2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals – Thursday 24 January 2013

Group A: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

South Africa (1) 2 – 0 (0) Angola

Yesterday I opined that it would be “…despair in Durban…” for South Africa, however it was actually delight in Durban as the hosts secured all three points against Angola. Coach Gordon Igesund made a number of changes to his line-up for this match and it paid dividends. Bafana Bafana looked a different side to that which opened the tournament last Saturday as they dominated play from the off, with chances falling to Khumalo, Rantie and Mphela. On thirty minutes the breakthrough came, when from a poor defensive header from Lunguinha allowed Siyabonga Sangweni to volley home comprehensively. Angola responded before half-time with a couple of chances, first Khune the South African keeper kept out an effort from Manucho, which was followed by a Mateus shot which was skewed well over the bar. The Angolans started the second-half as they had finished the first in a positive manner, and cretaed an early chance which Khune in goal for South Africa was well positioned to save from Guilherme Afonso. South Africa were now playing on the counterattack and on sixty two minutes, a long ball out of midfield was collected by Lehlohonolo Majoro who carried the ball down the by-line, cut back inside the defender and then scored when he nut-meged Angolan keeper Lama. Chances continued to fall to both sides, with Majoro having the best opportunity for South Africa and late on Manucho for Angola. A win for the hosts which means that a point against Morocco and they are through. Angola can still qualify, but they would have to beat Cape Verde and hope that South Africa draw or beat Morocco.


Morocco (0) 1 – 1 (0) Cape Verde

Morocco were my tip to pinch the points in a tight game. In the end it was honours even in a real end-to-end encounter. Cape Verde in the first-half continued to show that they more than deserve their place at these Finals with an impressive attacking display. Platini, Ryan Mendes and Tavares were causing all sorts of problems to the Moroccan defence and it was no surprise when they went ahead on thirty six minutes. Ryan Mendes won the half-way line and drove at the Moroccan defence and then slipped the ball through for Platini whose finish was excellent as he dinked it over the advancing Nadir Lamyaghri. In the second-half Morocco used all three substitutions as the game ticked away. However, the Moroccans were starting to create chances and on seventy eight minutes they drew level. Abdelaziz Barrada had room out wide and he was able to pick out Youssef El-Arabi. His shot found the net through a crowd of players with Cape Verde keeper Vozinha unsighted. The North African side went in search of the winner, but Cape Verde hung on and it was well deserved. Both sides can still qualify for the knock-out phase, but they will have to win their respective remaining fixtures as a draw will not be enough for either of them.


Group B: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Ghana v Mali/Niger v Congo DR

Mali can clinch qualification if they beat Ghana and Niger will be eliminated if they lose to Congo DR. Ghana played Mali in the 2012 AFCON competition in Group D, when second-half goals from Asamoah Gyan and André Ayew gave Ghana a 2-0 win. Mali got their revenge in the Third Place Play-off game when a double from Cheick Diabaté sealed a win for The Eagles. A draw on the cards between these two, for what could on paper could be a bit of a classic. For Niger and Congo DR it will be their first meeting and Congo DR should be too strong for Niger.

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Posted January 24, 2013 by Editor in category "2013 Africa Cup of Nations

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