Today feels like a day of mourning on Day 15 of AFCON as we lose the favourites. What drama, what action, what the hell happened? Well, readers, let me tell you.
The early game saw Burkina Faso take on Tunisia. The game had been quite an even affair with chances for both teams. With the game looking like extra time was beckoning The Stallions won a free kick just outside the area. The ball was rolled over to Aristide Bance who slotted the ball home into the corner of the goal. Tunisia went into complete headless chicken mode and forgot the importance of not only defending but actually having defenders. Prejuce Nakoulma raced away with all the space in the world to run into, after the defence vacated their duties. Not to be out done for stupidness, goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi rushed so far from his goal he almost ended up in Tunisia. All this left Nakoulma to slot home with ease. Burkina Faso now go into the semi-finals.
I must admit I did breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that there will be no tattoo of Wahbi on my backside. Thank god.
Onto the later match and did I promise you a stormer and goals? Yes, yes I did. And you got no goals which I could take full responsibility for, however everyone’s favourites to win the tournament, Senegal, missed a host of chances in normal time and extra time and could not find a way through. With the game deadlocked penalties was next up. We all love a shootout, no matter what people say about it being unfair. With the penalties tied at 4-4 there was silence as tournament hero Sadio Mane stepped up. The man in form, playing great football and already with goals to his name. It’s funny as I swear I could hear shouting over and over. I tuned my ears slightly and heard in a German accent the same word over and over,”miss, miss, miss, miss!” Poor Jurgen. But whatever the Liverpool manager did or said worked a treat, as the man of the moment did indeed miss. It was left for Vincent Aboubakar to step up, making no mistake to send Cameroon through to the semi-finals. Liverpool fans everywhere will be rejoicing knowing they have their saviour on his way home. Let’s hope Mane is not too demoralised after his miss.
Today’s games look great and we have our juice loving DR Congo against Ghana in the earlier kick off. Congo are working hard to get players fit and out on the pitch as several are carrying knocks. They will be relying on the fans to pull them over the line. Football, music and religion is apparently the Congo way and we all know what they drink. As for Ghana, well captain Asamoah Gyan is available to play after recovering from injury which is a huge boost for Avram Grant. Grant has called for his team to stay focused and not slip up against a smaller team. Come on Congo, that’s what I say!
The second game sees Egypt play Morocco and I am not going to start with words like classic or stormer or goals. I’m going to say this game will be a shocker, and the worse match of the tournament. Who am I kidding? It’ll be a stormer with goals galore. Herve Zoolander will have his Morocco team firing on all cylinders. But Hector Cuper is just as experienced and will be looking to put a spanner in the works. Have I mentioned the words classic, stormer, and goals, goals, goals. Oh dear, I’ve done it again!
In AFCON news today, CAF say there is no evidence that the pitches had caused player injuries. I’m not sure what rose tinted glasses they are wearing at CAF but take them off and look at the shocking state of the surfaces. Even animals wouldn’t graze on them. Luckily CAF can point to science for their proof that the pitches are not at fault – brilliant CAF just brilliant.
Morocco had a surprise when they left their town of Oyem to set up base for their next match. When they arrived in Port Gentil, their hotel wasn’t ready and had to try and make alternative arrangement. That’s like all of our worst holiday nightmares. I’m looking forward to the TV footage of “Holidays from Hell” featuring the Moroccan team and our favourite model coach.
So it’s my time to shine and I’m going to stick my neck out and tip DR Congo for victory against Ghana 2-1. Game two will finish 2-2 with Egypt knocking out Morocco on penalties.
Now trivia heads, how did you get on with yesterday’s question of “What was so special about the AFCON tournament held in 2000?” The answer, which I know you all nailed, is it was the first time the tournament was jointly hosted by two countries. Those countries were? Ghana and Nigeria. Bonus points alround.
So today’s question is as follows. “Which two coaches have won the most AFCON tournaments?” As always readers tweet @TalesfromTTF with your correct answers or even your wrong ones.
Which leaves me nothing to say apart from bring on the Congo today AFCON fans because we are going to have a party when the Leopards sail through to the semi finals!
Congo, Congo, Congo, let’s all do the Congo. Until tomorrow readers, kwenda mbote!
(Hopefully that was goodbye in Congolese)