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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’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)

  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)

  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

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.

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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where nations continue their quest for the Cup of African Nations.

January 26th: Burkina Faso 1-1 Cameroon

Andreas Werner’s Burkina Faso picked up their first point of the tournament in this match against Cameroon. Cameroon were in complete control for the first half hour, but the Burkinabe team managed to weather the storm and take the lead, with Amadou Coulibaly rifling in a stunning volley when Cameroon foolishly left him unmarked on the right hand side. That phenomenal strike was the only real notable moment of the first half. Cameroon continued their dominance after the break, but were generally finishing poorly. Still, one good finish would be all that was necessary to destroy the Burkinabe lead, and that came in the 76th minute, when Pierre Achille Webó fired through a crowd of Burkina Faso players to level the scores. They pursued a winner, but Cameroon almost lost the match, when an unmarked late run by Burkina Faso’s Yahia Kébé ended in a shot straight at ‘keeper Carlos Kameni, and Badou Kéré’s free kick was only just kept out of the goal.

Man of the Match: Amadou Coulibaly, DR, Burkina Faso (8.0)

  Group A
 # Nation       P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Cameroon     2 1 1 0 4 2 +2  4
 2 Senegal      1 1 0 0 1 0 +1  3
 3 Burkina Faso 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1  1
 4 Nigeria      1 0 0 1 0 2 -2  0

January 26th: South Africa 3-1 Côte d’Ivoire

Matt Lepino’s South Africa very quickly made their mark on this match, one that I was expecting them to lose. Four minutes in, Steven Pienaar fed striker Lerato Chabangu, who fired the ball low into the net. Chabangu may, however, have been a whisker offside. The Ivorians weren’t disheartened, however, and only a good save stopped Salomon Kalou from levelling things up in the 12th minute. It’s fair to say that South Africa had the better of the game, but they didn’t test Ivorian ‘keeper Stephan Loboué, while Côte d’Ivoire did plenty of ‘keeper testing through Kalou. But it was the South Africans who scored the next goal, with Benni McCarthy escaping the marking of Kolo Touré to spin and fire the ball low into the net. The rest of the half was a tense affair, with plenty of mass exhalations of breath by fans of both teams.

Constant Djakpa came close to grabbing a goal back early on in the second half, with his powerful free kick kept out by South Africa’s Moeneeb Josephs. Instead, it was South Africa who got the third goal of the game, with Benni McCarthy once again beating Kolo Touré and hitting home. It was in the 67th minute that Albert Holstein’s team finally got themselves on the scoresheet, with Yannick Boli capitalising on a poor goal kick by Josephs, running through the defence and powering the ball home for a debut goal before South Africa realised what had hit them. Unfortunately for Côte d’Ivoire, that was to be the last goal of the game. They did continue to test Josephs, but the 31-year-old was a bastion in the South African net, and preserved his country’s two-goal lead until the final whistle.

Man of the Match: Benni McCarthy, ST, South Africa (8.5)

  Group B
 # Nation        P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 South Africa  2 2 0 0 6 2 +4  6
 2 Côte d’Ivoire 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1  3
 3 Algeria       1 0 0 1 1 3 -2  0
 4 Gabon         1 0 0 1 0 3 -3  0

Next time, holders Nigeria try to get their campaign back on track, while Morocco and Mali lock horns.

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We're the hosts, which means we finally get a game!!! :D

On the flip side, our long unbeaten record is now over :(

Come on Gabon, let's show Africa how we roll (over and surrender pathetically...)

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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where some big fixtures are about to be played.

January 27th: Nigeria 2-0 Senegal

This was just the sort of result Des Tiny’s Nigeria were looking for to get their trophy defence back on track. The first half was dire for both sides, with Nigeria bossing the game but being poor in attack, fashioning just one decent chance, which was kept out easily by Senegal’s Tony Sylva. Senegal, on the other hand, were on the back foot for most of the half and Ricky Nakano will have been far from happy with his side’s performance. The second half started similarly ineffectually for Nigeria, so if they weren’t going to score, Senegal would have to do it for them. Elliot Omozusi’s cross bounced off Senegalese midfielder Kader Mangane and into the net. This seemed to lift the Nigerian game, and fifteen minutes later, they had doubled their lead, with Yakubu stooping to head Chinedu Obasi’s cross home. In the dying minutes, Senegal got a penalty, when Nigeria’s Michael Tukura slid into Mamadou Niang in the box. Vincent Enyeama saved the spot kick from El-Hadji Diouf.

Man of the Match: Chinedu Obasi, MR, Nigeria (7.6)

  Group A
 # Nation       P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Cameroon     2 1 1 0 4 2 +2  4
 2 Nigeria      2 1 0 1 3 3  0  3
 3 Senegal      2 1 0 1 1 2 -1  3
 4 Burkina Faso 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1  1

January 27th: Mali 4-0 Morocco

The match started off fairly even, with neither side that incisive. Mali scored the opener in the 17th minute when Seydou Keita placed a brilliant free kick in the top-left corner of the Moroccan goal. Morocco’s Jamal Kessab tried a similar thing with his free kick in the 24th minute, but wasn’t quite so successful. Mikael Schøler’s Mali doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, when another fine Seydou Keita shot gave them a corner. Cheick Diabaté was on hand to head this home. From this point on, Mali’s dominance was never in doubt. Moroccan hopes sunk further in the 43rd minute, when defender Mickäel Chrétien was given a second yellow card for upending Mali’s Modibo Maïga. He had received his first yellow in the 20th minute, for another foul on Maïga.

Just minutes after this, Mali bagged a third goal. Sékou Bamba headed the ball out of the air and to the feet of Cheick Diabaté, who slotted the ball straight past Ismaïl Kouha and into the goal. Mali kept up their barrage of attacks in the second half, but it wasn’t until the 69th minute, when Diabaté was criminally let through to roll the ball into the net for his hattrick. Interestingly, Mali’s attacks seemed to cease after that, but Morocco never offered any comeback, and left the match thoroughly beaten.

Man of the Match: Cheick Diabaté, ST, Mali (9.4)

  Group C
 # Nation  P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Mali    2 1 1 0 4 0 +4  4
 2 Morocco 2 1 0 1 1 4 -3  3
 3 Egypt   1 0 1 0 0 0  0  1
 4 Benin   1 0 0 1 0 1 -1  0

Six goals in these two games, and I predict just as many if not more in the next two. We’ll be back in Gabon shortly!

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A great result for Burkina Faso there! And with the other result in the group, we're definitely not out of it yet.

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That result is exactly what we needed, straight back towards the top of the group, now we actually have a chsnce to make the next round.

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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, just in time for two four-goal thrillers.

January 27th: Togo 0-4 Guinea

Dees Blake’s Togo continue their terrible start in this match against Chip Butty’s Guinea. Within just ten minutes they found themselves a goal down, when Guinea’s Pascal Feindouno was let through to net the opener. Togo had a good chance in the 17th minute, but Floyd Ayite’s shot was parried by Guinean ‘keeper Nabymoussa Yattara. This was followed by many more Togolese chances in the first half, but it was Guinea who got the next goal. The Togo defence backpedalled to successfully stop a counter attack, but the ball was sent out to Guinea’s Amadou Cissé, who struck the ball through the defence and into the net.

Guinea really turned on the pressure in the second half. Just over ten minutes into the second half, they went 3-0 up, with another long-range shot. This time, the scorer was Ibrahima Sory Camara, who received the ball just outside the penalty area, and lofted just inside the post. Demoralised, Togo’s opportunities got worse, and Guinea completed the rout in the 85th minute, when forward Ismael Bangoura recovered from almost losing the ball to round the Togolese defence and send the ball past ‘keeper Ouro-Nimini Tchagnirou.

Man of the Match: Amadou Cissé, MC, Guinea (8.2)

  Group D
 # Nation   P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Guinea   2 2 0 0 6 1 +5  6
 2 Tunisia  1 1 0 0 3 0 +3  3
 3 DR Congo 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1  0
 4 Togo     2 0 0 2 0 7 -7  0

January 28th: Gabon 2-2 Algeria

Hosts Gabon picked up their first point of the tournament in this match. The game started poorly, with just a few poor chances created in the first twenty minutes. In the 23rd minute, a free kick from Gabon’s Aymard Moro-Mvé was headed goalwards by Bruno Mbanangoyé. Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra managed to get his head to it, but could not avert its course, and was in the end credited with an own goal. Just two minute later, however, GG Grive’s Algeria were level, when forward Kamel Ghilas, seeing no fellow players in good positions, and receiving no challenge from the Gabonese defence, rifled the ball he was dribbling into the top corner from range. Such a phenomenal strike was apt to seal such a quick response to the Gabon goal. But within just four minutes, Algeria were once again behind. Some alternating midfield play ended with Mbanangoyé’s pass to Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang set up Eric Mouloungi with a beautiful through ball, and the central midfielder placed the ball calmly past the onrushing ‘keeper and into the net.

After some feeble attempts by Gabon to increase their lead, the second half saw Algeria’s second goal. Just after the hour mark, Algeria’s Mohamed Benhamou took a goal kick, which he dropped straight at the feet of Kamel Ghilas, who had little difficulty running a few yards and slotting home. Algeria could have hoped for a winner from the energetic Ghilas, when, 69 minutes in, Gabon’s Thierry Issiemou was shown a straight red card for his hacking down Algerian captain Yazid Mansouri. But that was actually the last notable event of the game, as Ken Co’s host nation held on for the draw.

Man of the Match: Kamel Ghilas, FW, Algeria (8.4)

  Group B
 # Nation        P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 South Africa  2 2 0 0 6 2 +4  6 Q
 2 Côte d’Ivoire 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1  3
 3 Algeria       2 0 1 1 3 5 -2  1
 4 Gabon         2 0 1 1 2 5 -3  1

So Matt Lepino’s South Africa are the first side into the Quarter Finals. Some other teams will be hoping to join them, and we’ll find out who’ll be next to do so, when we return to Gabon.

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Wow, a draw with Algeria is a very impressive result for Gabon. England couldn't beat them last summer, so that makes us as good as England!

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Nice 4-0 win. There's a little error in the report from the Mali game:

Cheick Diabaté was on hand to head this home. From this point on, Senegal’s dominance was never in doubt.


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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where teams are vying to book their early qualification for the Quarter Finals.

January 28th: Benin 0-2 Egypt

The first half of this match leaves little to remark on. Neither side created any exceptional chances, although it was clear that Tyler Burrows’s Egypt were bossing their atlantic opponents. Mohamed Zidan broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, receiving the ball from Amr Zaki with his back to goal, and running away from goal before turning, shooting, and scoring. Egypt continued to have the better of what was not that interesting a game, and although Zidan had some brilliant chances, it wasn’t until the 90th minute that they got their second goal, when Ahmed Ghanem cut the rebound from Zaki’s shot into the net, bagging his first goal for Egypt.

Man of the Match: Amr Zaki, ST, Egypt (7.5)

  Group C
 # Nation  P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Mali    2 1 1 0 4 0 +4  4 Q
 2 Egypt   2 1 1 0 2 0 +2  4
 3 Morocco 2 1 0 1 1 4 -3  3
 4 Benin   2 0 0 2 0 3 -3  0 –

January 28th: DR Congo 2-3 Tunisia

Mentho Latum’s Tunisia started this game brilliantly, when forward Sami Allagui curled a beautiful shot into the net from long range after just five minutes. DR Congo, on the other hand, seemed to struggle to get started, and Tunisia took full advantage of this, when, in the 21st minute, striker Amine Chermiti doubled the score when he escaped his marker Joël Sami, entered the penalty area, and scored. Craig Hopper’s DR Congo finally came alive shortly after that, with Cédric Makiadi making a long-range clearance to striker Dieumerci Mbokani, who ran up the right wing and crossed for stiker Didier Yenga, who made it 1-2. But Tunisia had recovered their two-goal cushion by half time, with Mehdi Trabelsi converting a penalty in the 42nd minute. The spot kick had been awarded for Delson Banda’s trip on Tunisian right winger Tijani Belaïd.

In the second half, Tunisia continued to fashion chances, taking the game to DR Congo. But instead of scoring a fourth goal, they conceded a second, when Makiadi crossed to Dieumerci Mbokani, who took one touch to fire the ball past Tunisian ‘keeper Tarek Cherif. This didn’t alter Tunisia’s dominance; in fact, they had several brilliant opportunities to secure their victory, but it did make the last few minutes nervewracking, with the first three yellow cards of the match being shown in the last five minutes. Nevertheless, Tunisia held out for the win, which puts them into the Quarter Finals.

Man of the Match: Sami Allagui, FW, Tunisia (7.9)

  Group D
 # Nation   P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Guinea   2 2 0 0 6 1 +5  6 Q
 2 Tunisia  2 2 0 0 6 2 +4  6 Q
 3 DR Congo 2 0 0 2 3 5 -2  0 –
 4 Togo     2 0 0 2 0 7 -7  0 –

Three teams are already into the Quarter Finals. Next time, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria and Cameroon are all trying to join them.

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@MikaelS: Fixed, thanks.


2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where the first group is concluding.

January 30th: Burkina Faso 0-2 Nigeria

Des Tiny’s Nigeria definitely started this game on the front foot, and it wasn’t long before they were rewarded for their dominance. 25-year-old right winger Chinedu Obasi scored in the 16th minute, knocking the ball in when Yakubu’s shot was repelled by Burkinabe goalkeeper Mohamed Kaboré. Nigeria continued their dominance throughout the rest of the half, and the closest shot of the remainder fell to captain Joseph Yobo, whose close-range header was stopped by a sprawling Kaboré. All in all, Nigeria didn’t perform greatly, but they were much better than a sheepish Burkina Faso side, who got their first (and only) shot on target in the 72nd minute through Issoumaïla Lingane. Yakubu came close to making it 2-0 in the 84th minute, when he was let through by the Burkinabe defence, and sent his shot straight at Kaboré, but the lead was doubled five minute later, when Obasi, approaching the goal at a narrow angle, attracted the Burkinabe ‘keeper towards him, before crossing the ball for the easiest header Solomon Owello has ever scored.

Man of the Match: Chinedu Obasi, MR, Nigeria (7.9)

January 30th: Senegal 1-3 Cameroon

After they did so well two years ago, Senegal left the competition at the group stages this year following this loss to Cameroon. Within four minutes, Ricky Nakano’s side almost found themselves a goal down, when a defensive blunder saw Habib Beye pass the ball straight to Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o. Fortunately for Senegal, Eto’o took a one-touch shot, and sent it wide. But five minutes later, Cameroon were indeed leading, when Tony Sylva’s goal kick went straight to Cameroon’s Nicolas N’Koulou, who promptly headed the ball up to Eto’o, who had no problem finishing off the one-on-one. However, the goal had been rather opportunist, and Cameroon weren’t particularly more dominant than their opponents. Indeed, when Senegal got their opportunity in the 42nd minute, they took it, with Demba Ba powering a header down on Issiar Dia’s cross, and levelling the scores shortly before half time.

To counter this, however, Cameroon got off to a brilliant start in the second half. A good succession of passes saw the ball at the feet of Pierre-Achille Webó, just outside the Senegalese penalty area. Disregarding his marker Moustapha Bayal, Webó looped the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal, with less than three minutes on the clock after the restart. Issiar Dia had a good chance for Senegal in the 51st minute, but sent the ball straight at Carlos Kameni. Cameroon defended much better in the second half than they had in the first, not that they needed to; Senegal didn’t pose much of an attacking threat. Senegal’s defence failed again, however, when Samuel Eto’o was given acres of space in the box 64 minutes in, allowing him to casually stroke the ball home for a 3-1 lead, and for his 50th goal for Cameroon. Senegal did try to get a goal back, but in the end, it wasn’t too difficult for Cameroon to defend their lead and secure their passage.

Man of the Match: Samuel Eto’o, ST, Cameroon (8.4)

  Group A
 # Nation       P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Cameroon     3 2 1 0 7 3 +4  7 Q
 2 Nigeria      3 2 0 1 5 3 +2  6 Q
 3 Senegal      3 1 0 2 2 5 -3  3 –
 4 Burkina Faso 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3  1 –

Next time, Egypt and Morocco attempt to get themselves in the next round!

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Shocked to see that Uganda are playing better, even won a game :D

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I can't honestly say that I'm shocked at coming bottom of the group, but I definitely feel we gave a good showing of ourselves :)

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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where Group C qualification is about to be completed.

January 31st: Benin 1-4 Mali

This match showed why Benin are bottom of the group, and Mali are top. The match burst into life from the start, with Sidi Keita’s shot stinging the fingertips of Benin goalkeeper Rachad Chitou six minutes in. Five minutes later, Mikael Schøler’s Mali had the ball in the net, with forward Modibo Maïga heading Adam Tamboura’s corner into the goal. Maïga came close to grabbing a second in the fifteenth minute, but his free kick rattled the upright instead. The assault continued, and Mali doubled their lead in the 17th minute. Having had a shot saved thirty seconds earlier, Cheick Diabaté received the ball from Abdou Traoré, rounded the Benin defence, and slotted the ball underneath Chitou. With 35 minutes on the clock, Mali had made it 3-0. From an indirect free kick, Abdou Traoré made the pass to Modibo Maïga, who rifled in a beautiful shot from the edge of the area.

Benin weren’t rolling over, however, and they managed to muster up some resistance, grabbing a goal back shortly before the half time whistle. Stéphane Sessègnon put the ball into the area for striker Razak Omotoyossi, who navigated the Mali defence and took a close-range shot which was repelled by Malian ‘keeper Cheick Oumar Bathily. The rebound, however, went straight to Benin’s Mickaël Poté, who took a first touch shot and scored. But Benin’s spell of dominance didn’t last long; five minutes into the second half, Seydou Keita came close for Mali with a header that grazed the crossbar as it went over, and following a large spell of inaction, Cheick Diabaté put a good shot on target in the 63rd minute. Their three-goal advantage was finally restored in the 73rd minute, when a goalkeeping error allowed Diabaté to grab his second goal of the game. A headed clearance from Réda Johnson was met by Moise Bambara, who headed it back to his ‘keeper Rachad Chitou. But Chitou missed the ball, pushing it neatly onto Diabaté’s head for the final goal.

Man of the Match: Cheick Diabaté, ST, Mali (8.5)

January 31st: Morocco 1-0 Egypt

The result of this match surprised me, and saw Didier Dardon’s Morroco oust Tyler Burrows’s Egypt, like they had at last year’s Afrovision, to reach the Quarter Finals. Morocco wasted no time in stamping their authority on what was a turbulent game, and they had three good chances to open a lead within the first twenty minutes. That’s not to say Egypt didn’t have chances; Mido’s 20th minute shot was kept out by a tremendous save from Moroccan ‘keeper Ismaïl Kouha. But Morocco kept up the pressure, and were rewarded for it. A Youssef El-Akchaoui free kick in the 24th minute bounced off two Egyptian defenders before falling to the feat of Nabil Baha, who wasted no time in shooting, and scoring. Egypt did seem to enjoy the more possession from this point onwards, but very rarely did they produce the vaguest semblance of an opportunity, and save for a 74th minute shot from Ayman Abdelaziz, which was saved by Kouha, they never looked like equalising.

Man of the Match: Nabil Baha, FW, Morocco (7.5)

  Group C
 # Nation  P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 Mali    3 2 1 0 8 1 +7  7 Q
 2 Morocco 3 2 0 1 2 4 -2  6 Q
 3 Egypt   3 1 1 1 2 1 +1  4 –
 4 Benin   3 0 0 3 1 7 -6  0 –

Next time, hosts Gabon see if they can sneak through when they meet already-qualified South Africa.

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2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where the hosts are having one last-ditch attempt to qualify.

February 1st: Gabon 0-1 South Africa

This was a low-key game and one which sent Ken Co’s Gabon out of the tournament they were hosting. The goal was the first notable incident of the match, coming as it did seven minutes in. A corner taken by left winger Dennis Klate was met sweetly by the head of Aaron Mokoena, who got Matt Lepino’s side off to a brilliant start. Within five minutes, South Africa had the ball in the net again. Klate once again started the move with a corner, although this time it was headed out by the Gabonese defence. Rightback Siboniso Gaxa put the ball back into the box, for Bryce Moon to run on to and score, but the 25-year-old Moon was demonstrably offside. The first half was all South Africa, save for one close-range header in stoppage time, which Gabon’s Eric Mouloungui sent straight at ‘keeper Moeneeb Josephs. But this was against the pattern of the match, and in the second half, South Africa reasserted their authority, with plenty of attacks and possession, and several clear-cut chances. How they weren’t 2- or 3-0 at full time, I don’t know.

Man of the Match: Aaron Mokoena, MC, South Africa (7.5)

February 1st: Côte d’Ivoire 2-0 Algeria

The winner of this match would join South Africa in the Quarter Finals, while if there was a draw, Côte d’Ivoire would progress. The first half was pretty balanced, with both sides having chances; Salomon Kalou sent one straight at Algerian ‘keeper Mohamed Benhamou, while Algeria’s Madjid Djebbour sent an opportunity wide. A sustained spell of Ivorian pressure at the end of this period saw, in addition to a strike off the crossbar, two good chances put on target, but Benhamou stood firm to protect the status quo.

In the second half, the Algerian attack, which had been ever-present despite not really challenging Ivorian goalkeeper Stephan Loboué, seemed to disappear, as the play all flowed the way of Albert Holstein’s side. The Algerian defence, on the other hand, remained as resolute as ever, keeping shot after shot out. So good was the Algerian defence, that despite their 31 chances, of which 10 were on target, Côte d’Ivoire couldn’t score until the 85th minute, and that was from a penalty. Captain Yazid Mansouri fouled Ivorian midfielder Didier Zokora on the edge of the area, and 25-year-old left winger Constant Djakpa scored the spot kick. Côte d’Ivoire’s corner routine finally came to fruition in the 90+4th minute, when Kader Keita headed home Djakpa’s set piece. Amusingly, the commentary read ‘Ivory Coast are coasting to victory now!’.

Man of the Match: Kader Keita, FW, Côte d’Ivoire (7.9)

  Group B
 # Nation        P W D L F A GD Pts
 1 South Africa  3 3 0 0 7 2 +5  9 Q
 2 Côte d’Ivoire 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3  6 Q
 3 Algeria       3 0 1 2 3 7 -4  1 –
 4 Gabon         3 0 1 2 2 6 -4  1 –

So those are our Quarter Finalists decided! All that remains to be found out is who will top Group D, Guinea or Tunisia. That is decided next time, as we return to Gabon.

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Writer's Notes: Sorry for the near two-month lack of updates. Obviously the forum was down for quite a bit, and I was on holiday in France when it came back up. I then went on a trip to see friends for a week, and when I returned I found that I had lost internet. I'm back now so let's get this show back on the road!


2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon for the final two group stage games of the 2012 Cup of African Nations.

February 2nd: Togo 0-2 DR Congo

I suppose it would be logical that the only team yet to have scored any goals would be the one losing this match. The game began with Togo as dire in the finishing department as usual, and it wasn’t until the 21st minute when they put a shot on target, when the effort from Komlan Amewou was saved by Congolese goalkeeper Alain Kizamba. They came closest in the 33rd minute, with a saved shot followed by rattling the post, but for all their first half dominance, Dees Blake’s side had nothing. DR Congo wasted no time, therefore, in the second half, going 1-0 up in the 46th minute with a stunning curled free kick from Didier Yenga, brought on at half time. Togo were undone in exactly the same manner in the 54th minute, with another beautiful free kick from the 23-year-old striker. From looking like they might take the lead, Togo had gone 0-2 down and had it all to do. Togo continued to have the slightly better chances, but their finishing was as ineffectual as ever, and the game seemed over for them as soon as the first goal went in.

Man of the Match: Didier Yenga, ST, DR Congo (8.3)

February 2nd: Tunisia 2-1 Guinea

Tunisia started off this match the better, but Chip Butty’s Guinea had the first real chance of the match thirteen minutes in, when Pascal Feindouno’s long-rang shot stung the fingertips of Tunisian ‘keeper Tarek Cherif. Two minutes later, Guinea had the ball in the net, with centreback Mamadou Diallo heading in Ibrahima Sory Camara’s free kick. Tunisia’s opportunity didn’t come until the half hour mark. Left winger Chaouki Ben Saada swung in a corner, but before Amine Chermiti could get his head onto it, he was fouled by goalscorer Mamadou Diallo. Ben Saada was the one stepping up to take the resultant spot kick, and he placed it into the bottom-right corner to level the scores. Tunisia finished the half on top, testing Guinean ‘keeper Nabymoussa Yattara several times during the final fifteen minutes of the period.

The second half started poorly, with some feeble attempts from both sides to score a second goal. In the 63rd minute, the efforts of Mentho Latum’s Tunisia finally proved fruitful, when forward Issam Jemaa tapped the ball in from close range. Amine Chermiti crossed the ball in for the 28-year-old to finish. Guinea tried for an equaliser in the final half hour, but Tunisia kept them at bay.

Man of the Match: Mamadou Diallo, DC, Guinea (7.6)

Group D
# Nation     P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tunisia    3 3 0 0 8 3 +5  9 Q
2 Guinea     3 2 0 1 7 3 +4  6 Q
3 DR Congo   3 1 0 2 5 5  0  3 -
4 Togo       3 0 0 3 0 9 -9  0 –

The group stages are complete, and with that comes some sad news. The first Afrovision manager has lost their job, as Togo sacked Dees Blake following his poor showing. Togo cruised into the tournament with four wins from four in qualifying, but were thoroughly beaten in all three of their group games.

So with the group stages complete, just eight teams remain in the running for the Cup of African Nations. Let’s see who faces whom next;

South Africa vs. Nigeria

Côte d’Ivoire vs. Cameroon

Morocco vs. Tunisia

Guinea vs. Mali

Here are the statistics from the group stages:

When we’re back in Gabon, we’ll be watching the first two Quarter Finals!

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Glad to see we're back rolling with this. CSE hasn't been the same without it's regular dose of canvey!!

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2012 Cup of African Nations

Here we are, still in Gabon, where the Quarter Finals of the 2012 Cup of African Nations are about to begin.

February 5th: South Africa 4-0 Nigeria

In this match in Tchibanga, Matt Lepino’s South Africa were rampant against defending champions Nigeria. Within three minutes, striker Lerato Chabangu had his side in front when he volleyed Benni McCarthy’s cross goalwards, netting a wicked curler from 25 yards out. Two minutes later, a similar shot from Chabangu was saved by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, but within a further five minutes, the 26-year-old striker had himself on the scoresheet again, with a simply but effective shot across the penalty area. Nigeria had their first real chance of the match fourteen minutes in, but Ikechukwu Uche’s shot was saved by South African ‘keeper Moeneeb Josephs. Chinedu Obasi had a similar close-range shot saved by Josephs. Lerato Chabangu had a number of quality shots on target in the rest of the half, but for the most part the period consisted of Nigeria’s strong but ultimately futile attempts to grab themselves a goal.

In the second half, Ikechukwu Uche continued his attempts to bring Nigeria back into the game, but his close-range shots were always sent directly at Josephs. Lerato Chabangu continued to put on a masterclass, but the next goal didn’t come until the 72nd minute, when central midfielder Matty Pattison took advantage of a loose ball from the box, hammering it home for a three-goal lead, and almost certain progression to the Semi-Finals. The result was completed in the 83rd minute, with forward Thembinkosi Fanteni clearing the Nigerian defence to power the ball home. South Africa almost made it 5-0 in the 86th minute, but Steven Pienaar’s free kick was saved by Enyeama, who mopped up the corner too.

Man of the Match: Lerato Chabangu, ST, South Africa (8.6)

Following this match, the Nigerian FA announced the sacking of manager Des Tiny.

February 5th: Côte d’Ivoire 1-1 Cameroon

When it came to actual good football, this match gave nothing at least until the 45th minute. It was then, with just seconds to go until half time, that Samuel Eto’o gave Cameroon the lead, volleying in Francis Ambane’s cross from close range. The only real news of the first half was its poor discipline; there were yellow cards for Cameroon’s Richard Fomen and Achille Emana, and Côte d’Ivoire’s Zoro. Côte d’Ivoire soon got the upper hand as the second half kicked off, and they got their reward 64 minutes in, when Saolomon Kalou netted a half volley from Cameroonian ‘keeper Carlos Kameni’s save. Five minutes later, forward Baky Koné had a good chance to make it 2-1 to the Ivorians with his solo run upfield ending with a blocked shot. But Albert Holstein’s hopes took a blow in the 83rd minute when 28-year-old centreback Zoro tripped Cameroonian goalscorer Samuel Eto’o, and was shown a second yellow card by referee Daniel Bennet.

So neither side could win the match in normal time, and extra time was to be used in an attempt to find a victor. It was actually Côte d’Ivoire who broke the deadlock, with Salomon Kalou delivering a lovely ball for Koné, who made the run before slotting the ball past Carlos Kameni from just inside the penalty area. Any advantage Cameroon did have was wiped out in the 98th minute, when Achille Emana was shown a second yellow card for sliding into Ivorian stringpuller Emerse Faé. Both teams menaced the goal in the remaining time, with Cameroon coming ever so close to levelling a couple of times. But Holstein’s side held on for a nervy victory.

Man of the Match: Salomon Kalou, ST, Côte d’Ivoire (8.1)

Next time, we’ll return to Gabon to witness the other two Quarter Final matches.

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So wait, Cote D'Ivoire won? Awesome (but it still says 1-1 in the headline)

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@hasdgfas: I decided to put the 90 minute score in the headline, to build up suspense!


2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon, where the next four teams are locked in their battle to reach the Semi-Finals.

February 6th: Morocco 2-1 Tunisia

The defending Afrovision champions got one step closer in their bid to recapture the Cup of Nations with this victory in Libreville. Didier Dardon’s Morocco got off to a solid start, making it 1-0 within eight minutes, with forward Nabil Baha smashing a shot in off the crossbar. From the way the game was going, it looked like Tunisia would need to get a goal quickly or risk Morocco becoming too comfortable as they increased their share of the match. So that’s what they did; 25-year-old left winger Yassine Chikhaoui rifled a shot into the top-right corner with 24 minutes on the clock.

But this equaliser didn’t affect Moroccan confidence too much, and they continued their control of the game. They made it 2-1 in the 42nd minute, when Youssef El-Akchaoui crossed in a shot which was met by the head of goalscorer Baha, and sent past Tunisian ‘keeper Tarek Cherif. In the second half, Tunisia got a much better footing in the game, although they did continue to look rusty. Morocco seemed subdued, especially in comparison to their fine first half performance, and had they been capable of some clinical finishing, Tunisia might have levelled. But they weren’t, and they didn’t, and Morocco took the Semi-Final spot against Côte d’Ivoire.

Man of the Match: Nabil Baha, FW, Morocco (8.4)

January 6th: Guinea 1-1 Mali

In truth, Mikael Schøler’s Mali were all over their opponents in this match. For all their possession in the first half, however, they peppered the Guinean goal with a dozen poor-quality, long-range, and off-target shots. Maybe Schøler gave a good teamtalk, as the first Malian chance after the restart was Modibo Maïga’s on-target shot, straight at Guinean ‘keeper Nabymoussa Yattara. On the hour mark, leftback Adama Tamboura took an attacking free kick for Schøler’s side, which he crossed to Cheick Diabaté on the right-hand side. Diabaté, unable to cross the ball into the throng of action, passed it back to Mamadou Diallo, who shot through the mass of bodies and into the goal. With the clock ticking away (just fifteen seconds of normal time remaining), Chip Butty switched Guinea to a 4-2-4 tactic and substituted Pascal Feindouno for young striker Karamoko Cissé. This had an immediate effect, with Guinea wrestling control of the ball in the middle of the field, and sending it forward to striker Cissé, who freed himself of Mali’s defence and powered the ball home for a late and unlikely equaliser.

As with the Côte d’Ivoire match, extra time was used to decide a winner. Mali, frustrated with having squandered their lead at the death, came out firing on all cylinders, and they soon regained their lead. Despite numerous Guinean attempts to clear the ball, Mali’s high defensive line mopped up any balls coming their way, and the nation found themselves with the ball on the left-hand side of the field in the 96th minute. Adama Tamboura put in a cross, which was met by one or two bodies, and sent past Yattara into the net. Diabaté was credited with the goal, but it could just have easily been given to Guinean midfielder Aboubacar Camara. In the 99th minute, Tamboura was once again the provider, sending a corner kick into the box. This time, Aboubacar Camara was definitely to blame for the ball which flew well beyond the reach of Yattara. With that, Mali had rocked Guinean confidence while establishing a solid two-goal lead, and it was no surprise that they found themselves in the Semi-Finals come the final whistle.

Man of the Match: Mamadou Diallo, MR, Mali (8.0)

Next time in Gabon, we’ll be focusing on the four remaining teams, who each want to be crowned the winners of the Cup of African Nations. The Semi-Finals are as follows:

Côte d’Ivoire vs. Morocco

South Africa vs. Mali

See you there!

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A good effort there from Gabon, one draw against much better opposition and keeping S Africa down to just one goal, isn't bad for a team who hasn't played a game in years! I think we deserve a medal!

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2012 Cup of African Nations Logo

We’re back in Gabon, where just four teams remain. We’ll see how they did in their attempts to reach the Cup of Nations Final.

January 9th: Côte d’Ivoire vs. Morocco

Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire started this match strongly, with Kolo Touré getting their first good chance of the match five minutes in, with his long-range shot across the floor being palmed onto the post and out by Morrocan ‘keeper Ismaïl Kouha. In the eighth minute, the Ivorians had a penalty shout as centreback Medhi Benatia brought down their forward Kader Keita. In fact, it was almost certainly a penalty, but Ghanaian referee Alex Quartey refused to listen to Ivorian entreaties, and let play continue. It was only right that a brilliant shot should open the scoring in such a contentious game, so Nabil Baha, who had steered his side through the last round, duly delivered in the 14th minute, rifling a beautiful shot into the top-left hand corner of the Ivorian net. Striker Nabil El Zhar deserved a lot of the credit for the craft he showed in setting up the goal. In the 17th minute later, a long-range Yaya Touré shot tested Kouha, but the 28-year-old kept the ball out with an instinctive save.

Morocco’s luck continued as, in the 21st minute, they were given a penalty that many critics agree should not have been theirs. Following a throw-in, Nabil Baha and Abdoulaye Meïté met in a challenge. Baha’s jump for the ball, and subsequent fall back down to earth, was adjudged as a Meïté trip by Alex Quartey, who pointed to the spot. Leftback Rachid Chihab stepped up, and had no problems slotting the ball low into the right-hand corner. Just two minutes later, Morocco had the ball in the net again. This time, a cross from midfielder Jamal Kessab was met by the foot of Abdoulaye Meïté, whose misfortune continued as he put the ball right at the feet of Morocco’s Alharbi El Jadeyaoui. El Jadeyaoui sent the ball straight into the top of the Ivorian goal, giving Didier Dardon’s side a tremendous three-goal lead. This gave them the confidence necessary to see out the remaining 50% of the first half without so much as a sniff of an opportunity for their opponents.

Côte d’Ivoire came out strongly after the break, in an attempt to take Morocco down from their wave of confidence. Kader Keita put a stinging shot on target in the 47th minute, but Kouha held firm, sending the ball behind for a corner. The first of the Moroccan goals was reclaimed in the fiftieth minute, when Keita took Guy Demel’s cross and ran it the remaining three yards into the net. But this spark of intense Ivorian activity soon fizzled out, and they found themselves still two goals down with just three minutes to play. This was the point that Morocco began to reaffirm themselves for the second half, with a long-range shot from Baha stinging the fingers of Ivorian ‘keeper Stephan Loboué. Christian Romaric had a similar shot down the other end for Côte d’Ivoire in the 90+1st minute, with the same reaction, this time from Ismaïl Kouha. But nothing came of the corner, and as it turns out, that was the last Ivorian shot of the match.

Man of the Match: Alharbi El Jadeyaoui, ML, Morocco (8.0)

January 9th: South Africa vs. Mali

In comparison to the last match, this was the dullest game of football ever. It took a while for both sides to get going, and Lerato Chabangu got the first good chance of the match eighteen mintues in, sending his close-range shot at Malian ‘keeper Cheick Oumar Bathily. It could be said that Mali just about had the better of the first half, but their shots, although they were on target, were limp and from long-range, and offered Mikael Schøler’s side no real chance of taking the lead. The lead was taken by Matt Lepino’s team shortly after the restart, when Bryce Moon headed Kermit Erasmus’s cross into the net from close range. Mali responded with much of what they had already tried: long-range but accurate shots. This time, Frédéric Kanouté launched the attempt, which was tipped over the bar by Moeneeb Josephs. Mamadou Diallo had a similar shot twenty minutes later in the 75th minute, with more power, but once again it was stopped by Josephs. Seydou Keita’s identical attempt was also palmed behind for a corner. The time trickled away, although not quickly enough for the restless neutrals, while South Africa’s best chance to double their lead and book their place in the Final came through Steven Pienaar in the 84th minute, but his finishing let him down. Nonethless, a second goal wasn’t necessary, and South Africa advanced to the Final after a boring match.

Man of the Match: Bryce Moon, MR, South Africa (7.7)

So only two nations remain in contention for the Cup of African Nations. They’ll play the Final when we return to Gabon, and we’ll also cover the Third Place Playoff.

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There's no shame in that, hasdgfas!


2012 Cup of African Nations

We’re back in Gabon for the final two matches of the 2012 Cup of African Nations.

Third Place Playoff

February 11th: Mali vs. Côte d’Ivoire

You could soon tell that this was to be an exciting match. In the second minute, Mali carved out the first chance of the match, with Cheick Diabaté’s long-range shot skimming the post on its way out. In the ninth minute, Côte d’Ivoire came close, but Abdoulaye Meïté’s close-range header clattered off the crossbar, and Mamadou Diallo headed the rebound safely into the arms of his ‘keeper Cheick Oumar Bathily. With all this action, a goal could not be long coming, and it arrived in the 19th minute, when midfielder Didier Zokora powered a header towards goal from Arthur Boka’s deep cross. Bathily didn’t stand a chance. Six minutes later, the Ivorians had doubled their lead. Gervinho was tripped in the penalty area by Malian leftback Adama Tamboura, who was so solid in Mali’s Quarter Final match. It was a pretty clear cut decision, and Salomon Kalou stepped up to take the spot kick, powering it into the bottom corner, well beyond the reach of Bathily.

The nightmare for Mali continued, and Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire took a three-goal lead in the 29th minute. Arthur Boka played a long ball upfield to left winger Constant Djakpa. Cheick Oumar Bathily came forward to collect as the ball bounced into the penalty area, but Djakpa got to it first, and fired it into the open goal from a tight angle. The match then took an odd turn, and nothing of note happened until the next goal, in the 75th minute. An Ivorian defensive throw in from Guy Demel found its way straight to Demba, Malian midfielder, who found Mamadou Diallo. Diallo launched a fine shot across the ground into the goal, reclaiming one of those three goals by which Mali were trailing. Diallo also made it two-three in the 77th minute, but his shot was sent straight at Stephen Loboué. Mali controlled the play, with Diallo working particularly hard, but they were up against a firm Ivorian defence.

Perhaps the best chance for a second goal came in the 87th minute. Diallo received the ball just past the halfway line from Drissa Diakité, and ran towards goal. Loboué came out for the one-on-one, giving Diallo a great opportunity to lob, but the 29-year-old sent the ball wide. In the 90+2nd minute, Côte d’Ivoire had a corner, with Constant Djakpa placing the ball in the six-yard box. Zoro’s shot wasn’t powerful enough to get past the last defenders, but as the defender chased it up, he was fouled by Malian forward Modibo Maïga. A second penalty for Salomon Kalou, a second goal, taken in much the same way as the first, and a second Third-Placed Finish for Côte d’Ivoire at the Cup of African Nations.

Man of the Match: Constant Djakpa, ML, Côte d’Ivoire (8.0)


February 12th: South Africa vs. Morocco

The match started slowly, but it was still clear which side held the early advantage. But still, Morocco’s first real chance didn’t come until the 18th minute, when Jamal Kessab fired a long-range shot at goal, and had it kept out only by the fingertips of Moeneeb Josephs. South Africa finally got an opportunity in the 24th minute, but designated free kick taker Daylon Claasen sent the set piece high and wide. From the goal kick, Morocco worked themselves upfield, but the move ended with Marouane Chamakh’s shot, which flew well over the bar. More ineffectual finishing followed, with the goalkeepers virtually having the day off. It was clear that one side or the other would need to pick up their performance in the second half if they wished to have the honour of calling themselves Cup of African Nations winners.

For a while, it looked like this might have happened. Early into the second half, in the 62nd minute, a goal was finally scored. Morocco’s Nabil Baha took control of the ball just behind the centre circle, brought it upfield to just short of the penalty area, and played a nice through ball for Chamakh. The 28-year-old forward took two touches before striking the ball at the goal, recording a sweet goal for the defending Afrovision champions. But the dull football and poor finishing continued; Morocco didn’t get a sniff of goal again, while Daylon Claasen sent another free kick out. Thembinkosi Fanteni also had a couple of off-target attempts. The next good shot of the game came in the 86th minute, when 26-year-old right winger Lance Davids found his way clear of defenders, and struck a furious long range shot at Ismaïl Kouha, who tipped the ball over the bar. It was South Africa who controlled virtually all of the play after the goal, but they weren’t good enough to grab the goal, and the single one settled it. All in all, however, it was an incredibly dull Final.

Man of the Match: Nabil Baha, FW, Morocco (7.5)

Team Stats

Player Stats

Next, we award the trophy!

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Ladies and gentlemen, the 2012 Cup of African Nations Runners-Up…

South Africa!


And now;

The 2012 Cup of African Nations Champions…




منبت الأحرار

مشرق الأنوار

منتدى السؤدد وحماه

دمت منتداه وحماه


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2012: January and February

There was a mix of players among the awards in the aftermath of the 2012 Cup of African Nations. Nigeria’s Chinedu Obasi got the award for the Best Player, which should please Des Tiny, even though the 45-year-old New Zealander was relieved of his role as the national team coach this month. Morocco’s Nabil Baha came second, and another Finalist, South Africa’s Benni McCarthy, finished third. The Golden Boot went to Mali’s Cheick Diabaté, who scored six goals in the tournament, to Samuel Eto’o’s and Salomon Kalou’s five each. Kamel Ghilas’s equaliser for Algeria in their group stage match against Gabon won Goal of the Tournament, and it was indeed a good goal. The Dream Team saw a nice mix of players, with South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali each having multiple players. Baha was present for Morocco, Obasi for Nigeria, and Tunisia offered Tijani Belaïd in the middle of the park, while Cameroon had Nicolas N’Kolou at centreback.

In the world rankings released after the tournament, Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire were the top team, sitting in eleventh place after a nine-place rise. Mali were second in fourteenth. Didier Dardon’s Morocco were, naturally, the team which climbed the most places, 29 up to 21st, but Ken Co’s Gabon, having returned to football after a long absence, also did well, ascending 24 places to 149th. South Africa matched this 24-place rise, and now sit 18th. Nigeria moved up ten places and Tunisia climbed nine. GG Donovan’s Algeria were the only team to suffer a big drop, as they plunged sixteen places to 82nd. Zambia fell five spots, and Senegal and DR Congo both fell four.

The Second Round of World Cup Qualifying, the group stages, kicks off in May. For the three following weeks, the teams will play fixtures, meaning four of the six matches will be complete by the time the fourth Afrovision Managerial Contest tournament opens in Marrakech. Tunisia and Egypt are also involved in March friendlies.

[b]Nation        P W D L GF GA GD[/b]
Côte d’Ivoire 6 4 0 2 13  8 +5
Mali          6 3 1 2 12  7 +5
Morocco       6 5 0 1  8  6 +2
South Africa  6 5 0 1 12  3 +8

Guinea        4 2 0 2  8  6 +2
Nigeria       4 2 0 2  5  7 -2
Tunisia       4 3 0 1  7  5 +2

Algeria       3 0 1 2  3  7 -4
Burkina Faso  3 0 1 2  1  4 -3
DR Congo      3 1 0 2  5  5  0
Egypt         3 1 1 1  2  1 +1
Gabon         3 0 1 2  2  6 -4
Senegal       3 1 0 2  2  5 -3
Togo          3 0 0 3  0  9 -9

[b]No Games:[/b]
Angola, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Lesotho,
Liberia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia

Nation in the Spotlight


Name: Tunisian Republic

Capital: Tunis

Population: 11.2m

Manager: Mentho Latum (coldkohmew)

World Ranking: 40

Stadium Capacity: No specific stadium

Last Three Results: N vs. Morocco, 1-2; N vs. Guinea, 2-1; N vs. DR Congo, 3-2

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2012: March

Two nations played friendly matches this month. Mentho Latum’s Tunisia took a long-haul flight to New Zealand, where they won 5-0. 25-year-old Nürnberg forward Sami Allagui got two goals, and there was a goal each for Amine Chermiti, Issam Jemaa, and young debutant Hassen Trabelsi. Tyler Burrows’s Egypt played a bit closer to home, travelling to France. Yoann Gourcuff, Samir Nasri, and Philippe Mexès all netted as the home side ran out 3-0 victors.

Côte d’Ivoire remain the African leaders in 11th place, while Mali stay second despite a three-place drop to 17th. This is because Matt Lepino’s South Africa, who were third, fell four places from 18th to 22nd, and are now behind Morocco in terms of African teams. GG Donovan’s Algeria climbed 11 places after last month’s fall, and they are currently 71st. Tunisia moved up ten places to 30th, and Swaziland went up seven places, and now sit 148th. Comoros, Tanzania, and Sudan also moved up. David Dodgson’s Congo fell twenty places to 124th, and Liberia moved down twelve to 152nd. Uganda dropped nine places, Sierra Leone eight, and Eritrea six.

[b]Nation        P W D L F A GD[/b]
Egypt         1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
Tunisia       1 1 0 0 5 0 +5

[b]No Games:[/b]
Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea,
Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius,
Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa,
Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia

Nation in the Spotlight


Name: Republic of Uganda

Capital: Kampala

Population: 32.4m

Manager: Jose Rodriguez (SJ234)

World Ranking: 86

Stadium Capacity: 40,202

Last Three Results: A vs. Comoros, 2-2; A vs. Rwanda, 1-0; H vs. Cameroon, 0-0

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2012: May and June

The Second Round of World Cup Qualifying commenced this month, and many of our African nations were in action. With a whopping four games each, this is a hefty update, with some good news for some of the managers of the Afrovision nations, and some bad news for others.

In matchday one, goals were on the mind, and only one match lacked any, between the Central African Republic and Botswana. All the others had at least one, and three had just that: one. Matt Lepino’s South Africa continued the fine form acquired in the African Nations with a narrow victory over Weeman Fernandez’s Namibia, Kleen Shavern’s Gambia lost their home match to Nigeria by the smallest of margins, and The Green Beret’s Equatorial Guinea prolonged a three-match winning streak by putting a solitary goal past Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Ricky Nakano’s Senegal drew 1-1 in an away trip to Jose Rodriguez’s Uganda.

On the other end of the spectrum, it was goals galore for Cup of Nations Third-Placed finishers Côte d’Ivoire. Albert Holstein’s team pummelled an ill-disciplined Mauritian team 8-0, with a hattrick for Salomon Kalou, which would have been four but for a last-minute penalty miss, and braces for Baky Koné and Didier Drogba. There were also big wins for David Dodgson’s Congo, who beat Joe Tompkins’s Lesotho 5-0, and for Didier Dardon’s Morocco, who pummelled Thelonius Davis’s Tanzania by that same scoreline. Liberia beat Eritrea 4-0, and DR Congo got a convincing 5-1 win over Lawrence Lazewski’s Mauritania. dafuge's Mozambique, Andreas Werner’s Burkina Faso, and Chip Butty’s Guinea each won 4-1, away to Chad, at home to Guinea-Bissau, and at home to Sudan. Mentho Latum’s Tunisia triumphed 3-2 over Zambia in a fiery encounter in Lusaka.

Matchday two also saw its fair share of goals. Alex Almond’s Mauritius suffered the indignity of a second consecutive heavy defeat, losing this time 0-5 at home to The Green Beret’s Equatorial Guinea. This scoreline was matched by Nigeria at home to Malawi, and by Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire at Ethiopia, but was bettered by a South African side in top form. Matt Lepino’s team beat Chad 6-0 in their home match. But then this scoreline itself was bettered, with Ricky Nakano defeating his former side as Côte d’Ivoire trounced the Central African Republic 8-0, with half the goals being scored by tireless midfielder Demba Ba.

With all these goals, its easy to miss the sides that aren’t so prolific. Tyler Burrows’s Egypt travelled to Benin, where they endured a boring goalless draw with the 2009 Afrovision champions. This followed a 3-0 win over Swaziland in their previous game. Botswana and Uganda also drew 0-0, with each other, while Tunisia, Mauritania, and Sudan scored one goal each in their wins, beating Congo, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau respectively. There were also a few 2-0 victories: Christina Modoglou’s Zambia bounced back from their loss to Tunisia to win in Lesotho, while Ben Cee’s Niger lost a second consecutive game, at Kenya. Kleen Shavern’s Gambia also got tallied this scoreline hosting Burundi. Mikael Schøler’s Mali won 3-0 at Rwanda, bettering the score they won by in their last match, against Sierra Leone, by a goal.

Now, onto matchday three. There were still high-scoring games, but there were quite a few more low-scoring games too. Egypt won 1-0, hosting Libya, while Ryan Andrews’s Swaziland lost by this scoreline, hosting Benin, this being their third consecutive defeat. Karl Unpingco’s Cape Verde beat DR Congo by a solitary goal, and Gambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia joined Craig Hopper’s side as 0-1 losers, all to sides beginning with M: Malawi, Mali, Madagascar and Mauritius respectively. Weeman Fernandez’s Namibia won 2-0, against Chad, while this scoreline also occurred in the match between Morocco and Gabon in Rabat. Didier Dardon’s side were the victors, giving Ken Co’s team a one-two win-loss record so far.

The highest scoring match saw an unlikely clear winner: Cardio Hernandes’s Sierra Leone destroyed Jack Browne’s Rwanda 7-1, with three goals for experienced midfielder Mohamed Kallon. This made it five consecutive losses for Rwanda, which clearly wasn’t good enough; Browne was sacked that afternoon. Botswana are also looking for a change in direction, as are Eritrea: Quandiose Yancy’s side lost their match 0-4 to Cameroon, making it three consecutive 0-4 defeats in a row, and so the Gambian boss was shown the door. Niger also lost by four goals, at home to Ghana, and Ben Cee was also dismissed. Joe Tompkins’s Lesotho lost 0-2 at home to Mentho Latum’s Tunisia, and so the Englishman was told to clear out his desk.

That was all for sackings, after matchday three at least. In other high-scoring games, Ricky Nakano’s Senegal made it fifteen goals in a row with an 8-0 win over Botswana. There were also this many goals between Liberia and GG Donovan’s Algeria. Tomaldinho’s side won the match by a solitary goal, with midfielder Dulee Johnson getting two of their four. Not bad for a team who were 0-2 down after seven minutes. Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire beat Equatorial Guinea 6-0, wiping out The Green Beret’s accumulated goal difference in one fell swoop, while there were 3-0 wins for three teams: Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Congo, who beat Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, and Zambia respectively. South Africa triumphed 2-1 in a close match at home to their neighbours, dafuge’s Mozambique.

The fourth and final matchday didn’t see such big wins. The biggest victory of the day went to Tomaldinho’s Liberia, who beat a demoralised Eritrea side 6-1 in Asmara. After that, the biggest victories were for David Dodgson’s Congo, who thumped Lesotho 4-0, and for Dami’s Burundi, who won by that same scoreline against Gambia, giving them a two-two win-loss record so far. Benin, Algeria, and Karl Unpingco’s Cape Verde all lost by three goals, 1-4 to Tyler Burrows’s Egypt, 0-3 to Cameroon, and 0-3 to Juan King’s Angola respectively. There were also 3-0 wins for Mikael Schøler’s Mali, who beat Rwanda, and Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire, who beat Mauritius. There were 2-0 victories for Senegal, who beat Jose Rodriguez’s Uganda, and Tunisia, who beat Christina Modoglou’s Zambia.

There were only two draws in this matchday: Andreas Werner’s Burkina Faso were held 1-1 at home by Chip Butty’s Guinea, while a four-goal encounter in Nouakchott saw Lawrence Lazewski’s Mauritania and Craig Hopper’s DR Congo tied. Swaziland and Tanzania both lost 1-2, to Libya and Morocco respectively. There were also 2-1 victories for Cardio Hernandes’s Sierra Leone, over Zimbabwe, and The Green Beret’s Equatorial Guinea, over Ethiopia. The fifth 2-1 win came for Guinea-Bissau, who beat Jeremy English’s Sudan. Two consecutive defeats for Sudan meant that English became the fifth Afrovision manager to lose his job in June.

I’m not going to dwell on rankings, but obviously, you’ll want to know the highest-ranking African nation, who will get a bye into the final of the tournament. England, who beat Spain 1-0 in the Euro 2012 Final, sit top of the World Rankings, while Didier Dardon’s Morocco are the highest-ranking African nation, in 13th place. Second, and the team that will join Morocco in the Final, are Mikael Schøler’s Mali, who are 15th. Albert Holstein’s Côte d’Ivoire, who are 17th, miss out by 16 ranking points, but shouldn’t have too much difficulty in getting through a Semi-Final. Interestingly, Peru are 10th, and so the second-best South American nation, behind Argentina.

Well, with the fourth annual Afrovision Managerial Contest tournament about to start, these two months should make people’s voting a little bit easier!

Writer’s Notes: I’ve decided to only count games up until the manager’s sacking.

[b]Nation            P W D L GF GA Dif[/b]
Algeria           4 1 0 3  8  9 - 1
Angola            4 3 1 0 12  4 + 8
Burkina Faso      4 2 1 1  9  7 + 2
Burundi           4 2 0 2  6  4 + 2
Cape Verde        4 1 1 2  3  6 - 3
Congo             4 3 0 1 12  1 +11
DR Congo          4 1 1 2  8  6 + 2
Egypt             4 3 1 0  8  1 + 7
Equatorial Guinea 4 3 0 1  8  7 + 1
Gabon             4 1 0 3  5  6 – 1
Gambia            4 1 0 3  2  6 – 4
Guinea            4 3 1 0 12  3 + 9
Côte d’Ivoire     4 4 0 0 22  0 +22
Liberia           4 3 0 1 14  7 + 7
Mali              4 4 0 0  9  0 + 9
Mauritania        4 1 1 2  5 12 – 7
Mauritius         4 1 0 3  1 16 -15
Morocco           4 4 0 0 12  2 +10
Mozambique        4 3 0 1 11  4 + 7
Namibia           4 3 0 1  3  6 – 3
Senegal           4 3 1 0 18  1 +17
Sierra Leone      4 2 0 2 10  8 + 2
South Africa      4 4 0 0 10  1 + 9
Sudan             4 1 0 3  3  9 – 6
Swaziland         4 0 0 4  2 10 – 8
Tanzania          4 1 0 3  4 10 – 6
Tunisia           4 4 0 0  8  2 + 6
Uganda            4 0 3 1  2  4 – 2
Zambia            4 1 0 3  4  8 - 4

Eritrea           3 0 0 3  0 12 -12
Lesotho           3 0 0 3  0  9 – 9
Niger             3 0 0 3  1 11 -10
Rwanda            3 0 0 3  3 14 -11

[b]No Games:[/b]
Comoros, Djibouti, Seychelles

Nation in the Spotlight


Name: Union of the Comoros

Capital: Moroni

Population: 798,000

Manager: Tom Hamilton (hamilton162)

World Ranking: 139

Stadium Capacity: 5,000

Last Three Results: A vs. Guinea-Bissau, 1-6; H vs. Guinea-Bissau, 2-0; H vs. Uganda, 2-2

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A solid month for Burkina-Faso there, although the draw was a game we should possibly have been winning.

I couldn't see anywhere in the update which game it was we lost - am I being blind, or is it not there?

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No, I didn't put all the games there. You will be able to see all your fixtures when I upload the results for people to vote on, though.

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There's a mistake in the 3rd line of the second paragraph of the latest update canvey, I'm manager of Equatorial Guinea, not CAR.

Good month except for the horrid loss against Ivory Coast, finally some games :D

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@el sid: Fixed, thanks.

Writer's Notes: For those managers who have been sacked - you are entering this Afrovision tournament based on all the games you played prior to your sacking. BenArsenal, Lower Leagues Rules, jack.browne, and Dees-Blake have not to my knowledge missed a vote, and so will get the opportunity to enter the 'Afrovision rehoming scheme', which will give them a new nation with which to compete in the last two tournaments. The other sacked managers may be able to enter this scheme on a discretionary basis.

Semi-Final 1: Northern Africa

The time has come once again to vote for your fellow Afrovision nations. This year, there are just two Semi-Finals, with 18 teams in each. The top seven will go through to the Final, where they’ll join Morocco and Mali.

The nations in each Semi-Final are sorted by the latitude of their capital cities, thereby creating a northern Semi-Final and a southern one. If your team is in this Semi-Final, please award points to the other teams here below. Points are typically given based on the country’s football team’s performance in the past twelve months, but can be given based on any criteria you like: proximity, whether the national team manager comes from your own country, or just personal preference.

You can also have a spokesperson reading out your votes. This can be a celebrity, footballer, or someone entirely fictional. This cannot, however, be your manager. You can change your spokesperson from last year, or add one if you haven’t done so already.

So, the nations in Semi-Final 1:


Manager: GG Donovan (ggrive)

Manager Nationality: Andorran

Neighbours: Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia

Burkina FasoResults

Manager: Andreas Werner (Biscotti)

Manager Nationality: Austrian

Neighbours: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Togo

Cape VerdeResults

Manager: Karl Unpingco (JSalter)

Manager Nationality: Guamanian

Neighbours: Gambia, Mauritania, Senegal (all Maritime)

Côte d’IvoireResults

Manager: Albert Holstein (hasdgfas)

Manager Nationality: American

Neighbours: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali


Manager: Whoopy Dee’e (Whoopy D)

Manager Nationality: Cameroonian

Neighbours: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia


Manager: Tyler Burrows (PluckaDuck)

Manager Nationality: Andorran

Neighbours: Libya, Sudan


Manager: Quandiose Yancy (SCIAG)

Manager Nationality: Gambian

Neighbours: Djibouti, Sudan, Ethiopia


Manager: Kleen Shavern (gavrenwick)

Manager Nationality: Ukrainian

Neighbours: Senegal (Land), Cape Verde(Maritime)


Manager: Chip Butty (Greasy Chip Butty)

Manager Nationality: English

Neighbours: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone


Manager: Tomaldinho (Tomaldinho)

Manager Nationality: Portuguese

Neighbours: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone


Manager: Lawrence Lazewski (spartans5)

Manager Nationality: Polish

Neighbours: Algeria, Mali, Senegal (all Land), Cape Verde(Maritime)


Manager: Ben Cee (BenArsenal)

Manager Nationality: Singaporean

Neighbours: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Nigeria


Manager: Des Tiny (Lower Leagues Rule)

Manager Nationality: New Zealander

Neighbours: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger (all Land), Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, São Tomé and Príncipe (all Maritime)


Manager: Ricky Nakano (rancer890)

Manager Nationality: Canadian

Neighbours: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania (all Land), Cape Verde(Maritime)

Sierra LeoneResults

Manager: Cardio Hernandes (Cardiovascular)

Manager Nationality: Portuguese

Neighbours: Guinea, Liberia


Manager: Jeremy English (PaulHartman71)

Manager Nationality: English

Neighbours: Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Uganda


Manager: Dees Blake (Dees-Blake)

Manager Nationality: English

Neighbours: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana


Manager: Mentho Latum (coldkohmew)

Manager Nationality: Singaporean

Neighbours: Algeria, Libya

So, if you’re one of the nations above, please fill in the form below and PM it to me. Rules are as always: give 12, 10, and 8 through to 1 point to the other nations here, not giving any nation points twice, not giving points to any nation not on this list, or to yourself. If you do give incorrect votes, you’ll be deducted 6 points. Missing votes equal a 12 point deduction. As Morocco manager, I will also be voting in this Semi-Final. Mali will be voting in the next Semi-Final.

Your Own Nation:

12 points:

10 points:

8 points:

7 points:

6 points:

5 points:

4 points:

3 points:

2 points:

1 point:

Spokesperson (optional):

The deadline is 5pm BST, Tuesday 6th September 2011.

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Just to confirm that I have a copy of canvey!!'s votes, just to make sure there's no funny business ;)

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