This year’s African Cup of Nations tournament – Angola 2010 – has not been short of drama. A few underdogs have made a mark by spoiling the chances of football giants while some favourites who even qualified for the South Africa 2010 World Cup tournament (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia) have witnessed an early exit.
Last night’s matches were even more dramatic for the “Indomitable Lions” of Cameroon were dominated by the Pharaohs of Egypt. The Egypt vrs Cameroon match was not hard for me to predict. I wrote on Twitter before the match:
Egypt would beat Cameroon. That’s easy to predict. What are you views? #can2010
about 13 hours ago from Gatorpeeps
Unless luck intervenes heavily, I did not see that team that could stop Egypt from reaching the finals. Not even Cameroon, despite Cameroon’s team of experienced players.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria silenced the Copper Bullets of Zambia last night as well. The Nigeria vrs Zambia match was tiring because large expectations were flattened since neither side scored a goal during the 90 minutes of play, nor during the 30 extra minutes. The Zambians put up a good fight but luck was not on their side. Based on the spectacular saves by the Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, I was confident that Nigeria would win the day should the play end up in a penalty shoot-out. It turned out that Vincent Enyeama was the star of the match. He not only saved a penalty kick by Thomas Nyrienda but also scored one himself, sending the Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene in the exact opposite direction of his kick.
Thursday 28th January 2010 is another historic date in Angola. Arch-rivals would meet again to settle the ever evolving question of “who is the better team?”.
Algeria ruined the chances of Egypt for South Africa 2010. Could Angola 2010 offer a chance for Egypt to demand a pound of flesh from Algeria? The Egyptian team seem like the favourites, considering that they have lifted the African Nations Cup for a record six times and even won in 2006 and 2008. A not-far-fetched win in 2010 would mean they have lifted the Cup seven times and have won 3 times back-to-back.
Ghana’s youthful team is set to meet the more experienced hands from Nigeria at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in Luanda same Thursday.
The Angola 2010 tournament seemed to be a bleak one for Ghana’s Black Stars. A handful of the experienced players were down due to injury or not called due to disciplinary issues. The Coach Milovan Rajevac thus had no choice than to call-up some of the winning Under-20 players. Despite the low expectations, they have proved their mettle by qualifying to the semi-finals.
The Nigerian Super Eagles has a teamful of professional players. It waits to be seen if they would be able to coordinate properly and play as a real team. That is the only way they could qualify to the finals. Would the Super Eagles be able to beat the Ghana 2008 jinx and beat the Black Stars this time? I think so.
What are your thoughts? Would Egypt beat Algeria this time? Would Nigeria overcome their Ghanaian arch-rivals? Leave your comments.