UK viewers can tune in to British EuroSport / HD and ITV4 to follow their favourite English Premier League stars of African origins such as Chelsea’s Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel fight to carry the ultimate trophy to Nigeria.
Thanks to ESPN3 and Watch ESPN, soccer fans in the United States of America have been able to watch all matches thus far. The last two fixtures of a total of 32 AFCON 2013 battles will take place this weekend. The huge event kicked off on Saturday, January 19, 2013 with hosts South Africa drawing goalless against Cape Verde. A lot happened since that opening match.
In the knockout stages, the Bafana Bafana lost to semi-finalists Mali on penalties. Cape Verde's dream came to an abrupt end against Ghana, Nigeria stunned Ivory Coast and so did Burkina Faso against Emmanuel Adebayor's Togo.
The semi-final stage provided plenty goals and thrills as the Black Stars suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Stallions while the Super Eagles brushed Mali aside. Watch the Third-place final between Ghana and Mali live at 13:00 EST / 18:00 GMT on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Catch the big final, Nigeria vs Burkina Faso, live on Sunday, February 10 at 13:00 EST / 18:00 GMT. Which country will end up winning the precious trophy?
Bronze is not what these two contenders from Group B – especially Ghana – aimed to play for. Before traveling to Nelspruit to play Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium in the semis, the high-flying Black Stars had vowed not to return to Port Elizabeth where they were based for their first four matches.
The mission was to go from Port Elizabeth, to Nelspruit and then ultimately to Johannesburg for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final. The reality turned out differently to what the Ghanaian team and its millions of fans wished for. Despite falling on the favoured side of appalling officiating by Tunisia referee Slim Jedidi against Burkina Faso, the Black Stars lost 3-2 on penalties to the Stallions after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.
The Black Stars play as if they have understood and mastered one major guideline: it is not how well you perform that counts but how good you are at finding your way out.
In their quarter-finals, for example, only two of their eight shots were on target; they converted these two strikes to win the match 2-0. Confidence is high in Ghana’s camp thanks to the influence of names like striker Wakaso and goalkeeper Dauda.
With three clean sheets and eight goals in their four Africa Cup of Nations matches, the Black Stars look free from headaches at the back or upfront. Remarkably, they have done that without the help of the influential Ayew brothers whom coach Kwesi Appiah controversially excluded from the AFCON 2013 squad.
Both sides met in a friendly match played in Portugal last November. Barely three months since then, they are vying in the AFCON 2013 Last 8.
How Ghana qualified from Group B
The Black Stars were the first side to hit the back of the net at this 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Goals from Agyemang Badu and Kwadwo Asamoah seemed to have given a sure victory for Ghana but opponents Congo DR had other ideas. Mputu reduced the deficit before Mbokani cut the Ghanaians’ points through a 68th minute penalty goal.
In the previous round of fixtures, Niger gave Congo much space but both teams were too wasteful and unlucky at times so the match ended goalless. It could be a mistake for the Menas to approach Ghana with a positive style.
The Black Stars boosted their confidence thanks to a 1-0 win over Mali in their second game. The absence of penalty goal scorer Wakaso, through injury, may not harm Ghana much as captain Asamoah Gyan will be looking to steal the spotlight at last.
History was made last Sunday as Mali became the first side to win a match at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. An 84th minute goal from national hero Seydou Keita settled things at the disappointment of Niger. What motivates the current Group B leaders is the war back home. The Malians will be confident of beating Ghana for the second time in 13 months.
The pressure on the Black Stars to deliver is intense after their opening match against Congo DR produced an unconvincing outcome. The Ghanaians squandered a 2-0 advantage as the match ended all square.
Thanks to convincing victories in warm-up matches against Egypt and Tunisia, the Black Stars are in positive mood ahead of their big AFCON 2013 opening fixture. The Ghanaians, often criticized for netting a few amount of goals in contrast to their number of chances per game, have now started scoring from set pieces.
Midfielder Agyemang Badu and defender John Boye both scored with headers from free-kicks against Egypt and Tunisia. On a rather ironic note, confidence seems higher among Ghanaian fans due to Asamoah Gyan’s promise to never take penalties again – after he squandered crucial ones at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 AFCON.
British Eurosport will broadcast LIVE high definition coverage of all 32 games from the 19th January – 10th February.
Ivory Coast will boast a star-studded line-up and will again be among the favourites for the title. Among them include their all-time top scorer Didier Drogba now of Shanghai Shenhua. Joining him up-front will be Arsenal’s Gervinho, as well as Wigan’s Arouna Kone. In the heart of the midfield will be Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote.
Ghana are likely to be one of the other stand-out performers, as they also possess players such as Al Ain forward Asamoah Gyan and Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah. Bristol City’s Albert Adomah will also be making his first appearance at the tournament.
It is believed that the Ghanaian national team has suffered from clashes of egos for too long and bad results always cause divisions within the FA, the squad, the media and the fans.
This time, suspense surrounds the camp of the Black Stars ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup. This is because of the composition of Kwesi Appiah’s squad. The coach made a very bold move by choosing to leave out the influential Ayew brothers – Andre and Jordan.
Chile's Argentine boss Claudio Borghi will field a close to full-strength side against the Africans, which include the likes of exciting Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez, Matias Fernandez, Humberto Suazo, Gary Medel and recent Napoli signing Eduardo Vargas.
But Borghi will be unable to count with the presence of five key players who are completing…
A quick recap of what happened in the 2012 AFCON's Last 8
The lineup for the semi-final stage at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations is mouthwatering. Mali earned a spot in the semis after a dramatic penalty shootout saw them oust co-hosts Gabon in the quarter-finals.
Cote d’Ivoire also kicked out co-hosts Equatorial Guinea. The Elephants’ victory was straightforward, though: two powerful goals from Didier Drogba and an outrageous free-kick by Yaya Toure did the trick.
Like Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia recorded a 3-0 win in the quarter-finals. Christopher Katongo was the star man as the Chipolopolo dismantled the brave Sudanese.
Ghana joined Zambia in the semis thanks to a hard-fought triumph over Tunisia. Dede Ayew scored the winning goal in extra-time to force the Tunisians to a 2-1 defeat.
Re-live the quarter-finals matches through video highlights from our 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Fixtures and Results page.
Zambia vs Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire vs Equatorial Guinea, Gabon vs Mali and Ghana vs Tunisia complete the quarter-final phase’s fixtures list. The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations doesn’t need the weight of continental giants Nigeria, Egypt and Cameroon to be fantastic!
So-called minnows like co-hosts Equatorial Guinea have performed against the odds to give the tournament a special electrifying touch. Sudan have also provided a shock by reaching the quarter-final stage at the expense of Angola. Meanwhile, Seydou Keita’s Mali had to wait until the very last minute to know their fate.
Ghana haven’t hit top form yet and this is why curiosity comes in. How will the Black Stars fare in the knock-out stage against the struggling Tunisians? Do the Ghanaians possess enough fire in their belly to reach the final at the expectations of the public?
Followers of the competition got served with 8 great matches on Matchday 1. Equatorial Guinea opened the show in great fashion. They recorded a vital 1-0 victory against Libya thanks to a late goal from Balboa.
Zambia sealed the wonderful night with a 2-1 triumph over Senegal. The Chipolopolo will have the chance to step closer to qualification at the Estadio de Bata.
Libya vs Zambia will open Matchday 2 of the 2012 AFCON. Equatorial Guinea vs Senegal will provide thrills as the co-hosts would want to test their power against the Teranga Lions. If the Senegalese don’t improve from their poor form against the Zambians, Equatorial Guinea may clinch their second victory on the trot.
Ghana vs Botswana
With their attainments in the last few years, Ghana’s young side have proved that they are not a side to underestimate. It will be interesting to see them battling Botswana, who are just making their first appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. But that surely does not mean that they are simply minnows. An impressive qualification run that saw them top Group K is just enough to send the Black Stars a strong warning.
Ghana vs Guinea
The two countries met in the opening match of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, when Ghana were then hosting the tournament. A 2-1 victory for the Black Stars threw the Guineans on the back foot after Day 1, but the story is likely to be different this time around. “Revenge” is not necessarily the keyword in this game; but in any case, the National Elephants have a realistic idea of how dangerous the Ghanaians can be. Thus, we could be in for a game of strategy and techniques.
The Lions of Teranga (Les Lions de la Teranga in French) are potentially dangerous. They are among the world’s top 50 nations and 6th in Africa. They are coached by Amara Traore and captained by veteran striker Mamadou Niang. The book of the Senegalese national team’s AFCON adventures is eventful and full of historic moments. You just can’t disregard Senegal’s importance in the history of African football.
A colorful history
Senegal’s first taste of the Nations Cup was in 1965 when they finished fourth behind Ivory Coast. Their next best shot at the competition was in 1992 and in 1994 when they reached the quarterfinals.
The Moroccans are referred to as the Lions of the Atlas. They are ranked 61st in the world according to FIFA. The national team is currently managed by Eric Gerets—once PSV Eindhoven, Wolfsburg, Galatasaray and Olympique Marseille coach. 29-year-old Serie A midfielder, Houssine Kharja, acts as the team’s captain.
In this profile, you will understand why the Moroccans should not only consider themselves as one of Northern Africa’s best footballing country but also as one of the entire continent’s most dangerous side. Let’s look back at Morocco’s AFCON history!
They are called the Eagles (les Aigles in French). They are led by the experience of ex-Olympic Lyonnais and Real Madrid star Mahamadou Diarra and their coach is former Toulouse, PSG and Gabon manager Alain Giresse. The Eagles are 67th in the world and 15th in Africa. What should the Malians expect of their…