Thursday, February 12, 2015

Elephants reign in Africa

 Ivory Coast won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations hosted hastily by Equatorial Guinea after the withdrawal of Morocco. The Ivorians had been drawn in group D, dubbed the group of draws, and were the only team to win a match, beating Cameroon 1-0 in their final group-match with all other matches finishing 1-1 necessitating the drawing of lots to give Guinea second spot and passage to the next round ahead of Mali.
In group A Gabon opened with a 2-0 victory over Burkina Faso but were then defeated 1-0 by Congo and 2-0 by Equatorial Guinea in a decider that saw the hosts follow group winners Congo into the next round.
In group B Tunisia began with a 1-1 draw against Cape Verde but won the group having secured the only win of the group beating Zambia 2-1 and were followed by DR Congo who succeeded ahead of Cape Verde on goals scored.
In group C Algeria came from behind to derail South Africa 3-1 before losing 1-0 to eventual group winners Ghana and eliminating Senegal (who had drawn 1-1 with South Africa) 2-0 in their final group-match.
In the quarter-final matches DR Congo rallied from 2 down with 25 minutes remaining to oust their Congolese neighbours 4-2 while in a controversial match hosts Equatorial Guinea sent Tunisia home 2-1 in extra time and Ghana cruised 3-0 past Guinea to reach the semi final where they inflicted the same result on their hosts in a match that was marred by crowd trouble. Algeria's hopes were dashed 3-1 by Ivory Coast who enjoyed the same result against DR Congo in the semi final to set up a final with Ghana whom they defeated on penalties after a goalless draw to lift the Africa Cup of Nations and excel themselves to 5th in the world footballrankings.

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