2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals – Saturday 26 January 2013

2013ACNGroup C: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Zambia (0) 1 – 1 (0) Nigeria

As in the first round of games at the Mbombela Stadium, the pitch did not look in great condition. However, this was a game that will be remembered as the story of two penalties – one missed and one scored – and not the dry uneven and hard surface in Nelspruit. The first penalty was awarded on twenty five minutes, when Zambia defender Davies Nkausu fouled Ahmed Musa. It was a blatant penalty and the challenge was reckless; symptomatic of some very poor tackling witnessed in the 2013 AFCON tournament so far. The Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel stepped up, but his effort clipped the post and went wide. However, Mikel redeemed himself on fifty seven minutes when he out-muscled the Zambian midfield to provide a through ball for Emmanuel Emenike. The Spartak Moscow striker cut inside the defender and finished excellently into the bottom left corner. With the game entering the last five minutes, the second penalty of the day was awarded. This though in contrast to the one for Nigeria was controversial, as Ogenyi Onazi appeared to make little contact with the Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka. Stepping up to take the spot-kick was Zambian keeper Kennedy Mweene who coolly levelled the game, showing many an outfield player how a penalty should be taken. Both teams can still go through, but to be certain Zambia and Nigeria would need to win their remaining respective group games.


Burkina Faso (1) 4 – 0 (0) Ethiopia

A resounding victory for Burkina Faso as The Stallions went to the top of Group C and achieved it with ten men. However, games can turn on a single incident. In the case of Ethiopia they will look to the chance they created in the opening five minutes, when Shimelese Bekele slotted past Burkina Faso keeper Soulama only to see his shot come back off the post. On twenty minutes The Stallions had the ball in the Ethiopian net from Wilfried Sanou, but was ruled offside. However, on thirty four minutes Burkina Faso did go ahead when unmarked Alain Traoré collected in the box and superbly fired home on the half-volley. Burkina Faso held this lead into the break before what was to be a very interesting second-half. On the hour, from a long ball through, The Stallions keeper Soulama handled outside the area and was sent-off. Ethiopia were unable to make their numerical advantage tell and instead Burkina Faso increased their lead on seventy four minutes when Alain Traoré unleashed a left footed screamer from outside the box which flew past Tadelle in the Ethiopian goal. The Stallions were now rampant and on seventy nine minutes, Ethiopia lost possession in midfield and Pitroipa played in Djakaridja Kone who slid it past the advancing Tadelle. As the game went into time added-on, Burkina Faso grabbed a fourth goal as they broke on the right against a shell-shocked Ethiopian defence, and Pitroipa was able to easily finish unchallenged just outside the six yard box. Top spot for The Stallions and a Quarter-Final place in touching distance.


Group D: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg

Ivory Coast v Tunisia/Algeria v Togo

The last of the second round of Group games, which first up, sees Ivory Coast against Tunisia, both of whom won their opening fixtures. A victory later today for either team would guarantee a place in the Quarter-Finals. Ivory Coast are the competition favourites and will hope to seal their place with a game to spare, although Tunisia have to be watched having shocked their North African neighbours Algeria in the opening round of games. Togo will feel they were unlucky to lose late on against Ivory Coast and will look to get points on the board against Algeria.

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Posted January 26, 2013 by Editor in category "2013 Africa Cup of Nations

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