SUEZ, Egypt (Reuters) – Angola and Mauritania drew 0-0 in Group E of the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday, leaving both sides facing a battle to advance to the knockout stages.
It was a second draw for Angola, while Mauritania, making their tournament debut, picked up their first point. Mali top the group with four points from two games while Tunisia, who meet Mauritania next, have two.
After 21 matches of the tournament in Egypt, the game was the first without any goals although both teams went close.
Angola had an effort cleared off the line just after the 20-minute mark by Khassa Camara after striker Fredy rounded the goalkeeper but was forced to shoot from a tight angle.
Almost 20 minutes into the second half, there was an even more clear-cut opportunity, as Gelson Dala passed across the face of the Mauritania goal, but substitute Wilson Eduardo steered wide of the target.
Mauritania were much-improved after a 4-1 drubbing by Mali in their debut game at the tournament but did not create any clear chances.
Their best effort fell to Adama Ba in the 60th minute but his effort, right in front of goal, was blocked by Angola fullback Bruno Gaspar.
Ten minutes later defender Paizo made a similarly vital tackle to deny Ismael Diakite.
In the last minute, Angola’s Geraldo forced the ball into the net, but was correctly adjudged offside.
Angola take on Mali in their last game on Tuesday at the same time as Mauritania meet Tunisia.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)