Afcon 2017: Five Things We Learnt From Match Day 1

The 2017 African cup of Nations enters match day two schedules on Wednesday. Every team has been tested in the eight matches played so far. What we have witnessed is enough to draw some conclusions.

1. African coaches deserve Respect

Four of the last six titles have been won by Local (African) coaches – Hassan Shehata (Egypt) with three and Stephen Keshi (Nigeria) – but the trend of National teams prioritizing foreign CVs at the expense of the natives is increasingly worrying.

Only four of the sixteen in Gabon are locals! A laughable fact when compared with other confederations’ finals. So far none of the four has lost a match. Aliou Cisse (Senegal) and Florent Ibenge (DRC) have picked two of the three wins registered. The third win goes to Ghana in a group that features none.

Baciro Cande didn’t only guide Guinea Bissau to their first ever appearance, cialis 40mg but made sure he picked a point from the more fancied hosts, Gabon. Zimbabwe under Calisto Pasuwa exhibited the best game in their 2-2 draw against Algeria.

2. African Cup of Draws!

62 percent of games played so far have ended in draws. Are the coaches scared of losing games more than not winning? Only twelve goals have been scored so far translating to a ratio of 1.5 per game. Apart from Zim-Algeria, the rest have ended 1-1 and 0-0. In fact only three teams have scored two goals, and those were the most entertaining games.

No team has lost a match after scoring a goal. With this fact, maybe it’s time coaches abandon their reticent strategies and serve the fans the right diet.

Full group results;
Group A – Gabon 1-1 Guinea Bissau & B. Faso 1-1 Cameroon
Group B – Algeria 2-2 Zimbabwe & Tunisia 0-2 Senegal
Group C – Ivory Coast 0-0 Togo & DR Congo 1-0 Morocco
Group D- Ghana 1-0 Uganda & Mali 0-0 Egypt

3. Essam El Hadary makes history

“One man’s misery is another’s fortune.” Egyptian keeper, Essam El Hadary, became the oldest to have ever played an Afcon match at 44 years and two days.

He substituted injured Ahmed El Shenawy in the 25th minute. El Shenawy was just two years old by the time El Hadary made his debut for the Pharaohs in 1996. He has won four continental titles, more than 13 nations at the finals.

4. CAF GLO awards winners impress

African player of the year, Riyad Mahrez, is the only player with two goals at the tournament following his brace in Algeria’s two all draw against Zimbabwe.

Sadio Mane and Aubemayang each have one.  The best player based in Africa, Denis Onyango, too gave good account and only conceded from a penalty.

However, the Team of the year lost!

5. Senegal lives up to their billing.

The Lions of Teranga qualified with a perfect record (6-0-0) and are odds on favorites to go on and claim the ultimate prize. Sadio Mane and Kara Mbodj made sure Tunisia was wrapped as early as the 30th.

The Carthage Eagles exhibited a stouthearted show thereafter but Cisse’s charges were equal for the task.  The 2002 finalists are aiming their first title.


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