Naby Keïta finally made his comeback from injury emerging as a 62nd minute substitute for Guinea as they contested their Africa Cup of Nations opener against Madagascar on Saturday night.
Guinea went ahead after 34 minutes but were pegged back by a Madagascan leveller early in the second half before a second six minutes later left Guinea fighting to regain supremacy.
But after the 24-year-old was introduced Guinea were given a lifeline when François Kamano converted a penalty to establish parity between the two sides.
Guinea then pressed for a late winner, and went close on a couple of occasions, but had to make do with a point in Group B.
The Reds midfielder had been ruled out since the beginning of May when he sustained an adductor injury in the the first leg of the Barcelona semi-final at Camp Nou.
Hopefully this long-awaited return for Naby will see him push for a starting berth in his national side as he works to get his sharpness and match fitness back.