Africa Cup of Nations Group A permutations

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All four teams in Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations have a chance of making the quarter-finals when the final fixtures are staged Sunday.

Leaders South Africa face Morocco at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban and surprise side Cape Verde tackle last-place Angola at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The Group A winners face the Group B runners-up — most likely the Democratic Republic of Congo or Mali — in Durban on February 2 and the runners-up travel to Port Elizabeth to meet the Group B winners — probably Ghana — the same day.

South Africa (4 pts/plus 2 goal difference)

Win: Finish top of table

Draw: Qualify and stay top of the table unless Cape Verde win and finish with superior goal difference or more goals scored

Loss: Would still qualify as runners-up on head-to-head rule if Angola win, or Cape Verde draw, but go out if Cape Verde win

Cape Verde (2 pts/level)

Win: Would qualify as group winners or runners-up

Draw: Would go through if Morocco lose, but second place would be settled by goals scored, disciplinary records or drawing of lots if Morocco also draw

Loss: Eliminated

Morocco (2 pts/level)

Win: Would qualify as group winners or runners-up

Draw: Eliminated if Cape Verde or Angola win — if Cape Verde draw, second place settled by goals scored, disciplinary records or drawing of lots

Loss: Eliminated

Angola (1 pt/ minus 2)

Win: Only hope of survival, and even maximum points not enough if South Africa lose as hosts would advance on head-to-head rule

Draw: Eliminated

Loss: Eliminated

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Afcon 2013: Fans beg Eagles to step up game against Ethiopia

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 A cross section of Super Eagles fans on Friday said eagles must step up their game against Ethiopia or lose out in the group stage of AFCON.

Some of them, who spoke  in Abuja, said if Nigeria played a draw against Ethiopia that would be the end of their participation.

Albert Effigiri, coach of Shettima Babes said that the team really tried compared with their last match against Burkina Faso, adding that they had improved on their defense.

“In fact, there was a lot of improvement and all the changes were technically applied, especially in the defense, so they tired.’’

According to him, if the referee had not awarded the penalty, the Zambians would not have equalised in the game, adding that the referee was not supposed to have awarded a penalty but a free kick.

“I am not happy because if you look at the penalty, the guy was at the edge of the eighteen yard box, it should have been a free kick; but all the same, Super Eagles played well and the changes were okay this time.’’

He said that there was still hope for the country if the Eagles could manage a win in their last group match.

“All we are expecting is a win against Ethiopia.’’

Gwagwalada United coach, Pascal Zozo said that the team tried their best, adding that for the team to play a draw with the defending champions, they should be commended.

“If the whole defending champions can play a draw with Nigeria, I see no reason why we should kill ourselves; the players tried.

“Nigeria should work very hard in their next match; I know the team is full of surprises so we cannot predict them but in this situation if we draw then we won’t qualify,’’ he added. (NAN)

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Afcon 2013: Penalty awarded against Nigeria unjustifiable – Experts

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Football experts on Friday expressed disappointment with the officiating of the Nigeria-Zambia match at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa, which ended 1-1.

Reacting to the conduct and outcome of the encounter, some of the sports analysts  separate telephone interviews in Lagos said that the penalty awarded against Nigeria was unjustifiable.

They also observed that the Super Eagles did not possess a good fighting spirit that would have enabled them to win the match.

Paul Hamilton, former Head Coach, Super Falcons, who expressed disappointment, said the players were casual in all their attempts.

Hamilton said that the Super Eagles were found of miss-appropriating opportunities, and that this led to the 1-1 draw.

“It was a very funny match as our guys played casually; we lost so many opportunities because their fighting spirit was low.

“Before you come out for a battle as an army, you need a great deal of determination to win; I am very disappointed,” he said.

Hamilton said although the referee’s decision to award Zambia a penalty was questionable, he had the final say.

On his part, Henry Nwosu, an ex-international, said he was not happy with the referee’s decision to award a penalty against Nigeria.

Nwosu said the foul, which was committed in the second half of the match, was done on the 18 line-box and therefore, did not merit a penalty.

“The foul was committed just outside the 18 line-box and the Zambian striker fell into the box. It was bad officiating on the part of the referee,” he said.
J
oe Erico, also a former international player, said that both teams played well, but that Nigeria could have won if they had a more coordinated mid-field.

“We lacked control of the mid-field. Our passes were bad and not accurate, but I’m still optimistic that we would lift the trophy at the end of the tournament,” he said.

Sanni Ahmed, the Kano Pillars FC Coach, said he believed that there was a plot to make sure that Nigeria did not qualify for the next round of the competition.

“I believe there is a conspiracy among the officials to knock Nigeria out at the group stage.

“My advice to the Nigerian team is that they should concentrate in the mid-field because that is where they are lacking in the game play.”

Adesegun Kosoko, the Chairman, Lagos State Football Referees Council, described the result as discouraging, stressing that the Eagles must win their last encounter with Ethiopia in the group stage match on Tuesday.

“Our boys played well but failed to make good their chances, and this is a problem. I pray they have luck in the next match,” he said.

Kosoko urged the players to be more accurate in their passes and crossings. (NAN)

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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AFCON 2013: Keshi happy with draw

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Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi said that he was satisfied with the 1-1 draw his team posted against Zambia in their group C African Nations Cup match, Friday.

This is even as Nigerian football fans are agitated as they wonder why a team should surrender its lead  in two consecutive games. Keshi must now beat Ethiopia on Tuesday to be assured of a place in the quarter-final.

“My goal was to get the three points against Zambia. But the draw was a good result and I’m happy with it.

“With due respect, Zambia are a good team and they have been together for the past four years. It wasn’t an easy match,” said Keshi.

He stated that he will employ a different approach to his last game against Ethiopia on Tuesday.

“Every game is different. What we did today we will not do against Ethiopia. I have seen them, they are a good side and I have a lot of respect for them.”

He defended John Obi Mikel who missed a penalty that could have influenced the outcome of the game.

“When it comes to penalties, there are no specialists. It is either you score or you don’t. Mikel scored from the spot in our last game against Liberia during the qualifier and if there was anybody to take the kick it was him.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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AFCON 2013: Keshi, Enyeama slam Egyptian ref

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Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama Friday slammed the Egyptian referee, Grisha Ghead for awarding the Zambians a late penalty which enabled them to draw level with the Eagles in their second group game at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa.

Goalkeeper Enyeama was more vitriolic in his attack describing the referee’s decision the most bizarre he has experienced in his football career.

“That penalty call is the worst I have seen in my whole football career. You don’t make such calls in a match of that magnitude, the call was weak and I’m mad about it. They (referees) did it to us against Burkina Faso also,” he sressed.

Reacting too, Keshi said he would leave people to judge the referee because “ I don’t like talking about referees. In the match against Burkina Faso, the referee gave us five yellow cards and a red car. The referee is the boss and he is in control of the game,” keshi said in a post match conference.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Afcon 2013: Burkina Faso within sight of quarter-finals

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NELSPRUIT, South Africa, (AFP) – Alain Traore produced two of the goals of the competition to lift 10-man Burkina Faso to a 4-0 win over Ethiopia Friday and end their 18-match winless run at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Burkina’s last victory in the continental showcase came way back in 1998, but Traore ended that sorry state of affairs in style to push the west African nation to the top of Group C and within touching distance of the last eight.

And three of the goals came after goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama was red carded on the hour mark for handling outside his box.

Coached by Belgian Paul Put, this priceless win lifted them up to four points, with Zambia and Nigeria, who drew 1-1 earlier, on two and Ethiopia on one.

With quarter-final qualification going down to the wire, Burkina Faso take on Zambia here while Ethiopia face Nigeria in Rustenburg, with both matches scheduled for Tuesday.

Lorient midfielder Traore earned a start on the strength of his starring role in bagging the equaliser deep in stoppage time against Nigeria on Monday.

And he fully repaid his coach’s confidence when scoring either side of the break, and setting up Djakaridja Kone for the third.

Zerihun Tadele was in goal for Ethiopia in the absence of Jemal Tassew, banned for two matches after his terrible tackle in their curtain-raiser against Zambia.

An all-too-common feature of this Nations Cup has been the depressing sight of row upon row of empty seats, but happily not here, with an estimated 20,000 Ethiopian fans filling the Mbombela Stadium.

With Nigeria and Zambia all square in the first leg of Friday’s double-header in Nelspruit, the Group C summit was there for the taking by one of these so-called lightweights.

And Ethiopia came racing out of the blocks, almost bagging a fourth-minute advantage when Shemeles Bekele raced on to Salahdin Said’s pass on the left of the area, his angled shot only denied by the far post.

Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw was forced into an early change of personnel, bringing on Behailu Assefa for a tearful Adane Girma, feeling the effects of an earlier knock to a delicate part of his body.

Burkina’s Wilfried Sanou had the ball in the back of the net in the 20th minute, but his effort was ruled offside.

In a high-voltage affair, Burkina were beginning to dominate.

And on 34 minutes the break they deserved came when Traore, from 10 yards out, let his left foot fly, the ball screaming into the top left corner of Tadele’s net.

This was the 24-year-old’s second goal of 2013, after scoring in stoppage time to earn Burkina a 1-1 draw against Nigeria.

With their neat, nimble footwork, Burkina were leading Ethiopia a merry dance until Soulama was sent off by Seychelles referee Camille Bernard.

Replacement ‘keeper Daouda Diakite came on with midfielder Sanou making way, and he did a great job in saving the resulting free-kick.

Traore made it three in 2013 with a superb half-volley in the 74th minute, before setting up Kone with 11 minutes left.

Jonathan Pitroipa rounded off the rout with the fourth deep in stoppage time.

Not even the appearance of a streaker, who entangled himself in the Ethiopian net, could take the gloss off Traore and his team’s night.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Afcon: Burkina Faso trounce Ethiopia 4 – 0

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NELSPRUIT, South Africa (AFP) – Burkina Faso ended an 18-match win-less run in the Africa Cup of Nations by trouncing Ethiopia 4-0 Friday with three of the goals coming after goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama was sent off.

Alain Traore scored in each half for the Stallions, whose last victory was against Guinea when they hosted the 1998 tournament, and goals from Djakaridja Kone and Jonathan Pitroipa completed the rout.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Afcon: Any hope after Nigeria, Zambia 1-1 draw?

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After a grueling 90minutes encounter at the the Mhobela Stadium in Nelspruit , South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia played a 1-1 draw.

What is your opinion of the game? Was the  Zambian penalty deserved? Did Nigeria play better compared to her  first game? Was Skipper Joseph Yobo’s absence felt?  What is Nigeria’s  chance(s) of qualifying from the group?

Do have your say!

 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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AFCON 2013: AFCON 2013: Changes Keshi must make!

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There are three major qualities midfielders should possess. Coaches look out for these in them.

Marking abilities, creativity and passing. An addition is shooting. In some cases shooting may not be a must otherwise Mikel Obi will not be playing for Chelsea. It however depends on the approach or philosophy (apology Phillippe Trousier) of the coach.

There are midfielders who may not be good in creativity but they are ball winners. They mark very well and are usually a thorn in the flesh of attackers. They do the dirty job for the team and may not be noticed by those who look out for flamboyance. There are also those who can destroy opponents with their creativity. They have the skill to dribble their way through and lay assists that lead to goals. Sometimes they score too. Barcelona’s Xavi is an excellent example. There are also those who are great passers of the ball like our own Mikel Obi.

I have not seen any of these qualities in Fegor Ogude. I’m scandalised that such a player found himself in the starting line of the Eagles of Nigeria. Mistakes have been made and if Stephen Keshi is still the Keshi that I have known all these years, Ogude will romance the bench today when we play Zambia.

There must be changes  in tactics and in selection for the match against Zambia whose strong point is in their ability to mark and just keep on attacking although the possession football of Ethiopia reduced the potency of their style last Monday.

Many have been harsh on the Stephen Keshi team since the 1-1 draw with Burkina Faso on Monday. The late equaliser, actually disappointed millions of Nigerians.

But I must admit that in that team I saw the fastest counter attack any Nigerian team has exhibited since the days of Clemens Westerhof.

They were quick in the counters. What surprised me was their inability to launch many counter-attacks. But they couldn’t have going by the way they passed the ball back even when there was no pressure on them to do so.

Eagles led 1-0 in the first half but failed to seal off the game even when the chances came. They failed to put pressure on the Burkinabes and preferred to pass the ball back for reasons you can’t defend in modern football. Their style made Burkina Faso to survive.

A lot of people have condemned them for conceding a goal in the last minute of the match. I will not. It happens in football. Would you say that the Brazilian team was not good in Atlanta 1996 when we equalised in stoppage time and went on to win?

Would you say that Bayern Munich were not good when Manchester United equalised in the last minute and went on to win the European Championship in 1999?

I’m more concerned about their total performance than the result. When I discussed the match with our Deputy Editor, Eze Anaba, he said Keshi needed to make one or two changes and the team would soar high. I agreed with Eze, an ardent follower of the game.

Changing Fegor Ogude and directing his players to mount pressure on opponents by going forward will change a lot in the team. Directing his players to be quicker on the ball and  stop shielding it just to show off the way Echiejile, Emenike , Mikel and some others were doing would help the team.

Directing his players to crowd around the ball and break away when necessary will give them greater possession which helps in opening up defences. Asking Ike Uche to play for the team rather than for self will help. Correcting  Yobo and Godfrey Obaobona, the two central defenders never to run flat by charging on attackers the same time will help. It happened about three to four times against Burkina Faso.

One of them must always withdraw for slips when one charges ahead. These were the flaws I noticed in the match against Burkina Faso and I strongly believe that if they are corrected Eagles may soar on in this competition for they have a blistering counter attack that must be commended. Nigerians are yet to realise the damage done to our football before Keshi and co came on board. It will take a long time to repair.

That’s what I have to say while commending Ethiopia for their good play. They went partying after a good outing against Zambia. If they keep their heads, they may be the team of the tournament even if they don’t win.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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AFCON 2013: Nigeria, Zambia draw 1-1

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Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene scored a controversial late penalty as Zambia came from behind to draw 1-1 with Nigeria in Group C of the African Cup of Nations.

Mweene, who had saved a John Obi Mikel spot-kick in the first half, coolly blasted the ball into the top right after Nigeria defender Ogenyi Onazi was harshly adjudged to have fouled Emmanuel Mayuka.

Nigeria had led through a 57th-minute strike from the impressive Emmanuel Emenike, with the Super Eagles on balance the better side but Zambia having also spurned some great chances before finally drawing level.

The result means defending champions Zambia and two-times winners Nigeria have drawn their opening two matches at these finals, with Ethiopia and Burkina Faso playing later.

What had promised to be an enthralling clash between the defending champions and one of Africa’s traditional powerhouses was hampered by a dreadful pitch in Nelspruit, the same surface that led to farcical scenes in Zambia’s opening Group C clash with Ethiopia.

Both sides tried their best to play football, but aside from an early half-chance for Raymond Kalaba, the bobble was ruining any attempts to keep it low.

That resulted in a fairly ‘direct’ contest, one which Nigeria should have taken control of when CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa was clumsily brought down by Davies Nkausu.

The referee correctly pointed to the spot but, with Emenike apparently reluctant to take responsibility, Mikel stood up only to place a weak kick off the hand of Mweene, shaving he post and wide.

Zambia almost made them pay immediately, Vincent Enyeama saving well from Chisamba Lungu, while Reading target Stophira Sunzu put a free header wide from a Kalaba free-kick.

Indeed, by the end of the first half Zambia were creating the better chances, although they could not find a finish, with Isaac Chansa’s poor effort straight at Enyeama the final act of the 45.

Nigeria upped the tempo in the second half and they should have gone ahead four minutes in when Musa’s cross shot bobbled away from Emenike. Musa should have got his initial effort on target and, with Emenike anticipating a tap-in, the pitch was again a factor as the final bounce took it off the Spartak Moscow striker’s toe.

Indeed, the Super Eagles were piling the pressure on as Emenike in particular started to cause problems, flicking one finish inches wide after holding off two challenges and flying in on Kennedy Mweene.

And he soon got his breakthrough when, after a mix-up in the Zambia defence, Mikel released the 25-year-old, who took one touch and fired a rasping effort into the bottom left corner.

Nigeria were all over the Zambians, with Emenike again seeing an effort deflected wide, but Zambia did occasionally threaten on the break, with Kalaba denied by an excellent Enyeama saved after his superb flick put him through.

Indeed, they should have drawn level with eight minutes remaining but substitute Collins Mbesuma lazily side-footed his finish straight at Enyeama with just the keeper to beat.

It was a dreadful effort but Zambia levelled soon afterwards, although not without controversy.

Mayuka had the ball on the edge of the box, and he was backing into Osazi with both players grabbing on to the other’s shirt.

Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha pointed to the spot, even though no-one had appealed and any foul looked outside the box.

Mweene, who takes spot-kicks for his club in South Africa but had not previously done so for Zambia, stepped up and with almost serene nonchalance ambled towards the ball before drilling it into the top corner.

That bizarre turn of events pretty much finished the match, with neither side threatening in the final minutes.

Both Nigeria and Zambia now need to win respective matches against Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, who play later in a great opportunity to move a step towards the quarter-finals.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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