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Ghana, Gabon & Cote d’Ivoire’s presence electrifies 2012 AFCON quarter-finals

February 3, 2012 By Angela Asante
Watch out for more thrills in Gabon-Equatorial Guinea this weekend. See where to watch the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final matches live.

CAN 2012: It's electric!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?

 

Zambia vs Sudan

This fixture in Bata will open the quarter-final stage. Both teams probably have an equal opportunity of making it into the Last 4.

The Falcons of Jediane are fancying their chances of emulating the 1970 triumph. They are the only side from East Africa remaining at the 2012 AFCON but they will have to overcome the Chipolopolo of Zambia to grab semi-final tickets.

The Zambians qualified from their section as group winners. They defeated tournament favorites Senegal 2-1 in their opening game before stumbling against Libya during the second round of matches. They needed a positive result against on-fire co-hosts Equatorial Guinea on Matchday 3 and they got it. Captain Christopher Katongo’s lone goal made the difference at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo. Zambia eventually got hold of the first spot in Group A.

For the Sudanese, the road to the Last 8 was more difficult. A slow start through a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire preceded a vital 2-2 draw against the Palancas Negras of Angola. Brace scorer Mudather transformed into his country’s hero in the last group match as Sudan took full advantage of Burkina Faso’s weaknesses.

Cote d’Ivoire vs Equatorial GuineaDrogba has a point to prove for Cote d'Ivoire

The co-hosts are in scintillating form but that might not be enough to smash the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. Experience will be key for the Francophone country whereas Equatorial Guinean supporters will be praying for an upset. 

On Matchday 2, David Alvarez offered the National Lighting a historic victory over Senegal with a last-second winner. What if this win becomes Equatorial Guinea’s last in the competition?

Drogba has not shined so far so he might be eager to add to his tally in the quarter-finals. The Chelsea striker opened his goal account on Matchday 1 but his performances haven’t caught the eye of viewers. Cote d’Ivoire have a number of stars in their team, including 2011 CAF Player of the Year award winner Yaya Toure and Arsenal’s rapid attacker Gervinho.

Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, concentrate on team game. There is not a particular star in their group and their only goals have come from different scorers—namely Balboa, Randy and Alvarez.

How compact are Equatorial Guinea? What have they learned from their 1-0 defeat to Zambia on Matchday 3?

Gabon vs Mali

You cannot talk about Gabon’s success at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations without talking about Aubameyang. The 22-year-old Saint-Etienne forward is on course to finishing as the tournament’s top scorer and best player. He has inspired Gabon since the start with his 1-goal-per-game record.

The Gabonese are fast, aggressive and always ready to punish on the counter-attack. They finished on top of Tunisia in the group phase so this should be enough news for the Malians to give 110% on Sunday.

The Eagles of Mali were on the edge of crashing out from CAN 2012 but Guinea’s 1-1 draw against Ghana saved them from hell. It’s down to Seydou Keita and his team mates to bring the Azingo Nationale back to earth.

Ghana's Ayew might torment TunisiaGhana vs Tunisia

It looks like a final fixture but it’s not. Ghana vs Tunisia is one of the various quarter-final battles at the tournament. The Black Stars are unbeaten but their record doesn’t showcase their unimpressive display.

Coach Goran Stevanovic is under scrutiny as the majority of Ghanaian fans back home have become worried about the team’s display. Few, however, believe that ugly football doesn’t matter as long as results are good.

Anthony Annan’s place in midfield might be filled by someone else. The midfielder is currently enduring a difficult time following the announcement of his mother’s death on Friday. Annan has chosen to remain with the squad at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. How detrimental or inspirational could this tragedy be to Ghana’s aspirations against Tunisia?

The Eagles of Carthage better watch out for Ghana’s Dede Ayew. The Olympic Marseille star might hurt them like Aubameyang did in the battle for Group C’s top spot on Tuesday.

Zambia, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Ghana or Tunisia – which team will reach the semi-finals at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations? Will favorites Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana suffer an upset? How about Sudan’s challenge as East Africans and Tunisia’s hopes as North Africans?

Where to watch the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations live

You don’t want to miss the excitement at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon-Equatorial Guinea! Watch the quarter-final matches live on GBC, SuperSport 4, SuperSport 9, British EuroSport 1, British Eurosport HD, Orange Sport, ITV 4, Al Jazeera Sports USA or on any other channel listed on our 2012 Africa Cup of Nations match pages:

See where to watch Zambia vs Sudan live

See where to watch Cote d’Ivoire vs Equatorial Guinea live

See where to watch Gabon vs Mali live

See where to watch Ghana vs Tunisia live



 


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