International Football

The 2013 African Cup Of Nations – The Final, And Review

By on Feb 12, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

For all the praise heaped upon Burkina Faso for their unexpected run to the AFCON 2013 final, there is little doubting that Nigeria were the best team in the tournament. The Super Eagles only showed this intermittently in the final itself, most importantly with the appropriately-named Sunday Mba’s stunning winning goal and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s stunning...

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The 2013 African Cup of Nations: A Tournament Comes To Life

By on Feb 8, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

More often than not, major tournament semi-finals are deep disappointments. Even the best of recent African Cups of Nations have run out of some steam by the time there were only four teams left. So given this year’s deeply disappointing tournament so far – and the prospect of 90-120 minutes of nerve-shredded beach football – imagine my surprise when… Nigeria 4 Mali...

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The 2013 African Cup Of Nations – It’s A Knockout

By on Feb 5, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

“I’m sure that when the knockout stage starts it will be as good as ever,” claimed Eurosport’s Dan O’Hagan. Sadly, the knockout stages in recent competitions have been consistently disappointing. And this year’s quarter-finals were, mostly, as “good” as ever. Ghana 2 Cape Verde 0 Even by the low standards of this AFCON, the first half in Port Elizabeth was a ghastly...

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The 2013 African Cup Of Nations: The Finale To Groups C & D

By on Jan 31, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

Group C Group C ended up as Group A’s inverted evil twin – intermittently good at first, collectively allergic to goal attempts at the end. Having praised Eurosport for negotiating Group A’s minefield of ever-changing team positions, I felt somewhat let down by the mess into which they mired themselves as Zambia and Nigeria threatened to copy each other into...

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The 2013 African Cup Of Nations: Groups A & B Come To A Climax

By on Jan 29, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

Group A The one advantage of Group A’s first round being a goalless bore was that no-one could ensure qualification until the final round; though after that first round, some might have settled for no-one ensuring qualification at all. But tournaments “need” the hosts to reach the knock-out stages otherwise they become unwatched, unwatchable bores – apparently. So...

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The 2013 African Cup Of Nations: Seconds Outs, Round Two

By on Jan 27, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

The 2013 AFCON is neither the first nor last international football tournament to have an, ahem, ‘disappointing’ opening round of group matches. But that has usually been down to teams’ fear of losing their first game, something which the laws of football say you must not do. In South Africa, even when the attitude wasn’t fearful, the football was mostly dreadful....

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The 2013 African Cup Of Nations: The Group Matches, Round One

By on Jan 23, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 2 comments

Blimey. They could have warned us Mark Bright was a British Eurosport analyst for the “AFCON 2013”. With the first group games being largely turgid, Bright had a lot of gaps in the action to fill. He chose to do so with “y’know,” – an ironic nervous tic when discussing tournament nerves. He rattled them off at ten-to-the-dozen at first, eventually settling...

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The African Cup Of Nations: Back So Soon?

By on Jan 19, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

Whether it was a sign of maturity or resignation, it was good to hear so little moaning from Premier League clubs about losing African international players to Africa’s Cup of Nations, especially given the decision to move the biennial tournament away from World Cup finals’ years by holding tournaments in 2012 and 2013. But Premier League clubs have accepted their...

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