African Nations Cup Live
The first major football tournament of 2010 will get underway in a few days time in Angola as the country plays host to the 27th edition of the African Cup of Nations. An unprecedented number of people across the world are expected to watch the African Cup of Nations live as the likes of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Samuel Eto’o try and inspire their team to continental glory.
The African Cup of Nations is one of the few soccer tournaments in the world where the hosts seem to perform very well. Barring four occasions (1976, 1984, 1992, 1994), the host country has always managed to at least reach the last four. In thirteen of the twenty six finals played till date, the host country has been a participant, winning on eleven occasions and finishing runners up on two occasions.
African nations are expected to go far in this summer’s World Cup to be held in South Africa, and this tournament will provide us with a good idea of how well their preparations are going. The likes of Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon can all beat the best on their day making it difficult for the pundits to pick out a clear favourite prior to the start of the tournament.
If we go back in history, we see that Egypt have won this tournament an unprecedented six times. The Pharaohs won the first edition of the tournament in 1957 and are also the defending champions for this year’s tournament, having won the 26th edition of the African Nations Cup in Ghana two years ago. Egypt failed to qualify for the World Cup after losing to Algeria in the playoffs and should they come up against the Desert Foxes again in this tournament, sparks are sure to fly.
Ghana dominated the tournament in the 1960’s and the four time champions will fancy their chances despite the absence of skipper Stephen Appiah and second in command John Mensah. Battling Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been handed the armband by Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac.
Group B is probably the group of death in this tournament as it features Ghana and their great West African rivals Ivory Coast as well as Togo, who will have reigning African Footballer of the Year Emmanuel Adebayor spearheading their attack.
Group C is probably the next toughest group, with Egypt, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Benin and Mozambique in it. Group D has Cameroon, Gabon, Zambia and Tunisia in it. The Carthage Eagles will be keen to make an impression in this tournament after having World Cup qualification in their grasp and then squandering it on the final day of qualifying
How far Angola will progress in this tournament will probably be determined by the result of their opening game in Group A. The Black Antelopes face Mali in the tournament opener. Algeria are favourites to win the group, with Angola, Mali and Malawi expected to battle it out for the second spot.
This will be Ivory Coast skipper Didier Drogba’s last World Cup. Fans of the Elephants will be watching the African Nations Cup live and hoping that their hero can guide them to a second continental triumph. Follow the ANC as it happens to see who wins the 27th edition of the tournament.
Tags: African Cup of Nations, African Cup of Nations live, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Ghana, African Nations Cup, ANC