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Goals dry up at Nations Cup as favourites struggle again

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The African Nations Cup produced a meagre total of one goal in two matches on Monday, as the pre-tournament favourites continued to struggle with holders Ivory Coast held by outsiders Togo.

The Elephants had to settle for a 0-0 draw in the opening match of a double bill played in stifling conditions at the Stade d’Oyem.

In the second game, Morocco coach Herve Renard, the Frenchman who led the Ivorians to the title in 2015, saw his side suffer a 1-0 defeat against Democratic Republic of Congo.

By this feat, they joined Senegal as the only team to have won a game.

Four of the first six matches at the tournament have been draws with Cameroon having previously been held by Burkina Faso, hosts Gabon by debutants, Guinea Bissau and Algeria by Zimbabwe.

Togo, captained by clubless 32-year-old Emmanuel Adebayor, looked sharper in attack against the Ivorians.

But the game delivered just a handful of half chances, the best falling to the Ivorians two minutes from time, as substitute Max Gradel’s cross was headed narrowly wide by Serge Aurier.

DR Congo’s Kazakhstan-based Junior Kabananga took advantage of poor Moroccan defending to score the day’s only goal in the 55th minute of the second game.

DR Congo clung on after substitute Joyce Lomalisa was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 81st minute.

Their goalkeeper, Ley Matampi, made a superb point-black stop from Youssef El Arabi’s header in the dying minutes. (Reuters/NAN)

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