Angola hold Mexico scoreless in dour first half

Mexico 0 Angola 0

Mexico 0 Angola 0

Angola gave Group D leaders Mexico a run for their money in the first 45 minutes of their World Cup match in Hanover, with no score at the interval.

In what has been a disappointing World Cup so far for Africanteams, Angola had to endure a torrid opening spell but came into the game and created their own chances as the first half continued.

Mexico were quick out of the blocks and in the opening minute Carlos Salcido’s dipping shot from 25 yards had some Mexican fans believing he had scored but the ball had only landed on the roof of the net.

Joao Jamba’s push on Guillermo Franco gave Mexico another opportunity but Pavel Pardo’s free-kick was an easy save for Joao Ricardo.

Luis Delgado’s foul on Zinha, which was penalised by a booking by Singaporean referee Shamsul Maidin, then earned Mexico another free-kick and skipper Rafael Marquez fired a low shot that deflected off the wall and hit the post.

Angola then pulled themselves together. Paulo Figueiredo provided the first moment of excitement for the Black Antelopes when he fired over from 25 yards and then there was further encouragement when Mateus fired just wide.

Salcido foul’s allowed Mendonca a crack from a free-kick which just missed at the near post but Mexico then produced a counter-attack from which Zinha chipped high and wide.

Salcido’s foul on Mendonca set up another free-kick for Angola and Figueiredo’s free-kick was headed just wide by skipper Fabrice Akwa and then Marquez nearly headed an own goal, conceding a corner but Jamba was then booked for halting a counter-attack by the Mexico skipper.

At the end of half, Franco appeared to use his arm to control the ball but his point-blank shot was blocked by Joao Ricardo.

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