Orange Africa Cup of Nations – Monday 30 January 2012

Group B

Sudan (2) – (1) Burkina Faso [Estadio de Bata]

Ivory Coast (2) – (0) Angola [Nuevo Estadio de Malabo]

Plenty at stake in the final games today. Ivory Coast were definitely through and Burkina Faso were out. However, one from Angola and Sudan would also progress and the issue of top spot in the Group also needed resolving. Ivory Coast made wholesale changes for the game, presumably to rest their preferred starting line-up ahead of the Quarter-Final.

Both games were relatively quiet and without major incident in the opening thirty minutes with no goals. Then like the proverbial bus, along came two! In Malabo, Ivory Coast took the lead on 33 minutes. Bony won the ball in midfield and carried it forward before crossing into the Angolan six-yard box. Covering defender Miguel made a hash of his attempted clearance and gave Emmanuel Eboue the opportunity to poke home from close range. Meanwhile in Bata, Sudan went 1-0 ahead. The Burkina Faso back line was caught flat which allowed Mudather Eltaib a clear run on goal before coolly finishing past keeper Daouda Diakite. As half-time approached in each game, Ivory Coast continued to press and create chances against Angola, while Sudan and Burkina Faso was a more even affair after the goal. At the break with the scores as they stood, Ivory Coast would top the group and Angola would also go through as runners-up on goal difference over Sudan. In the second half, to progress from the Group, Sudan would have to score themselves to increase their lead, or hope that the Ivory Coast could add to their tally against Angola.

The opening fifteen minutes in both games proved to be cagey, with little threat to a change in the score-lines. Then on 65 minutes, a goal was scored in Malabo. A punt into the Angola half caused confusion and as Angolan keeper Wilson came to the edge of his area to collect the ball, defender Massunguna headed over him, leaving Wilfried Bony to tap the ball into an empty net. Not only did this double Ivory Coast’s lead, but meant that if the scores stayed that way, then Angola were heading out. With ten minutes remaining, Sudan strengthened their grip on the runners-up spot with a goal to double their lead. Keeper Akram kicked downfield and his opposite number in the Burkina Faso goal hesitated allowing Mudather Eltaib to nip in, round Diakite and score his and Sudan’s second. Angola and Burkina Faso reacted positively with the game slipping away, but were unable to score. However, both games had a number of minutes of time added-on. Whilst Angola couldn’t create any late drama, over in Bata Burkina Faso scored through Issiaka Ouedraogo. A long ball in the box, had Sudanese keeper recklessly and needlessly rushing out of his area, so making it an easy finish for Ouedraogo. However, Sudan held on and progressed to the Quarter-Finals on goal difference. Credit to Ivory Coast, who despite a much changed team, didn’t just go through the motions against Angola and played their part in providing the opportunity for Sudan to progress. Angola so close to qualifying missed out on goal difference and depart the competition with Burkina Faso.

Final Positions:

(1) Ivory Coast: 9 pts, (2) Sudan: 4 pts (GD: 0),  (3) Angola: 4 pts (GD: -1), (4) Burkina Faso: 0 pts.

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Posted January 30, 2012 by Editor in category "2012 Africa Cup of Nations

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