2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals – Sunday 27 January 2013
Group D: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Ivory Coast (1) 3 – 0 (0) Tunisia
A performance from The Elephants that justified their tag as favourites as they comfortably overcame Tunisia. Ivory Coast dominated from the off and therefore it was no surprise when the team that is top of the latest CAF Rankings took the lead on twenty one minutes. Tunisia didn’t clear the ball inside the penalty box and instead it was collected by Gervinho who played a one-two with Lacina Traore, whose clever back-heel allowed the Arsenal forward to side-foot past Ben Cherifa in the Tunisian goal. The Elephants were good value for their half-time lead and even had a decent shout for a penalty turned down just before the break. On the hour Ivory Coast were again questioning the abilities of the match officials when Salomon Kalou slotted home after a pull-back from Gervinho. The Gunners forward was flagged offside, but replays suggested he was not. Tunisia stuck to their task, but were undone late in the game. On eighty seven minutes Yaya Toure received the ball outside the penalty area and after one touch let fly with his right foot a shot that arrowed into the net. As the fulltime whistle approached The Elephants got a third goal, as Hannover 96 striker Didier Ya Konan, who had only just came onto the pitch, picked his spot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. A promising display from Ivory Coast, but they have flattered to deceive in previous AFCON tournaments. Is 2013 their year?
Algeria (0) 0 – (1) 2 Togo
After this win Togo know that a draw in their final game against Tunisia will be enough to seem them through to the Quarter-Finals. Algeria though exit the competition after a second successive defeat. Algeria had plenty of possession in the opening half, but it was Togo who went ahead. On thirty one minutes Emmanuel Adebayor played a headed one-two with Moustapha Salifou before coolly finishing past Rais Mbolhi from the edge of the area. Algeria started the second period in a positive manner and had a couple of decent penalty shouts turned down. However, with the game approaching the last five minutes, Algerian Adlene Guedioura ran into his own net and in the process damaged the left hand goalpost. The game was then delayed for nearly fifteen minutes whilst it was fixed. Once the game recommenced, and with an addition thirteen minutes time added-on, Togo got a second clinching goal when Dove Wome collected a through ball before taking it on into the box and then slotting past Rais Mbolhi. When the whistle was eventually blown, Algeria the number two CAF Ranked team were out. Perhaps the bookies knew a think though; they had the Algerians out at 14/1.
Morocco v South Africa – Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
The last round of Group games sees the end of the ‘double-headers’ that have featured at the various venues to date, with the remaining games at different venues, but with the same kick-off time. For hosts South Africa a win or draw will see them into the Quarter-Finals. For their opponents Morocco, a win over the Bafana Bafana would definitely see them through. However, a draw might still be enough for Morocco, but their progress will be dependent on the Cape Verde and Angola result. Expect numerous swings in who is in then out as the ninety minutes unfold.
Cape Verde v Angola – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Cape Verde enters the game knowing that if they beat Angola and South Africa beat Morocco, then they will progress. It would be quite an achievement for the side making its debut in the AFCON. A draw will also be enough again if South Africa beat Morocco, but anything less and the various combinations of results, goals scored etc. will come into play. Even currently bottom placed Angola are not out of qualifying for the knock-out stages, as they would progress if they beat Cape Verde and Morocco draw with South Africa. Let the drama commence.