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13.01.2010 Football News

Mozambique salvages 2-2 draw vs Benin

By Ghana FA
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Benin earned its first tournament point in a 2-2 draw with Mozambique in Group C of the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday.

Razak Omotoyossi converted a 13th-minute penalty to put Benin ahead and Mozambique defender Khan scored into his own net in the 19th to double Benin's lead.

Lobo netted Mozambique's second tournament goal since 1998 with a header in the 29th off a corner, and Fumo equalized from 10 yards (meters) in the 55th.

After the opening Group C matches, Benin and Mozambique have one point each, two behind Egypt, which beat Nigeria 3-1.

“We made things difficult for ourselves by conceding two silly goals,” Mozambique striker Tico Tico said. “Now we have to try and get some points in the next games.”

Both Benin, which is making its third appearance, and four-time qualifier Mozambique have yet to win a tournament match.

After a confident start, Mozambique, which last appeared at the biennial tournament 12 years ago, was punished for poor defending as goalkeeper Rafael committed a foul in the area in an attempt to clear the ball off a surging Omotoyossi.

Sudanese referee Khalid Abdel Rahman pointed to the spot and Omotoyossi scored to put the Squirrels in front.

In another failed attempt to stop another Benin attack, defender Khan unfortunately deflected the ball into his own net.

Mozambique hit back through a Lobo header before Fumo's equalizer.

Mozambique wasted two scoring chances just before Omotoyossi's penalty. Tico Tico had a goalward effort from the six-yard(-meter) box saved by Benin goalkeeper Yoann Djidonou in the ninth. A minute earlier, Djidonou had unmarked Dario to thank for failing to score into an unguarded net as the striker's shot flew over the bar.

Mozambique, led by Dutch coach Maart Nooij, had a lucky escape in the 46th as Omotoyossi sneaked past a Mozambique defender and fired past Rafael, whose save immediately offered Benin a rebound chance but Khan made a crucial intervention to clear the ball out of danger.

Benin's second-half chances included midfielder Stephane Sessegnon's wide close-range shot 14 minutes from end, and a wide header four minutes later.

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