games to make amends.

“Going forward, my players must realise they must not give our opponents space to operate and must convert their chances.”