Orange Africa Cup of Nations – Sunday 22 January 2012

Group B:

Ivory Coast (1) – (0) Sudan

After the surprise results on Saturday, was there another shock on the cards as tournament favourites Ivory Coast took on Sudan at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo? From the outset underdogs Sudan were happy to let Ivory Coast have possession and in the opening thirty minutes contained their opponents fairly comfortably. However, with 39 minutes on the watch, the Chelsea pair of Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba combined to put The Elephants ahead. Kalou crossed deep into the Sudan six yard box and Drogba got behind the defender to clinically head home. Sudan responded quickly and  Ivory Coast were able to hold onto their lead at half-time, thanks to a fantastic save from keeper Boubacar just before the break. Sudan continued to frustrate the Ivory Coast in the second half, although there were chances which Gervinho couldn’t capitalise on for The Elephants. Ivory Coast got the victory, but it was by no means convincing. Sudan showed what an organised team they were and will be difficult to beat.


Burkina Faso (1) – (2) Angola

On paper this looked a fairly even game given their respective CAF rankings, with Burkina Faso 14th and Angola 19th and the first-half reflected this as the teams went in at 0-0 at the break. The game was all about the second-half and three quality strikes. Angola opened the scoring on 48 minutes, when Burkina Faso were suicidal in defence. Bakary Kone inexplicitity played ‘keepy-up’ in his own penalty area, but gave the ball away allowing Mateus to collect cut inside and then fire across the keeper. The lead however was wiped out on 57 minutes by a curling free-kick by Alain Traore, with Angolan keeper Fernandes rooted to the spot. Having got themselves back in the game, less than ten minutes later, more poor defensive work by Burkina Faso gave the initiative back to Angola. Manucho gained possession and cut across the line of defence before unleashing a left footed strike which found the net, with keeper Daouda Diakite possibly slow in reacting to the strike. Angola held on and took the three points. So four games played in the tournament and not a draw as yet – so much for cagey opening games.

Group  resumes on Thursday 26 January, with Sudan v Angola and Ivory Coast v Burkina Faso.