BOUAKE: Two goals from Gelson Dala edged Angola closer to a place in the next stage of the Africa Cup of Nations finals as they beat Mauritania 3-2 to go top of the Group D standings in a match full of high quality goals.

Winger Gilberto netted the other for the winners while Amar Sidi Bouna and Aboubakary Koita scored fine individual efforts for Mauritania, who lost a second game at the tournament in Ivory Coast and sit bottom of the standings.

Angola are ahead of Burkina Faso on goals scored with top seeds Algeria third in the group on two points after they scored in stoppage time to force a 2-2 draw with the Burkinabe earlier at the Stade de la Paix.

Angola dominated the early exchanges and deserved their 30th-minute opener which came from a corner that Mauritania failed to clear with the ball falling to Gelson Dala, who hit his acrobatic effort hard down into the ground and saw it bounce over the opposing defence and into the net.

Mauritania were back level two minutes before the break following a superb individual effort from Bouna, who slalomed past five Angolan defenders before delivering a left-footed finish.

Angola then scored twice in the space of three minutes as Gelson Dala looked to emulate Bouna’s effort, picking the ball up near the halfway line, accelerating at the Mauritania defence who tried to force him wide, but he ended up chipping the ball in from a difficult angle in the 50th minute.

Gilberto, who had been a late call-up to the tournament, then netted from an even tighter angle after stripping possession from the Mauritania defence, cutting in from the byline and scoring at the near post.
But the two goal advantage was quickly reduced by another scorching effort in the 58th minute as Koita thrashed home a powerful shot from outside the Angola penalty area.

He also collected the ball near the halfway line, cutting inside as he headed towards goal and unleashed an effort that gave the Angola goalkeeper no chance.

There were opportunities for both sides to add more in an exciting encounter.

Angola next take on Burkina Faso in their last group game on Tuesday while Algeria are up against Mauritania, with all four having a chance to go through to the next round.

** Senegal coach Aliou Cisse was admitted to hospital in Yamoussoukro for a second night after being taken ill in on Friday after their 3-1 victory over Cameroon.