A-Z of AFCON 2015

An A to Z of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea:


Ahmed Akaichi -- not part of the original Tunisia squad -- was an injury-induced replacement and developed into a key performer.


Pacey former Real Madrid winger Javier Balboa starred for surprise fourth-place finishers Equatorial Guinea


Coaches Paul Put of Burkina Faso and Alain Giresse of Senegal quit after first-round exits and Michel Dussuyer left despite taking Guinea to the quarterfinals.


There were 13 draws in 24 first-round matches -- including five each in groups B and D -- to equal the Cup of Nations record set in South Africa two years ago.


No case of Ebola was reported during the tournament amid stringent health precautions. Original hosts Morocco withdrew because they feared visiting supporters could spread the virus.


It was a disappointing Cup of Nations for German coach Volker Finke, who rebuilt Cameroon after a disastrous 2014 World Cup in Brazil only to make a first-round departure from Equatorial Guinea.


Star Ivory Coast winger Gervinho bounced back after being red-carded in his opening group game to score vital knockout-stage goals against Algeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Hotels were an early-tournament concern with Congo Brazzaville complaining of exposed electricity cables and no water and Tunisia unhappy at a lack of power and having to wash in a swimming pool.


The fancy footwork of teenage Equatorial Guinea winger Iban Edu was a hit with local supporters. Some of his trickery was so intense it left defenders dizzy.


Zambian Honour Janza will do well to avoid the post-tournament coaching clear-out. He said he performed well, but a first-round elimination suggest otherwise.


Belgium-based South Africa goalkeeper Darren Keet was axed after one game having been directly to blame for one goal and partly to blame for another in a 3-1 defeat by Algeria.


The latest goal in a 2015 Cup of Nations game was scored by Javier Balboa for Equatorial Guinea direct from a free-kick 12 minutes into extra time against Tunisia.


The Mongomo pitch -- laid a month before the tournament kicked off with grass imported from Spain -- came under fire. "Catastrophic," was the verdict of Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra.


Equatorial Guinea skipper and striker Emilio Nsue from English second-tier club Middlesbrough struck the first goal of the tournament after 16 minutes against Congo Brazzaville.


South Africa centre-back Thulani Hlatshwayo achieved an unwanted distinction by scoring the only own goal of the 2015 Cup of Nations during a 3-1 loss to Algeria.


Six penalties were awarded with Equatoguinean Javier Balboa (twice), Cape Verdean Heldon and Ghanaian Jordan Ayew scoring and South African Tokelo Rantie and Malian Seydou Keita failing.


Queues formed ahead of some early group matches and entry to stadiums was delayed with each spectator having their temperature taken as part of an anti-Ebola drive.


Having Frenchman Claude Le Roy as coach virtually guarantees at least a Cup of Nations quarter-finals place. Taking Congo Brazzaville there meant seven successes in eight attempts to reach the knockout stage.


Zambia striker Given Singuluma scored the fastest goal of the 2015 Cup of Nations after 62 seconds of a group game against the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Congo Brazzaville complained that a 15-minute trip to the stadium for the opener against Equatorial Guinea took more than an hour amid sweltering heat in a bus lacking air conditioning. Traffic 'dirty tricks' perhaps?


The tournament was marred by ugly scenes late in the semi-final between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana with a jagged piece of a mirror and a broken plate among missiles used by rioters.


None of the vuvuzelas (plastic horns) that created such a noisy atmosphere at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa found their way to Equatorial Guinea.


There were 11 wins in 24 first-round matches and all four quarter-finals and both semi-finals also produced victories without having to go to the dreaded penalty shootout. The third-place play-off went to penalties after a goalless stalemate.


The x-factor was not much in evidence during a tournament notable for teamwork rather than individual brilliance.


Tempestuous Guinea goalkeeper Naby Yattara was an accident waiting to happen in the quarter-final loss to Ghana and his late red-card for fouling Asamoah Gyan came as no surprise.


DR Congo defender Gabriel Zakuani was not keen on being involved in the third-place play-off at a ground where there had been riots two days before. "I love football, but prefer to live," he tweeted.

Login Form


Share this post

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn