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Trying To Avoid A Corner Kick, Ivory Coast Keeper Concedes 93rd-Minute Equalizer With Face Plant

The story of Matchday 1 across AFCON was probably Sierra Leone's unlikely 0-0 draw with tournament favorite Algeria last Tuesday. The Leone Stars — making their first appearance in 26 years — frustrated the defending champion behind the play of 37-year-old captain Kei Kamara (fifth all-time in MLS with 130 goals) and unknown 22-year-old goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara, who was in tears after receiving the Man of the Match award.

Well, Sierra Leone might be the story of Matchday 2 after earning another draw — this one even more unbelievable – against the other power of AFCON Group E, the Ivory Coast.

The Elephants took a 25th-minute lead through Ajax's breakthrough star Sébastien Haller. Wilfried Zaha provided the ball and Haller the outside-of-the-boot finish.

But 10 minutes into the second half, Musa Kamara — who plays for domestic side East End Lions — introduced himself to the world by dicing Eric Bailly before rifling a finish beyond Badra Ali Sangaré.

However, the Ivory Coast restored its lead in the 65th thanks to an excellent finish from Arsenal's Nicolas Pépé. 

A 2-1 victory for the Ivory Coast seemed a foregone conclusion as we entered second-half stoppage time, but then a defensive header intended for Sangaré forced the goalkeeper into action to avoid a Sierra Leone corner kick.   

Sangaré was guilty of doing way too much — he flung himself at the ball full stretch, came crashing down on top of it, flipped over and simultaneously lost possession of the ball while altering it's trajectory back towards the field of play. Sierra Leone's Steven Caulker got there first and played it back to Alhaji Kamara, who slipped, got up and converted the late equalizer. 

In a scene that was difficult to watch for Sangaré's sake, the keeper then acted like he'd been hurt on the play and eventually went off on a stretcher. Another case of heat stroke, surely.

Having already used all its substitutions, the Ivory Coast had to turn to Serge Aurier in goal for the final couple minutes. 

With two draws, Sierra Leone only needs a positive result against Equatorial Guinea on Jan. 20 to advance to the last-16.

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