Tag: Ivory Coast

The World Cup Of National Anthems: Part Four

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.

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Angola 2010: The African Cup of Nations

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.

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Dutch Courage

Argentina 0-0 Holland / Ivory Coast 3-2 Serbia May I just be the first person to say… WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? As some of you may remember, in Euro 2000, Holland and France had qualified before their final match, against each other. They were amongst the favourites to win the competition, and, released from the worry of whether they’d make it through or not, they played out one of the matches of the tournament (Holland edged it 3-2), and everybody was happy. Skip forward six years, and what do we find? Argentina (suberb, albeit against a Serbia team that would struggle to get into the Premiership at present) and Holland (workmanlike against Serbia, somewhat fortunate against Ivory Coast) play out a turgid 0-0 draw – one of the worst matches of the tournament. It was if neither of them want to miss out on the bonanza of possibly playing England in the quarter-finals. Holland created more or less nothing in the first half, and only a couple of shots that even half tested Abbondanzieri, whilst Argentina weren’t much better – a couple of shots from Riquelme that flashed just wide, and a low shot that was deflected onto the post. As it was, Argentina take on Mexico in the second round (a tricker game than one might imagine, if the Mexicans show up with their “positive sombreros” on,...

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Ivory & Out

Holland 2-1 Ivory Coast Well, we’ve enjoyed them being here, but the Ivory Coast’s elimination is, on balance, just about justified. Not because they haven’t played well. They’ve been technically excellent. However, Holland have played better, taken their chances and just about deserve it. The comments made about Didier Drogba needing seven chances to score once have turned out to be correct. He only had about six chances today. Holland, on the other hand, were almost infuriatingly European. They were tight across the back, passed the ball around and crisply, and took their chances. Even Van Nistelrooy, who scored the second goal, looked as if he was interested in what was going on. Marco Van Basten should get special commendation for getting Van Nistelrooy involved. Old Horse Face hasn’t appeared terribly interested in football for the last eight months or so. Van Basten appears to have woken up that has been laying dormant for this period of time. Van Persie looked sharp, and took his free-kick for the first goal well, although I hold the Ivory Coast’s goalkeeper Tizie somewhat responsible as well. Bad positioning. Kone pulled one back with an outstanding strike, Ivory Coast hit the post, Van Der Saar made a couple of terrific saves and Van Persie had to clear a shot off the line… the list goes on. It’s reasonable to argue that the Ivory...

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