African Cup of Nations 2012

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Post by Mario on Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:12 pm

Group A:
Equatorial Guinea
Libya
Senegal
Zambia

Group B:
Cote D’Ivoire
Sudan
Burkina Faso
Angola

Group C:
Gabon
Niger
Morocco
Tunisia

Group D:
Ghana
Botswana
Mali
Guinea


First match is Equatorial Guinea vs Libya, tomorrow evening (GMT).

I'm quite looking forward to this tournament, it's one of those tournaments where you never know what to expect and it's rare to watch an international tournament and not know much about many of the teams, which is how I am with this event. There are always new teams qualifying every tournament. Some of the bigger nations haven't qualified this year (Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa) but you would expect Ivory Coast and Ghana to against be the two favourites. I've heard Morocco are a team to look out for, too. Must be because of Chamakh.

Plus, the teams' nicknames are amazing. Which is how I'm going to pick which team to root for.

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Post by Samritpal Singh on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:04 am

"I've heard Morocco are a team to look out for, too. Must be because of Chamakh"

HAHAHA made me proper LOL.

Senegal has quite a good squad too. Udinese is the one team I know who is hurt alot by this tournament. Almost half their first teamers are missing, all playing in this tournament.
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Post by Mario on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:48 am

Forgot about Senegal. They will definitely be right there with the two I mentioned, they have some strike-force.



Africa Cup of Nations 2012: Expert Predictions

Egypt lifted the trophy last time out, but who will be triumphant in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea? ITV Football asked a host of top African football experts for their opinion.


Colin Udoh, Nigerian journalist and TV pundit

Who will win?
I'm tipping Senegal. They've got a fearsome strike force, probably the best in Africa. But they've also got an unyielding back line in a squad including two players who've played at the World Cup and contested a Nations Cup Final. The team have been forged in adversity and are unlikely to implode like the last 'Diouf generation'.

Who are the tournament's dark horses?
I'm thinking Zambia. They've usually been hard to beat in previous tournaments, and with most of Africa's big guns missing, they will fancy their chances.

Who is the one player to watch?
Remy Ebanega, one of a quartet from the Gabon side that won the African U23 title.

Who will be top scorer?
That's always hard to predict. Most likely one of the Senegalese. Or even Salomon Kalou!

***

Melissa Reddy, Deputy Editor KICK OFF magazine, TV pundit on South Africa's SuperSport channel

Who will win?
The generic answer to this question for the past few tournaments has always been Egypt. With the Pharaohs, Cameroon and Nigeria missing though, Ghana and the Ivory Coast will fancy themselves, as will Senegal. However, of the three powerhouses, the Black Stars have proved to be the most consistent in the continental competition, and they boast a strong, balanced squad. They’ll be buoyed by their 2010 World Cup showing, and will be determined to go one further than they did last time out, when they lost 1-0 to Egypt in the final.

Who are the tournament's dark horses?
Zambia have quiet a tidy squad, with a solid goalkeeper in Kennedy Mweene, incredible midfield talent in the likes of Isaac Chansa, and potent finishing in the form of Collins Mbesuma and James Chamanga. There will be an emotional edge for Chipolopolo too as Gabon was the scene of the air tragedy that befell the national team in 1993. Only the legendary Kalusha Bwalya avoided the disaster, which claimed the lives of the squad regarded as Zambia’s greatest. Bwalya has been relating stories of the crash to the current crop, who are determined to honour the memory of their fallen countrymen in the tournament.

Who is the one player to watch?
With Moussa Sow angling for a move to the Premier League, there is no doubt that scouts as well as football lovers will be keeping a close eye on him. He was the top scorer in Ligue 1 last season, and will know the tournament serves as a shop window of sorts.

Who will be top scorer?
While it is hard to bet against Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan, it is more difficult to overlook the form of Demba Ba. With Senegal boasting the most explosive attack in the competition, and thus being expected to batter teams, the Newcastle man will want to carry his club form into national team duty.

***

Oluwashina Okeleji, Nigerian football journalist

Who will win?
Ivory Coast. In the absence of perennial rivals Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria, this is probably the biggest opportunity for the likes of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Kolo and Yaya Toure to win. At previous tournaments they have often faltered and hit the self-destruct button following ego battles – which obviously divided the squad. This year, I think the Ivorians have matured and grown into a strong force.

Who are the tournament's dark horses?
It's got to be Burkina Faso. They are unpredictable and will stun pundits. You bet against them at your own peril.

Who is the one player to watch?
Demba Ba – he's been craving for a Nations Cup opportunity. I met him at German side Hoffenheim two years ago and he told me: “I want to show Africa and the World my ability, if I get a chance to play there, it will be a dream come true.” Personally, I expect him to live that dream.

Who will be top scorer?
Demba Ba or Moussa Sow. Lethal and absolutely in great form.

***

Gary Al-Smith, Ghana-based football journalist

Who will win?
Senegal. Although there are three or four of them, I feel Senegal have the right ingredients to make it. First, the players to deliver. Across all areas, they are strong and crucially, they have depth on their bench, too. Then there's the hunger to achieve and fulfill their potential. They are well aware of their favorites tag, but unlike Ivory Coast, this team has not failed to deliver throughout the qualifiers. The Ivory Coast will be tipped heavily again, but because they've disappointed in the past, why not pass the baton of hope to someone who looks like they'll take their first chance? That's Senegal.

Who are the tournament's dark horses?
Niger. They've been quietly building for about six years now.

Who is the one player to watch?
Seydou Doumbia. Currently Russia's best player of 2011, the CSKA player knows this is the time to do what his more illustrious teammates have failed to do - fire when the prey is in sight. He's worked hard for his place in this star-studded team, but he'll still likely be an impact sub. When he's on, he'll show why he deserves a starting place.

Who will be top scorer?
Papiss Cisse. If Senegal's coach will stay with the script as he did during the qualifiers, Papiss will start ahead of Demba Ba. And Papiss does not usually leave his hard-earned first team spot for anyone else to take.

***

Omar Almasri, editor of O-Posts

Who will win?
In my opinion, Ghana is the favorite. I’m a huge fan, but they’re a talented team containing players like Kwadwo Asamoah, Anthony Annan, Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan. The team has grown and gained more experience, and qualified with ease for the tournament. Kevin Prince Boateng’s absence is a blow and Gyan’s injury before the tournament is a concern, especially as they rely on him for goals, but I believe that they’ll do just fine.

Who are the tournament's dark horses?
This is a tough one, but I’ll go for Zambia, who impressed during the qualifiers where they were unbeaten. They reached the quarter-finals in the last tournament, and they have the ability to go far, especially with the absence of heavyweights Egypt, Nigeria and Cameroon. Zambia will be reliant on the experienced Felix Katongo and the talent of rising stars such as Chisamba Lungu, Evans Kangwa and Nathan Sinkala, who impressed in the side’s recent friendlies, and the highly rated Emmanuel Mbola.

Who is the one player to watch?
Tunisia’s playmaker, Oussama Darragi. “Darraginho”, who recently won the African Player of the Year (for players based in Africa) is a gifted player, creative with a good eye for a pass and is an adept finisher. If he has a good tournament, then a move to Europe surely beckons.

Who will be top scorer?
Demba Ba, who’s in the form of his life at the moment. Other contenders would be Salomon Kalou, teammate Moussa Sow, and Marouane Chamakh.

***

Gosata Ramahobo, editor of Killer Pass Botswana

Who will win?
Ivory Coast goes into the tournament as my favorites. They have talent, spirit and the experience - eight of the regular starting XI boast over 50 caps each. African Player of the Year Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba should be able to lead the team to their first trophy since 1992.

Who are the tournament's dark horses?
Botswana, or the Zebras as known by their supporters. The team goes into their first Africa Cup of Nations tournament as underdogs, with most of the players playing in the domestic league. But coach Stanley Tshosane has instilled a sense of belief and confidence in the lads. And the team were the first to qualify in from group, despite being pitted against the likes of Tunisia and Togo.

Who is the one player to watch?
Mogogi Gabonamong. He plays for Supersport United in South Africa as a defensive midfileder or defender. Known affectionately as Gino by Botswana supporters, he will take on the duty of policing Africa's estabilished strikers without any fear.

Who will be top scorer?
Newcastle and Senegal striker Demba Ba has been in great form this season and seems to be scoring goals for fun. He should run away with this one.

www.itv.com/sport/football/news/2012-africa-cup-of-nations-expert-predictions-38733/

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:54 am

This might sound a bit selfish/cuntish, but I really don't care much about that competition. I only want players who play for our rivals to get injured and teams that have our players, to go out as soon as possible so that the players come back. I don't mind Chamakh staying there till the last day though.

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Post by Christopher Flanagan on Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:34 am

Heh, 'dark horses'.
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:15 pm

I hear Chamakh performed well in the pre - friendlies.
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Post by Mario on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:40 pm

One of those friendlies was against Grasshoppers Zurich, 7th in the Swiss League. Still, it's a start.

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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:12 am

Excited for this. Always unpredictable results whether it's down to brilliance or defensive Squillacisms.

I want Libya to do well, but hoping Ghana win (only because Egypt didn't qualify)
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Post by Chris Chan on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:18 am

Durrell wrote:Excited for this. Always unpredictable results whether it's down to brilliance or defensive Squillacisms.

I want Libya to do well, but hoping Ghana win (only because Egypt didn't qualify)

Thought at AfCON they were more susceptible to Taibisms than Squllacisms

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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:34 am

Chris Chan wrote:
Durrell wrote:Excited for this. Always unpredictable results whether it's down to brilliance or defensive Squillacisms.

I want Libya to do well, but hoping Ghana win (only because Egypt didn't qualify)

Thought at AfCON they were more susceptible to Taibisms than Squllacisms

Both. Ivory Coast's defence is fucking terrible at ACN every single year.
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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:55 am

And there's our first Taibism
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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:14 am

*Streaming is patchy at best today Sad
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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:00 am

Balboa's winner was a beautiful finish. Game was poor though, ended Eq. Guinea 1 - 0 Libya
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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:55 am

Senegal 2-0 down at half time to Zambia. On this evidence Demba and Cisse will be back in England soon.
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:37 pm

When are Ivory Coast playing?
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Post by Mario on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:24 pm

Today vs Sudan. Same time as our match, though.

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Post by Durrell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:17 pm

Yeah, sucks. Might try to stream both.
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:54 pm

Ivory Coast 1-0 Sudan
Drogba scored, Gervinho made a hash of many chances... surprising.
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Post by Mario on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:01 am

Gabon beat Niger 2-0. Same group as Morocco and Tunisia who play now, Chamakh starts.

A Gabon player was very lucky not to have his leg snapped in half from a two footed lunge. The Niger player only got a yellow! Not the first robust challenge I've seen. Gervinho better come back intact.


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Post by janelle.noel on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:54 am

Really? shit! Watching Morocco now, first match I'm watching in the tournament. Players do go to ground alot, but its been clean.
Anyone else watching think Chamakh should have scored?

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Post by Durrell on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:08 am

Chamakh probably should have rolled it past the keeper, but he hit the shot like a man who desperately wants to score, not like a man who thinks he'll score.
With a decent linesman, he'd have been clear 3 times, was springing the offside trap every single time.

Overall the officiating has been poor, and the tackles like a pub team. I've watched every game bar the first half of the Gabon game as I was on my way home from work, and I've seen tackles from behind, scissors, knee high, studs up, two footed jumped into. No red cards so far in the tournament, but in a European league every team would be down to 8 players by now.
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Post by Mario on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:36 am

Usually with our African players I want them back ASAP. But in Chamakh's case, if we want him to do anything in the last few months of the season, we need him and Morocco to perform well and go deep into the tournament. Hopefully he scores a few goals and gets as much football under his belt as possible and uses that as a springboard to... well, not be as bad as he has been for the last year.

So losing 2-1 to Tunisia and being substituted with 10/15mins left probably isn't the best of starts.

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Post by rschalala on Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:22 am

Ghana won 1-0

Everything looks very close up to now but the Africa Cup is not the same without Algeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa...
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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:09 am

There was some interview on goal.com with Chamakh, and they asked him if he thought he played poorly and when he said no, they're like but you were substituted and many said you were anonymous on the pitch. That's tough to hear, for a man trying to regain his confidence.

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Post by Mario on Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:19 am

If anyone wants to see a farce of a game, put on Libya vs Zambia. The game was delayed for over an hour due to torrential rain, with no water-sucking deely to help drain the water, so now the pitch is a swamp. It's unsafe, it should be called off, but it's game on.

Goal 5 mins - Libya 1-0 Zambia, this could be fun.

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