African Cup of Nations 2017

Wow, it’s Day 11 and what a treat we had last night. Those thinking this tournament was never going to come to life where given a big surprise. For those who missed the games, first off where have you been? Were you not expecting goals? Well here’s what you missed. Shame on you.

Senegal and Algeria played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. Now I don’t want to brag but, oh my, I only got another prediction correct (apart from the score line but even so!) The result means Leicester City get their players back as Algeria were eliminated. Islam Slimani scored both goals for Algeria. Senegal equalised on both occasions through Papakouly Diop and Moussa Sow, both goals scored from outside the area. Algeria promised so much in this tournament and failed deliver. Even more embarrassingly for them they failed to beat a second string Senegal team who, as predicted, made 10 changes. Claudio, your boys are on their way home and man do you need them. Not that they showed any return to form, mind you.

In the other game we saw Zimbabwe take on Tunisia. The game was fairly easy for Tunisia who raced into a 3 -0 lead, before Knowledge Musona pulled one back. Brainiacs around the world rejoiced but it was short lived. On the stroke of half time up stepped Wahbi Khazri to score from the spot. The Sunderland man made no mistake. A Zimbabwe goal made no difference to the result, the game finishing 4 – 2. Could it be another prediction right? Again, let’s skip over the scoreline, that’s not important right now! Tunisia go through to the knockout stages and it is well deserved.
Not only did Tunisia get through but the form of Khazri is impressive. Should I be concerned? Maybe a little, but they won’t win the tournament will they? They also play Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals and have to be favourites to progress. The thought of having Wahbi tattooed on my skin is now slightly scary and even more real.

So Senegal topped the group with Tunisia runners up. Algeria finished a disappointing 3rd and the pundit’s dark horses Zimbabwe in last place. Who are these crazy pundits watching AFCON?

With Group B wrapped up, next up we have the final matches of Group C. With all four teams in with a chance to qualify, this will be a feast of football today.

Morocco play the tournament favourites Ivory Coast. A win for either team puts them through. This game will need an early goal or it could be a cagey affair. But have faith readers, this could be a classic and with Ivory Coast laden with stars we can expect a great match.

Game two, which kicks off simultaneously, features Togo against my guilty pleasure of the tournament DR Congo. Congo are currently top and a draw is enough for them to qualify. I can feel the excitement from here for all AFCON lovers. Togo do have public enemy number one, the delightful Emmanuel Adebayor, who will be hoping to actually hit the target and, who knows, maybe even score to push Togo through. But this is DR Congo. The small juice drinking nation have played well so far and let’s be honest we all want them through, right?

Over to AFCON news and talking of Togo they could have a keeper problem. Kossi Agassa’s house was attacked after his performance against Morocco where he was at fault for two of the goals in the 3-1 defeat. Manager Claude Le Roy, who if he was an animal would have to be a sloth, expects to be without the shot stopper. Le Sloth feels Agassa’s mind is not in the right place and who can blame him for that?

The petulant child award goes to Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who stormed off after the final whistle confirmed Gabon’s exit, kicking a ball off the pitch and not shaking hands with anyone in the process. Aubameyang put their early departure down to a lack of preparation, apparently starting a little later than expected. Someone’s munching down some sour grapes. Maybe your miss from two yards didn’t help matters Pierre?

So prediction time, and I’m getting better, so here goes. Morocco against Ivory Coast needs an early goal to make this a classic. Morocco will score first with Ivory Coast hitting back. The final score will be 3-2 to The Elephants.

In the second game there can only be one result and that’s got to be a DR Congo win. I’m backing them to score twice without reply and eliminate Togo.

It’s that time of day that we expand our brain cells and learn something about AFCON. Yesterday’s question was, “How many times have the hosts gone on to win AFCON?” The answer, of course, readers is 11 times. That’s what happens when you prepare properly, hey Pierre?

Today’s teaser is, “Who scored the first ever goal in AFCON?” The usual rules apply. Don’t cheat, all guesses are welcome and tweet your answers to @TalesFromTTF.

Well readers, after the excitement of Group B and its final matches how will Group C stand up? With all four teams in with a chance this is going to be some evening of football. Mark my words, it will be a stormer involving the Ivory Coast and then we have our guilty pleasure DR Congo. So grab some beers, get your food of choice out and scream  till your hoarse.

Tonight’s AFCON is going to be one to watch!