We have our first video up! This video is to highlight the best moments in the African Cup of Nations Group Stage. It has everything from net-breaking free kicks, red cards and even the emotional Sudan goal. While you’re watching it: like, comment and subscribe to our channel (and we will subscribe back). Another video for the knock-out stages will be up soon hopefully, as well our writers’ Top 10 goals of the tournament!
Posts Tagged ‘African Cup of Nations’
Tags: AFCON, Africa Cup of Nations, African Cup of Nations, Compilation, Goals, Red Card, Sudan
Tags: African Cup of Nations, Herve Renard, Look Alike, Zambia
Hervé Renard, the gesticulating and animated manager of Zambia has already captured many peoples imaginations at this early stage of the tournament. While it is still far too early to draw conclusions, we can safely say that the one time defender has drilled his side very well. Indeed, they play like a disciplined European team (minus the lapses in concentration as the second half wore on); and in African football, this is a huge advantage.
Contrast this with the wayward defending of Senegal and their high line which almost instantaneously blurred into a misshapen mess on the field and you can see the impact that Hervé Renard’s managerial style has had on Zambia.
But this is not the real point of the post. Rather, what I am here to do is to draw your attention to the fact that aforementioned manager is in fact none other than Jaime Lannister (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) from the TV Show Game of Thrones. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have our first dead ringer of the tournament:
Image Copyright © 2011 HBO
If you spot any other look alikes at this African Cup of Nations tournament, do let us know via twitter, facebook or in the comments section below. Oh and get watching Game of Thrones. Think LOTR, but on a much grander scale and on TV, quality stuff!
Tags: African Cup of Nations, Day 2, Drogba, Group B, Ivory Coast, Kalou, Moutata, Sudan
Day 2 of the African cup of nations saw Group B taking to the field. Pre tournament favourites Ivory Coast went head to head with unfavoured Sudan, while Burkina Faso and Angola did battle in the second of the two games.
Brilliant Pitch Condition
It’s not everyday you see a brilliant and well taken care of pitch, especially compared to some of the ones on display in England. But the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo, should receive acknowledgement for the care that has been put into it.
The 1st game started off relatively slowly, with Ivory Coast dominating possession and Sudan quite happy to let them have the ball. The Ivorians failed to show any penetration in the final third and the Sudanese defence was happy enough to intercept play. However the Sudanese players were bereft of ideas when the ball was in their possession and more often than not they attempted a long ball, which was ineffective and allowed the Ivory Coast players to recycle possession from the back. The frustration of Ivory Coasts inability to break down the Sudanese defence began to manifest itself in several long range efforts from the likes of Drogba and Gervinho as the half wore on.
Tags: African Cup of Nations, Amara Traore, Ben Konaté, Equatorial Guinea, Herve Renard, Javier Balboa, Libya, Senegal, Zambia
Opening games usually set the tone for the rest of the tournament. The script usually goes like this: the host team wins. If that happens, everyone goes home happy and the tournament ‘comes alive’ as the natives become highly excitable which, somehow, spreads to the players and the football played. Equatorial Guinea made us go home happy and they demonstrated to us just what they may have to offer. Pre-tournament, the fear was that Equatorial Guinea would be the whipping-boys, considering they are the lowest-ranked team in the tournament – 151st in the FIFA rankings, while Libya are ranked 63rd. So Libya are more than twice better than Equatorial Guinea, if you do your maths, and this showed in the contrast in the styles between the two teams.
Contrast in styles
Equatorial Guinea looked to play quick, direct balls to their forwards, especially the forward who was spearheading their attack – Javier ‘Rocky’ Balboa. Libya, meanwhile, went for a more patient build-up with full-backs Abdulaziz Belraysh and Abubaker Rabea marauding down the flanks and the lively Walid Mhadeb pulling the strings whenever he had the ball. Libya were in full control for that first fifteen minutes and there was only one winner.
That was as good as it got.
Equatorial Guinea show their strengths
For the next thirty-five minutes Equatorial Guinea demonstrated their qualities. The combination of Balboa, Ivan Bolado, Thierry Fideju and Randy had Libya cornered. The former three interchanged positions at will, confusing a wobbly Libyan defence. Spanish-born attacking midfielder Bolado was instrumental as his eye for a pass and clever lay-offs added some much-needed craft to the Equatorial Guinea cause. The hard-working Fidjeu chased and hurried, out on the right-wing mainly but making several runs into the box. There was plenty of industry from Randy on the left-wing as he regularly got the better of Belraysh, although his final delivery was often disappointing. The most impressive player of all, though, was central midfielder Ben Konate, a powerhouse of a man who bounced all over the Estadio de Bata turf, his searching long balls often finding the wingers and his incisive passing often finding Bolado to do the rest. Konaté isn’t just my Man of the Match, he’s my Man of the Day.
Tags: AFCON, Africa Cup of Nations, African Cup of Nations, Alain Giresse, Botswana, Ghana, Guinea, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Mali, Pascal Feindouno
Ghana – Botswana – Mali – Guinea
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this current Ghana team has the ingredients to, potentially, become the best African team ever. In 2009 they won the U-20 World Cup and a group of players from that team have been successfully integrated into full international level, being used both at the last Cup of Nations and the World Cup. In both those major tournaments, The Black Stars didn’t shame themselves – finishing as the runners up in the former and quarter-finalists in the latter, narrowly failing to become the first African side to reach the semi-finals.
They are very much a young side but it’d be foolish to say they’re inexperienced considering the well-planned integration and the football rigours they have been through. The majority are experienced, young players. Defensively, Ghana are arguably the best unit at this year’s edition, although the omission of the loveable Richard Kingson and three very inexperienced keepers could be a problem. A midfield unit of Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Sully Muntari (Internazionale), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese) and Anthony Annan (Vitesse Arnhem loan) will be difficult to outplay.
Offensively, there are problems – an overreliance on Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain loan), who has fitness worries, for goals and lack of creativity through the middle, this Ghana side doesn’t beat teams as comfortable as they should. In Andre Ayew (Marseilles) they have the current African Footballer of the Year, full of bite and trickery but his best work is done through the flanks, rather than in central areas. In the last year it had finally looked like they had solved the problem of creativity in the form of Kevin Prince-Boateng but he’s gone into early retirement from international football, citing injury problems. Even with those problems they should have reach the latter stages of the tournament, can they go one better and win it this time?
Prediction: Anything less than a final would be a failure from a Ghanain point of view. They will not have a better chance to satisfy their thirst for Cup of Nations silverware. Finalists.