Tag: Africa Cup of Nations

African Cup of Nations Final: Ivory Coast 0-0 Ghana (9-8 penalties)

Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry saved and scored the crucial spot-kicks that handed Ivory Coast a dramatic 9-8 penalty shootout win over Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Barry, who appeared to cramp up during the shootout, denied fellow keeper Brimah Razak – one of five efforts missed – before slotting in the winner.

Victory gave the Ivorians their second title, in a repeat of the 1992 final.

On that occasion, Ivory Coast won 11-10 on penalties after a goalless draw.

They will be delighted to have emulated the feat having gone close twice since – in 2006 and 2012 – the latter of which they lost to Zambia, who were then coached by Herve Renard.

The Frenchman’s success as coach of the Elephants makes him the first man to win the title with two countries.

In contrast, Ghana coach Avram Grant has now suffered defeats on penalties in two major finals, after losing the 2008 Champions League to Manchester United when he was Chelsea boss.

Yet it looked like the Black Stars might end their 33-year wait for a fifth Cup of Nations title when Ivory Coast missed their first two spot-kicks – Manchester City’s new signing Wilfried Bony hit the crossbar and substitute Junior Tallo dragged wide with his first touch of the game.

But Afriyie Acquah and Frank Acheampong failed with their efforts for Ghana and the sides were back on level terms.

After every outfield player had taken his turn, Barry – who had annoyed some of the Ghana players by going down with cramp – brilliantly saved keeper Razak’s effort. He then kept his composure to slot home before being mobbed by his team-mates.

Defeat was perhaps a little harsh on Ghana who had the better of the chances in the match and twice hit the woodwork.

Christian Atsu was unlucky to see a superb 25-yard shot come back off the keeper’s left-hand post, while Andre Ayew struck the outside of the other upright from a tight angle.

But there there was a sense of inevitability throughout the match that it would go the distance as neither team appeared to be prepared to take the risks that might bring a victory.

The big names – Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure and Bony, and Ghana’s Ayew and Asamoah Gyan – failed to have a decisive influence on the game, which never really flowed.

Read more at BBC Sport

Africa Cup of Nations: Tunisia 1-2 Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea beat Tunisia in controversial circumstances to reach the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.

Ahmed Akaichi looked to have put Tunisia into the last four when he turned in Hamza Mathlouthi’s cross.

The hosts, ranked 96 places below their opponents, sent it to extra time when Javier Balboa netted an injury-time penalty after Ali Maaloul was harshly ruled to have fouled Ivan Bolado.

And Balboa scored the winner with a fantastic free-kick from 25 yards.

Equatorial Guinea will face Ghana or Guinea in their first Cup of Nations semi-final on Thursday.

The game ended with ugly scenes as both sets of officials and players clashed in the 120th minute, with security getting involved, and at the final whistle some Equatorial Guinea fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate a famous win.

Bottles were thrown at Tunisia players, with one Carthage Eagles player throwing one back.

Read more at BBC Sport

Africa Cup of Nations: Congo 2-4 Congo DR

DR Congo fought back from two goals down to beat neighbours Congo and reach the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.

Ferebory Dore volleyed Congo in front and Thievy Bifouma drove in from a rebound to make it 2-0 either side of DR Congo efforts that hit the bar.

In a 16-minute spell DR Congo’s Dieumerci Mbokani slotted in to give them hope, Jeremy Bokila equalised and Joel Kimuaki headed a third.

Mbokani rounded off the win, stroking home after a counter-attack.

It capped a remarkable fightback from DR Congo who looked to be heading out of the competition when they were two goals down just after the hour mark.

A tepid first half, in which Congo were unable to assert themselves at all, ended goalless and there was no sign of what was to follow.

DR Congo had a strong shout for a penalty immediately after the break and then Bokila smashed a shot against the bar from 12 yards.

Only four minutes later Congo struck the first blow when Dore ghosted in at the far post to volley in from a long, diagonal free-kick into the box.

DR Congo almost equalised shortly after when Cedric Makiadi’s free-kick crashed against the bar. But instead they conceded again after Jean Kasusula passed the ball out of defence straight to Dore whose shot was blocked by Kidiaba into the path of Bifouma and his effort beat the defenders on the line.

However, DR Congo refused to cave in and three minutes later they finally got the goal they had been threatening, Yannick Bolasie beat two men for pace and cut the ball back from the byeline for an unmarked Mbokani to slot home.

Read more at BBC Sport

Africa Cup of Nations 2015: Equatorial Guinea to host tournament

Equatorial Guinea have been named as the hosts for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football has confirmed.

Caf selected a replacement for Morocco after rejecting their request to delay the 17 January to 8 February finals.

Morocco were concerned over the spread of the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Caf subsequently expelled Morocco from the relocated tournament, which will now be held in the country which co-hosted with Gabon in 2012.

Equatorial Guinea will now take on sole responsibility for holding the 16-team event.

Caf said the decision was made after a meeting in Malabo on Friday between Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang and Caf president Issa Hayatou.

African football’s governing body also announced that Equatorial Guinea will play in the tournament – despite the team being disqualified in July for fielding an ineligible player in a preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on 17 May.

Hayatou said in a statement:  “The head of state of Equatorial Guinea agreed to host the competition.

“As a result, the Caf executive committee confirms that the tournament will go ahead and Equatorial Guinea will compete as the host nation.

“Caf wishes to express its sincere thanks to the Equatorial Guinean people, its government and particularly president Obiang.”

Matches will be held at four venues in Bata, Ebebiyin, Mongomo and the capital Malabo. In 2012, only Malabo and Bata were used.

The draw for the finals will be in Malabo on 3 December.

Read more at BBC Sport