Death Knell for Desert Hawks28 janv. 2012
Sudan again displayed the potential that has been increasingly evident from their football over recent years but their failure to beat Angola in their African Nations Cup Group B match in Malabo on Thursday has probably sounded their death knell. The 2-2 draw leaves them in a virtually impossible situation. (Article: Mark Gleeson)
After decades in the doldrums, Sudanese football has been on the march over the last five years, notably at club level. The achievements of Khartoum clubs Al Hilal and Al Merreikh in the pan-African club competitions have rubbed off on the national team, who draw the vast majority of their players from the two outfits.
But for all their flowing football, quick interchanges of passes and pace, Sudan still lack the essential killer instinct to finish off their opponents. Too often in Malabo they made chances only to squander them - and in defence were caught out by their opponents.
Manucho's first goal for Angola came from dispossessing a defender and the second as the result of a needlessly-conceded penalty.
To their credit Sudan fought back twice to get their first points of the competition, but with Cote d'Ivoire already qualified, and Angola on four points, Sudan need a minor miracle to go through to the knockout stage. They would have to beat Burkina Faso by at least two goals and hope Angola are beaten, at the same time, by Cote d'Ivoire. The final Group B games are set for Monday in Bata and Malabo.
Ahmed Bashir's opening goal for Sudan on Thursday was the team's first at the Nations Cup in more than three decades. Their last goal was in the 1976 tournament, when they drew 2-2 with Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in their final group game.
But Sudan remains without a win in the tournament since 1970, when they won the final 1-0 against Ghana. The run without success is now 11 matches long.
This contrasts with the formidable statistics that Angola are compiling.
They are undefeated in their last 10 group games at the Nations Cup and are set to play in the last eight for the third successive tournament.