February 13th 2010 was notable in my life not only for being my 19th birthday, but also a landmark moment in the history of Torquay United…OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating slightly. We didn’t get promoted or relegated. The result on that day wasn’t that special – a 2-1 home defeat to Port Vale. But it did see the home debut of two players who it’s fair to say didn’t see their best footballing days at Plainmoor. One was Ashley Barnes, now a prolific striker in the Championship for Brighton, who had joined on loan from Plymouth. The other was a man who had caused quite a stir when he was signed on a free transfer – Mohamed “Mo” Camara.
Posts Tagged ‘Guinea’
Tags: Celtic, Derby, Guinea, Mo Camara, Port Vale, Torquay
Tags: 100 Players That Shook The Kop, Guinea, Hernan Crespo, Liverpool, Pele, Robbie Fowler, Titi Camara
Sandals For Goalposts recently managed to catch up with former Guinea international Titi Camara for an exclusive interview. Camara enjoyed a good career which took him to France, England, Saudi Arabia, Qatar before ending it back in France with Amiens. He played football with joie de vivre and an undiluted smile beamed when he scored goals, a smile that reflected that football should be about having fun and made him the type of player that was difficult to detest, even if you were a rival fan of the teams played for.
And there was substance behind that smile – a successful career in France, a glorious short spell with Liverpool, finishing 91st in the ‘100 Players That Shook The Kop’ compilation by Liverpool FC (the second highest placed African player, behind Bruce Grobbelaar), and a prolific goal-scoring record which propelled Guinean football back to Africa’s footballing summit.
Camara, who is the current Sports Minister of Guinea, took time out of his hectic schedule to answer a few questions about Liverpool, the Guinea national team and his career in general. Here we go:
Tags: Botswana, Ghana, Guinea, Mali
Guinea 6-1 Botswana
In the first match of the day we saw the two sides in the tournament with the best kits go head-to-head – Botswana and Guinea, there is no doubt about that. Botswana’s is a light blue of serenity, a type of kit where you can imagine their whole squad going for a swim in the ocean and your eyes not being able to differentiate between them and the humble waves of the sea. Guinea’s kit can be described as colourful, representative of Africa as a whole in its colour; ever-blushing and randomly complemented with bright yellow shorts. It’s easy to like a team because of their kit and I like Guinea. The west Africans made light work of the southern Africans, smashing them 6-1.
The Zebra approach
The Zebras were frustratingly difficult to beat during qualification because of their compactness as a defensive unit – only losing 1 game in 8, a 1-0 away defeat to Togo, and by then they had sealed qualification to the AFCON. Tactically, the majority of the players were behind the ball and the only outlet a lot of the time was commentators’ – and bloggers’ – nightmare Jerome Ramatlhakwane who caught opponents off-guard on the break. This was evident in their opening game against Ghana as the Black Stars found it difficult to break them down, Ramatlhakwane racing away forcing John Mensah to commit as the last man and earn a red card. Ghana’s solitary goal coming from a set-piece and it could be argued that Botswana deserved more from the game.
The Bots malfunction
Against Guinea, the Zebras attempted to play a more expansive game, presumably because they knew a win was vital here because Guinea, out of the other sides in the group, are probably the weakest side defensively. They were punished severely for their approach as Guinea cut them open at will and – had their finishing been better – we could have been looking at a scoreline in double figures. Still, Guinea became only the third team to score 6 goals at the Cup of Nations (the others were Egypt 6-3 Nigeria in 1963 and Ivory Coast 6-1 Ethiopia in 1970). It’s worth noting that the sending off before half-time probably made things worse for Botswana, although even with 11 team on the pitch there were several holes and lapses in defence. They were lucky not to have conceded more.
Tags: Botswana, Cedric Kante, Ghana, Guinea, John Mensah, Mali
Day 4 provided us with matches from contenders of Group D, where favourites Ghana took on Botswana; while the 2nd game was played by Mali and Guinea.
Ghana 1-0 Botswana
Being Risk-Averse Is A Dangerous Way To Play
The first half depicted a solid display from the minnows, Botswana. They were more focused their defending rather than their attacking, allowing Ghana to dominate possession in the opening moments of the game. They were punished for their risk-averse approach after 24 minutes, when a momentary lapse in their solid display had allowed John Mensah to solidly knee the ball into the net after they failed to get rid of the ball from a corner.
This risk-averse behavior has been observed in other matches, but it goes to show that the old cliche “attack is the best form of defence” is the best method to adopt in these games, as long as you have a solid, organised defence to help prevent counter-attacks from the opposition. Botswana were unlucky (or Ghana were lucky, even) to have a header, after a lovely burst and cross down the wing, expertly cleared off the line by Boye. If that had gone in then Ghana would have had to step up a gear in order to penetrate the solid Botswana defence again.
Tags: Africa Cup of Nations, Alain Traore, Asamoah Gyan, Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kwadwo Asamoah, Mali, Mehdi Benatia, Morocco, Niger, Papiss Cisse, Samir Aboud, Samuel Inkoon, Senegal, Seydou Doumbia, Tunisia, Younes Belhanda
As you would know, if you’ve been following our coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations 2012, it’s nearly time for Africa. And it’s time for us to predict on some of the outcomes over the coming weeks, including the most important of them all – who will win it? This is the chance for you to laugh at us in a couple of weeks (and beyond), when it’s all over, and know who’s judgement to trust in future, perhaps. The bad news is some of the team couldn’t make predictions due to academic commitments. The good news is we’ve gone to the trouble of recruiting Tom Legg, East African football connoisseur, to add rich knowledge to more than compensate for the loss of it.
Here is the full panel for the predictions:
Tom Legg – Tom is an East African Football enthusiast and expert – and I’m not saying ‘expert’ just for the sake of it, you only need to cast an eye here for his revolutionary chalkboard-tactical pieces, something I’m pretty confident hasn’t been done previously for East African teams. For further reading of his expert reports and tactical analyses you can visit his blog Eastern Promise and follow him on twitter.
Salim – Editor and co-founder of this humble site, he’s just normal and obsessed with all things football.
James - Co-founder and writer, the strategist behind our marketing ploys.
Sagar – Editor and writer, has a fetish for fringe players and is equally knowledgeable in the field of cricket.
Amro – Editor and co-founder, his current dream is that Zico will lead Iraq to Brazil in 2014 so he can join the samba party.
Joe – Making his debut appearance, Joe is the recent addition to the squad, expect detailed and intellectually-stimulating pieces sometime soon from him.
Kevin – Another debutant, Kevin, who’s Ghanaian, is one of the two members on the team with a native nation to support at the ACN. You can expect hilarious material from him so long as this blog exists.
Tom aside, the rest of us are regular writers on this blog and need little introduction. If you’re not familiar with us, you can read more about us here.
To the business at hand!