Saturday, 21 January 2012

African Cup of Nations starts with a couple of shocks.

Host nation Equatorial Guinea and Zambia defied the odds to beat pre-match favourites Libya and Senegal respectively.

Equatorial Guinea, making their first appearance in the history of the tournament, edged past Libya in an entertaining game, with the former Real Madrid player Javier Balboa netting a late winner. And Zambia were too strong for a defensively poor Senegal, with early strikers from Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba enough in a 2-1 victory over many people's, including my own, outside bet for the whole tournament.

Having not watched any of the Equatorial Guinea I'm going on reports I've red when I say the victory was a deserved one. However despite this crucial win, bigger and better teams await in Senegal and Zambia and I can't see them gaining anymore points then the three they already have; not that it takes anything away from a fantastic win, in a group where I didn't feel they would gain anything from.

The Senegal Zambia affair was a match I did watch and for every bit as frightening Senegal look on paper up front; they are as poor at the back, with two goals the least Zambia deserved, who looked very good on the counter attack. The first half performance from Senegal was poor and Zambia took advantage of that early on and were two up before Amara Traore's started to perform; however despite an improved second half showing, Zambia were deserving winners.

I still feel the two sides in the latter game, will both progress but Equatorial Guinea, whom all are $1million richer for ensuring their fate in the tournament was still alive come the final game of the group stage, definitely were the success story of the opening two games of what promises to be a lively African Cup of Nations.

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