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For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.
Mark Murphy is our man for the African Cup of Nations, which begins this month in Angola. Mark takes us through the runners and riders for the second most important footbll competition that will be played in Africa this year.
Brazil 3-0 Ghana So, you’re the coach of Ghana. Your team is great going forward, but possibly slightly vulnerable defensively. You’re playing Brazil. What would your team talk be? Would you say, “Right lads, we’ve heard all about these four fantastic players that they’ve got. What shall we do about it? Well, I’ve been thinking…
Czech 0-2 Italy / Ghana 2-1 USA You have to respect the Italian fans. They’re the only set of fans in the whole of the World Cup that are even more pessimistic than England’s. They dropped two points against the USA (whose sole tactic appeared to be kick the Italians very hard), and the country…
Czech Republic 0-2 Ghana The rest of the day was taken up with results that no-one could or would have predicted. I know it sounds like excuses, but consider this: Ghana, whilst they had showed flashes of inspiration against Italy, hadn’t shown that they had anything like the defensive nous to deal with the likes…
Ghana 0-2 Italy Italy. You never know quite what to expect, do you? They’re capable of getting knocked out by the best or the worst teams in the tournament, but they’re also capable of beating them. This evening’s match rounded off a trio of outstanding matches today. Having basked in the warm glow of Australia’s…