Feb 16, 2013 - 2013 Africa Cup of Nations    Comments Off on 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals – Postscript

2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals – Postscript

With the dust settling a week after the twenty ninth AFCON competition it just remains to look back on the events in South Africa before looking forward to the 2015 event in Morocco. How will the 2013 tournament be remembered? Off the field the organising committee had said their chief aim was “…full stadiums, full stadiums, full stadiums…” Whilst this didn’t come to fruition, the average crowd figures did show an increase. At the 2012 AFCON competition the thirty two games had an average attendance of 14,260 which rose to 22,781 in South Africa. However, despite the low prices and distribution of many free tickets, crowds were particularly disappointing in Nelspruit and Rustenburg in the Group stage games. The stadium at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit also came in for criticism as the pitch was frankly in an unacceptable condition for the Finals of an international competition. Elsewhere the other venues provided what looked to be reasonable surfaces, although the pitch for the Final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso looked a little below par after a major music concert had been held on it. Given that for many people watching the games is on television, things like empty stadiums and sand covered pitches, unfortunately gives a less than favourable impression and so send out negative messages about the competition. Hopefully, these issued will continue to be addressed for the 2015 competition in Morocco.

On the field the competition got off to a slow start with a number of draws and some pretty drab games, before coming nicely to the boil in the last round of Group games and the knockout phase. The goals scored dropped from 76 (average 2.38 per game) to 69 (average 2.16); however, there was still high drama and shocks aplenty. Going into the Finals, the top four CAF ranked teams were Ivory Coast, Algeria, Mali and Ghana, with Zambia the holders. Algeria finished bottom of their Group and Zambia limply gave up the crown finishing only third in their Group. Ivory Coast again found the tag of favourites to heavy a burden and went out in the Quarter-Finals, whilst Mali and Ghana battled out the Third/Fourth place game. This meant that nations such as Cape Verde and Burkina Faso provided the story of the underdog, with Cape Verde cruelly losing to Ghana 2-0 in the Quarter-Finals and Burkina Faso making it to the Final. Credit also to South Africa who despite a torrid time leading up the Finals did reach the Quarter-Finals. The 2013 title went to Nigeria who were unexpected but worthy winners. After a solid Group stage with draws against Burkina Faso and Zambia, finishing with a victory over Ethiopia, The Super Eagle upped their game to put out Ivory Coast in the Quarter-Finals and comprehensively defeat Mali 4-1. Whilst the Final against Burkina Faso was no classic, two moments of quality saw then win 1-0. The first was sublime skill shown by Sunday Mba who scored the Nigerian goal in the first-half, and the second a world-class save from Nigeria’s keeper Vincent Enyeama from Sanou which maintained their advantage with seventeen minutes remaining. A third Africa Cup of Nations title for Nigeria, who will hope their young-side, will blossom to defend their crown in Morocco in 2015.

Below are details of the various awards handed out after the 2013 competition and the latest CAF rankings.

 

Awards

Player of the tournament: Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso)

Tournament Top Scorer: Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria)

Fair Player of the tournament: Victor Moses (Nigeria)

Goal of the tournament: Youssef Msakni (Tunisia v. Algeria)

 

Team of the tournament:

Goalkeeper:

Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

 

Defence:

Bakary Koné (Burkina Faso)

Nando (Cape Verde)

Efe Ambrose (Nigeria)

Siaka Tiéné (Ivory Coast)

 

Midfield:

Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso)

Seydou Keita (Mali)

John Obi Mikel (Nigeria)

Victor Moses (Nigeria)

 

Forwards:   

Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)

Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria)  

 

Following the 2013 AFCON competition the latest CAF Rankings are as follows (2013 AFCON Finalists in italics) :

 

Feb.

2013

Jan.

2013

Change

1

1

0

Ivory Coast

2

4

2

Ghana

3

3

0

Mali

4

9

5

Nigeria

5

2

-3

Algeria

6

10

4

Tunisia

7

5

-2

Zambia

8

8

0

Central African Republic

9

23

14

Burkina Faso

10

22

12

South Africa

11

13

2

Sierra Leone

12

6

-6

Libya

13

15

2

Cape Verde Islands

14

18

4

Togo

15

11

-4

Egypt

16

12

-4

Guinea

17

17

0

Morocco

18

7

-11

Gabon

19

14

-5

Cameroon

20

20

0

Senegal

21

21

0

Uganda

22

27

5

Congo DR

23

30

7

Congo

24

24

0

Benin

25

19

-6

Angola

26

25

-1

Niger

27

28

1

Zimbabwe

28

26

-2

Sudan

29

16

-13

Equatorial Guinea

30

33

3

Mozambique

31

34

3

Malawi

32

31

-1

Ethiopia

33

29

-4

Burundi

34

32

-2

Liberia

35

37

2

Namibia

36

38

2

Kenya

37

36

-1

Tanzania

38

35

-3

Botswana

39

40

1

Rwanda

40

39

-1

São Tomé e Príncipe

41

41

0

Chad

42

42

0

Gambia

43

43

0

Lesotho

44

54

10

Mauritania

45

44

-1

Guinea-Bissau

46

45

-1

Swaziland

47

46

-1

Madagascar

48

52

4

Mauritius

49

47

-2

Comoros

50

48

-2

Eritrea

51

49

-2

Seychelles

52

50

-2

South Sudan

53

51

-2

Somalia

54

53

-1

Djibouti
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