African Cup of Nations 2017

Good afternoon readers and welcome to Day 19 of AFCON! We are now down to two games of the 2017 tournament. Well, technically it’s only one as no one bothers about the 3rd place playoff but fear not, I will cover that game also. I could tell for a second you were all worried.

Now, hands up who fell asleep watching last night’s game? Luckily for you, your AFCON reporter managed to stay awake throughout. It’s amazing what coffee and energy drinks can do.

For those that fell asleep, let me tell you what a match you missed as Cameroon and Ghana played out their semi-final. The game, like most games in the tournament, was a cagey affair. The first half had chances with the best falling to Ghana. However, when you thought the match would then come to life it seemed to fall back into the dull and cagey affair all over again. With the game finely poised, finally, in the 72nd minute, after some truly dreadful defending by Ghana, the ball was hammered into the net by Cameroon’s Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui. Suddenly the Black Stars had it all to do. They pushed and pushed to find the equaliser, but to no avail. Well, I say that but the inevitable happened in the final seconds of the match. A breakaway goal by Christian Bassogog slotted home to put Cameroon through to the final, where they will face Egypt.

Poor old Ghana, poor old Avram Grant. They tried and failed, a bit like Avram’s time spent as manager of West Ham back in the day. As Avram Grant’s time with Ghana comes to an end it will be interesting to see where he will end up next. As long as they have a Madam Fu-Fu’s nearby, then Avram will be there with bells on!

Tomorrow we have the 3rd place play off which will now feature Burkina Faso against Ghana.

We will have a big preview of this massive event on Saturday and a look back into other pointless third place playoffs of days gone by.

Now in AFCON news, and keeping with the Cameroon team, who just for a change in a tournament are in dispute with the Cameroonian Football Federation. Coach Hugo Broos has come out and defended his players, explaining that the bonuses offered to them was disrespectful, before adding the players are not financially driven. Hmm, it does seem to be all about the money there Hugo. Luckily this isn’t a regular occurrence. Oh wait hold on.

Over to the other finalist, and Egypt pensioner and record breaking old age keeper Essam El Hadary had a feeling he would save two penalties in the semi-final. Remarkable foresight that. Essam also foresaw himself sitting by the fire place, drinking hot cocoa, deciding when to take his teeth out. Sometimes you get to an age when reality blurs with imagination. Believe me I know.

How did we get on with the question of yesterday? Yes, I know it was tough, but the answer to “who was the original trophy named after?” is the one and only Egyptian Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem, who was the first CAF president. Now there’s a thing.

Today’s teaser is an interesting one, “Who is the only British born coach to win AFCON?” Tweet your answers, as always, to @TalesFromTTF.

Now keep yourselves calm and don’t overdo the excitement. Tomorrow is a big day for us all. “But the final is on Sunday,” I hear you cry! This is true, but I’m talking about the joy of the 3rd place playoff. Contain yourself, tomorrow will be a classic!