Afcon: Morocco 1 Cape Verde 1
By Football News
Morocco and Cape Verde have played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their Africa Cup of Nations Group A clash in Durban on Wednesday.
Cape Verde took the lead on 36 minutes when Platini scored, and Morocco had to wait until the 78th minute to level through a Youssef El-Arabi strike.
The result leaves both Cape Verde and Morocco on two points in Group A, two behind leaders South Africa, who defeated Angola 2-0 earlier on Wednesday.
Morocco began the game with a cautious approach, as Cape Verde came out of the blocks looking confident and aiming to score an early goal.
In the 10th minute Morocco showed what they were capable of, as Abderrahim Chakir unleashed a dipping low drive from long distance which nearly found the bottom corner, but Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha got across quickly to parry the effort.
In the 22nd minute Ryan Mendes took a well-struck free kick, hitting it low under the wall, but Moroccan 'keeper Nadir Lamyaghri was equal to the task, parrying the ball wide and away from danger.
Lamyaghri was kept very busy, and even though he made a number of world-class saves, it seemed inevitable that Cape Verde would find the breakthrough
They did nine minutes before the interval, as Ryan Mendes dispatched an incisive through pass to Platini, who chipped it over the advancing 'keeper.
That goal was Cape Verde's first ever in the tournament, and it stunned the Moroccan fans.
After the break, it was Morocco who seemed most determined to create a goal-scoring chance, pushing forward with intent.
Mid-way through the half, El-Arabi burst through on goal, but a phenomenal tackle from Toni Varela cleared the danger, with the defender as composed as a veteran while taking care of the situation.
In the 78th minute Morocco found the equaliser that they were pushing for, as Abdelaziz Barrada cut the ball in for El-Arabi who made no mistake in converting past Vozinha from inside the area.
A few minutes later Cape Verde almost regained the lead, but the Moroccan keeper had other ideas, and Heldon's effort was palmed away from the target, meaning both sides settled for a share of the spoils.