African Cup of Nations 2010

African Cup of Nations

Tears, Tragedy, Tactlessness, Tactics & Togo: African Cup of Nations 2010 in Review

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It began in terror and ended in outrage. When history comes to judge the 2010 African Cup of Nations I imagine it will not do so too kindly - a tournament which promised so much but, thanks to a fatal mixture of politics, terror and head-bangingly insensitive executive decisions, became less about the spectacle on the pitch and more about affairs off it.

African Cup of Nations 2010: Just-Football's Tournament Best XI

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As the dust settles on the 2010 African Cup of Nations, Essam El-Hadary climbs down from his crossbar celebrating and Egypt put their trophy back in the cabinet, it is time for me to name my Best XI of the tournament. This year is slightly different to the last Cup of Nations. In Ghana I had to pick a team of the tournament and a second team, such was the plethora of top quality performers in 2008.

Ghana 0-1 Egypt: 7th Heaven for Pharoahs - Egypt Win African Cup of Nations 2010

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Ghana 0-1 Egypt
African Cup of Nations 2010 Final
Scorer: Gedo '85


And in the end, Egypt win.

It is turning into a bit of a running theme at the African Cup of Nations now isn't it? 3 weeks, a lot of buildup, lots of hyping up other teams and then, when all is said and done, Egypt take home the trophy.

Algeria 0-4 Egypt: Sweet Revenge / How To Lose The Plot Completely

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Algeria 0-4 Egypt
African Cup of Nations semi final
Goals: Hosni 38', Zidan 65', Abdelshafi 80', Gedo 90'

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him.
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Sometimes football can throw up the most appropriate of metaphors. A red rag to a bull almost couldn't describe Egypt's 4-0 thrashing of Algeria any better, from the suave matador-like performance of the holders to the mad angry rage of the Algerians.

Ghana 1-0 Nigeria: Young Black Stars 1 Step Away From History

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Ghana 1-0 Nigeria
African Cup of Nations 2010 Semi Final
Goal: Asamoah Gyan 21'

This West African derby offered Nigeria a real chance to exact revenge for their 2-1 quarter final defeat against neighbours and rivals Ghana at AFCON 2008. But once again, the Super Eagles failed when it mattered.

African Cup of Nations 2010: Goalwatch - Top Scorers & Leagues

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As the African Cup of Nations 2010 reaches the semi finals stage I thought we might revive an interesting feature that we ran for the 2008 tournament in Ghana on Just Football, namely Goalwatch. Its an oldie but a goodie, in which we tracked every goalscorer as well as the domestic league they play in, in order to bring you a list of the leagues that contribute most to African Cup of Nations success.

Angola vs Ghana & Cote d'Ivoire vs Algeria - African Cup of Nations 2010 Quarter Final Previews

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Angola vs Ghana

The animosity and ill-feeling between these two teams in the buildup to the game ensures that this should be an intriguing contest. The Ghanaian FA recently launched a complaint to CAF about their hosts, citing Angola's "harassment and intimidation tactics". The Black Stars complained about an attack on a Ghanaian journalist at the team hotel in Luanda, a reported assault on a fan last Tuesday, and the setting up of a 24-hour surveillance unit transmitting live from the team's hotel by an outside broadcast van.

No Alarms and No Surprises: Egypt & Nigeria Survive Group C - African Cup of Nations 2010

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Peter Odemwingie (centre) - Nigeria's shining light (AFP)

Here is how the table looked after the completion of Group C:

As you can see the big boys made light work of this group, on paper at least, as holders Egypt and Nigeria careered past Benin and Mozambique on their way to the knockout stages.

Chipolopolo Qualify! Zambia & Cameroon Escape Group D's Crazy Mathematics

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Zambia celebrate a famous win over Gabon (AFP)

Cameroon 2-2 Tunisia
Zambia 2-1 Gabon

Got your thinking cap on? Good. You're going to need it to work out the intricacies of Group D, which ended up about as complicated as a Matrix sequel, but far more entertaining. We'll start off with the basics.

History Repeating Itself?

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Thierry Henry has escaped any kind of censure from FIFA over the handball incident against Ireland last year, in much the same way as Diego Maradona did in 1986. The statement that FIFA issued is interesting though the bold text has been added by us:

"On 2 December 2009, the FIFA Executive Committee asked the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to analyse the handling offence committed by Thierry Henry during the France v.

Mali Out, Angola & Algeria Qualify: Group A Roundup - African Cup of Nations 2010

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Mali 3-1 Malawi
Angola 0-0 Algeria

Sometimes one goal is all it takes. Algeria only scored one goal in three games in Group A of the African Cup of Nations 2010. But it was enough to see the Desert Foxes through thanks to their head-to-head record with Mali. Algeria go through to the quarter finals.

Insane Finish To Angola v Mali

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The hosts managed to blow a four goal lead in fifteen minutes to share a point with Mali; Angola were leading 4-1 with two minutes left, then Freddy Kanoute (Sevilla), Sadou Keita (Barcelona) and Mustapha Yatabare (Clermont Foot Auvergne 63 in France's Ligue 2) scored to level the game, with the last two goals coming in four minutes of injury time.

African Cup of Nations 2010: Odds & Rankings

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FIFA's latest world rankings were released in December 2009, with the next assessment due at the start of February, just after the African Cup of Nations is due to end. So with the tournament about to get underway, how do the teams involved fare? The number on the left represents the nations' standing within Africa, the number in brackets their overall world ranking.

Will Togo Play? African Cup of Nations 2010 Begins under a Cloud

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The African Cup of Nations 2010 begins today. Though the competition was shrouded under a blanket of tragedy before the opening ceremonies have even been performed due to events in Cabinda, there is still a three-week tournament ahead of us that, we hope, brings entertainment and joy to the people of Angola, the people of Africa and to people watching all over the world.

Tragedy in Angola: Togo Bus Attack Updates & Developments

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Following the ambush of the Togo national team bus on it's way to Cabinda for the African Cup of Nations 2010, I wrote a preliminary piece on Just Football with some of the main issues that needed addressing. Reports were hazy at the time and as the hours have passed further details are beginning to emerge.

Reports: Four Dead Following Attack On Togo Team Bus

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There still appears to be some confusion over the death toll, but it seems likely that as well as the un-named Angolan bus driver, assistant coach Abalo Amalete, press officer Stanislas Ocloo and reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale were either killed during the attack or died of their injuries afterwards.

Togo Bus Attack in Angola ahead of African Cup of Nations: Reaction & Some Serious Questions

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So on the eve of the African Cup of Nations 2010, African football's jewel in the crown, tragedy strikes. As was reported earlier, the Togo national team bus was ambushed by gunmen and shot at on it's way from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the team's base in Cabinda, where they were due to play their Group B Cup of Nations matches.

BREAKING NEWS: Togo Team Bus Ambushed At Cup of Nations

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Several members of the Togo national team are reported injured after their team bus was ambushed and shot at on it's way to the team base in Cabinda.

According to Football365.fr, the bus carrying the Togolese national team was attacked by a rebel group as it was crossing the Congolese-Angolan border.

Group D: African Cup of Nations 2010 Preview (Cameroon, Gabon, Tunisia, Zambia)

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The Cup of Nations all-time top scorer - but can Eto'o add more silverware to the collection in Angola?

With the African Cup of Nations 2010 now but a few days away we turn our attentions to the final group preview, Group D:

Group D

Cameroon - Gabon - Tunisia - Zambia

Cameroon

Alongside Cote d'Ivoire Cameroon probably have the most talented squad in Africa, yet until Paul Le Guen took over as coach in July 2009 the Indomitable Lions were in real jeopardy of missing out on World Cup 2010 altogether.

Group C: African Cup of Nations 2010 Preview (Benin, Egypt, Mozambique, Nigeria)

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The mighty Egypt - but all is not well with the champions...

Group C

Benin - Egypt - Mozambique - Nigeria

Benin

Ever since Benin qualified for the Under-20 World Cup back in 2005, the national team has been on a steady upward spiral. Back then The Squirrels were ranked 125th in the world and had only ever qualified for one African Cup of Nations in which they fell at the group stage.

Group B: African Cup of Nations 2010 Preview (Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo)

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Party time - but Ivory Coast have something to prove

Group B

Burkina Faso - Côte d'Ivoire - Ghana - Togo

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso must be getting sick of the sight of Côte d'Ivoire. Despite an excellent run in World Cup 2010 qualifying it was always going to be difficult to sneak into their group's top spot for South Africa ahead of Didier Drogba and co.

African Cup of Nations 2010: Group A Preview

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Can host nation Angola emerge from a tricky group?

The tournament preview is up, you've seen the African Cup of Nations 2010 match schedule, now let's crack onto the group previews. Here is our team-by-team guide to the competition, which kicks off in Angola this weekend.

Group A

Algeria - Angola - Malawi - Mali

Algeria

Algeria is a country that has been sat until recently in the shadows of international wilderness.

The African Cup of Nations Is Back! (Match Schedule / Tournament Preview)

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In 1957, at a time when FIFA still refused to let African teams participate in the World Cup, the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) - Africa's international football governing body set up the first ever African Cup of Nations. The competition was held in Sudan and involved just four participants - Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sudan, later reduced to three as South Africa were disqualified for the government's apartheid politics.

Stadia Spotlight: Angola, African Cup of Nations 2010

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You might notice the cheeky slight change to our weekly stadium feature's name we've pluralised it as we are looking at more than one this week. We feature the renderings for the four new, impressive stadiums being built in Angola for the African Cup of Nations 2010, to be held in January.

Luanda
Capacity: 40,000
Stadium name: Estádio Cidade Universitária

Rendering of Estádio Cidade Universitária, Luanda's stadium under construction for the 2010 African Cup of Nations

Benguela
Stadium Name: Complexo da Sr.