2012 Cup of African NationsWe’re back in Gabon, so let’s see the last four nations start their campaigns.
January 23rd: Egypt 0-0 Mali
One might expect a match between last year’s Afrovision runners-up and last year’s third-place finishers to be replete with goals, but alas, that was not the case. Mikael Schøler’s Mali certainly started the better, but their first half shots were almost exclusively from long range, and had they taken the time to create better chances, they might have been rewarded with the opener. The second half saw some better football; Mali were still on top, but their chances were better, and Tyler Burrows’s Egypt also fashioned some good opportunities of their own. But still, no goals were scored.
Man of the Match: Sherif Ekramy, GK, Egypt (7.4)Code:Group C # Nation P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Morocco 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3 2 Egypt 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 Mali 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 Benin 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
January 23rd: Guinea 2-1 DR Congo
The goals started flowing rather early on in this match. Six minutes in, Conglese leftback Hérita Ilunga fouled Guinea’s right winger Ousmane Camara in the penalty area. Pascal Feindouno was on hand to convert the spot kick. Just five minutes later, however, the ball was in the net at the other end. A nice spell of Congelese possession ended with Lomana LuaLua launching the ball into the goal’s top-left corner. Craig Hopper’s DR Congo fashioned chance after chance throughout the first half, but their strikeforce weren’t particularly clinical, and they also met with a solid performance by Guinean goalkeeper Nabymoussa Yattara. Chip Butty’s side got the next goal, when Ismael Bangoura completed a superb solo run by sidefooting the ball into the net. Guinea continued to create chances, as well as restrict those of DR Congo, and they earned their victory through sturdy control of the play in the closing half hour.
Man of the Match: Ismael Bangoura, FW, Guinea (7.9)So each team has played a game now, and things are looking good. Next time, we see the second fixtures for some teams from Group A and Group B.Code:Group D # Nation P W D L F A GD Pts 1 Tunisia 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 3 2 Guinea 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3 3 DR Congo 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 4 Togo 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0