Sudan and Guinea Bissau played out a goalless draw in their Group D match at the Stade Omnisport Roumdé Adjia in Garoua on Tuesday.
A largely uneventful game, this was the first encounter between Sudan, winners of the tournament in 1970, and Guinea-Bissau at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Guinea Bissau made a bright start and should have taken the lead shortly before the midway point of the first half but Joseph Mendes failed to make a good connection with the ball from a free-kick and hit the post with a ball off his shoulder.
After halftime, Sudan came out looking lively with Abdel Rahman the focal point of their danger. Though both teams pushed forward for a goal, neither was able to penetrate the other’s defense.
However, there was to be a final twist as the moment of the match came with less than 10 minutes of normal time left when Guinea Bissau was awarded a penalty.
Steve Ambri was brought down in the penalty box by Ali Abu-Eshrein but the Sudanese goalkeeper atoned for his error by saving a tame effort from Judilson Gomes (Pelé).
The result leaves both teams in joint second with a point apiece in the group behind leaders Nigeria who earlier defeated seven-time champions Egypt 1-0.
The next group games will take place on January 15 with Nigeria facing Sudan before Guinea Bissau takes on Egypt on the same day.
(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)