2015 Africa Cup of Nations - Now with more Guinea

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Infield Infidel

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ACN starts on January 17. There's already been some controversy, original host Morocco refused to host, likely because Guinea, one of the three most ebola-stricken countries, was likely going to qualify. Egypt, Angola, South Africa and a few other declined to host, so CAF settled on Equatorial Guinea (which is pretty far from Guinea, or Guinea-Bissau, or heck Papua New Guinea ;)). Morocco had an automatic berth since it was the host, but they were kicked out and Equatorial Guinea got the host berth, even though they were disqualified from qualifiers.
 
Obviously, everyone wants Eq. Guinea in their draw since they are by far the lowest ranked country at 118 in FIFA rankings. The next worst was in the 60s. They use some weird points system taking into account previous ACNs, last two ACN qualifier campaigns, and FIFA qualifers, it's totally convoluted, and allowed the worst four countries into the same group. 
 
Here's the groups:
 
A Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Congo
 
B Zambia, Cape Verde, Tunisia, DR Congo
 
C Ghana, Algeria, South Africa, Senegal
 
D Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, Guinea
 
 
Group A is laughably weak, having the four lowest ranked teams, and totally screws the other three groups. Burkina Faso was a finalist last time but have done little since.
 
Group C is the group of death, D is also stacked. B is much stronger than A but a step below C and D. 
 
Hoping for another strong showing by Cape Verde, they made the knockout stages last time. The nice thing is if they progress to the knockouts they are guaranteed a weak opponent from Group A. Zambia and Tunisia are both pretty solid teams, and Cape Verde/Tunisia might get chippy since they had a tight WC qualifier playoff in 2013
 
Last time around it was on ESPN3, but I've seen conflicting info for both beIN and ESPN
 

Turrable

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My knowledge of them only comes from FIFA but isn't Morocco pretty nice? I'm surprised they couldn't qualify outright
 

Infield Infidel

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As hosts, they had a free spot in the competition and didn't have to qualify. Since they refused to host, they lost the free entry, since they didn't play any qualifiers
 

Infield Infidel

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Egypt was in a tough qualifying group with Tunisia and Senegal, but apparently Egypt sucked because they lost all four matches against those two, only scoring one goal and giving up 6. 
 
Nigeria also crashed out in qualifiers, finishing behind Congo and South Africa. The top 3rd place qualifier got in, but Nigeria was the second best 3rd place team. DR Congo got the top 3rd place spot, and earned it in a group with Cameroon and Ivory Coast
 

Titans Bastard

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Turrable said:
My knowledge of them only comes from FIFA but isn't Morocco pretty nice? I'm surprised they couldn't qualify outright
 
 
Infield Infidel said:
As hosts, they had a free spot in the competition and didn't have to qualify. Since they refused to host, they lost the free entry, since they didn't play any qualifiers
 
And in general, African football is insanely inconsistent.  The defending champions (Nigeria) didn't even qualify, finishing behind South Africa and the Republic of Congo in their group.  Stuff like this happens all the time.  Egypt has been the clear-cut most successful country in this competition with seven titles (three more than anyone else) including titles in '98, '06, '08, and '10.  Meanwhile, they haven't been able to qualify for the WC since 1990.  C'est la vie in Africa.
 
 
OilCanShotTupac said:
What happened to Egypt?
 
 
Infield Infidel said:
Egypt was in a tough qualifying group with Tunisia and Senegal, but apparently Egypt sucked because they lost all four matches against those two, only scoring one goal and giving up 6. 
 
Nigeria also crashed out in qualifiers, finishing behind Congo and South Africa. The top 3rd place qualifier got in, but Nigeria was the second best 3rd place team. DR Congo got the top 3rd place spot, and earned it in a group with Cameroon and Ivory Coast
 
Egyptian football has also had some well-documented problems involving political upheaval and the Port Said riot.  The 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons were both canceled midway through.  It has not exactly been a great environment for Egyptian players over the past few years.
 

DLew On Roids

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Titans Bastard said:
And in general, African football is insanely inconsistent.  The defending champions (Nigeria) didn't even qualify, finishing behind South Africa and the Republic of Congo in their group.  Stuff like this happens all the time.  Egypt has been the clear-cut most successful country in this competition with seven titles (three more than anyone else) including titles in '98, '06, '08, and '10.  Meanwhile, they haven't been able to qualify for the WC since 1990.  C'est la vie in Africa.
 
Throw in how Togo was disciplined by CAF for withdrawing from the AFCON in Angola after members of their party were killed in a terrorist attack on their team bus and you have pretty much the perfect clusterfuck.
 
That said, despite all that--and maybe because of it?--African football is also insanely fun to watch.  Cinderella stories, crazy bounces of the ball, awesome human interest stuff.
 

Infield Infidel

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Cape Verde Tunisia has been fun so far, wide open, back and forth. CV has had the better of it, including a header off the post, and just missed a set piece from the edge of the box
 

Infield Infidel

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Result was 1-1. Tunisia got a nice goal of a low cross that spanned the mouth of goal in the 70', CV came back with a penalty 7 minutes later.
 
Fun game to watch until but it got leggy right when the goals started coming. It looks super hot and humid there, and I don't think they took water breaks like in the World Cup. 
 

Infield Infidel

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This tournament has been a drawfest - after two turns in the group stage,  10 draws in the first 16 matches. Group D is in a four-way tie with all teams having 2 draws, 2 goals for and against. Only three teams out of 16 don't have a draw after two matches. 
 
On the plus side, every team has at least one point and is alive going into the final matches which started today. 
 
The two final matches in Group A are on right now, and at halftime, they are both 0-0 draws
 

Infield Infidel

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Wow, actual wins! Congo won group A beating Burkina Faso 2-1, the home country finished second after defeating Gabon 2-0
 
I started reading up on the Equatoguineans because the announcers were talking about why they were disqualified, apparently they had been naturalizing Brazilians, Cameroonians and others, over the past few years, paying them off and changing their names. They have a number of Spanish players as well who actually had parents or grandparents born in what was then Spanish Guinea, but the others were slipped in as well. CAF and FIFA looked the other way until AFCON qualifying last year, when Mauritania protested a loss and Eq. Guinea were disqualified for playing an ineligible Cameroonian, who had 16(!) caps for Eq. G. Then they offered to host and got in. Crazy stuff. 
 
edit- the current roster only has native-born players or Spanish-born players with Equatoguinean heritage
edit2 - actually there's a Cape Verdean on the team from Spain. I have no idea what the connection is. 
 

Cellar-Door

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I wonder if Senegal got together to watch Big Sam give them a gigantic middle finger by playing Sakho in the FA cup after he withdrew from the ACN team with an injury.
 

Infield Infidel

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Well that sucked. Cape Verde again drew 0-0 versus Zambia, while Tunisia and Doctor Congo drew 1-1; Tunisia wins Group B, and DR Congo advance over CV based on goals scored. Even with 3 points off three draws, aren't going to advance if you only score one goal. This group had 5 draws out of 6 matches. 12 draws out of 20 matches so far. 
 

Infield Infidel

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So you know all those times you read about the final tie-breaker being a drawing of lots, and you think, nah, that'll never happen. Well, it happened http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/31047060
 
 
Guinea have reached the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals at the expense of Mali after the drawing of lots.
Michel Dussuyer's side will face Ghana on Sunday following the draw at a Malabo hotel.
Guinea and Mali had finished level in Group D after they drew all three pool matches 1-1.
It is the first time lots have decided a team's qualification in the tournament since 1988, when Algeria profited at Ivory Coast's expense.
 
13 draws in 24 first round matches. Ten of 12 matches in Groups B and D were draws. Only 1 match each in Groups B and D weren't draws. 
 
The quarters are set
 
Jan 31Congo-DR Congo
Feb1 Ivory Coast-Algeria
Feb 1 Ghana-Guinea
Jan 31Tunisia-Eq. Guinea
 
I vividly remember the drawing of lots in the 1990 World Cup to separate Ireland (who got lucky and faced Romania) and the Netherlands (who got unlucky and faced West Germany) after they both finished level at the end of the group stage. When you only have three games per team in a group, it's surprising this doesn't happen more often.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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What an awful system.  Imagine being Mail right now.  They should at least go to penalties (which seems feasible, since they should theoretically know the tiebreak result at the final whistle, no?)
 

Infield Infidel

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In a draw filled tourney, Ivory Coast - Ghana final 0-0 after is in penalties
 
tied 6-6 after 8 rounds - Ivory coast missed their first two but came back
 
7-7 after 9 rounds
 
8-8 after 10
 
Keepers kicking - IC keeper Copa Barry saved the other keepers penalty kick!
 
now he has to kick - he nails it Ivory Coast wins
 
Apparently Copa Barry was a sub earlier in the game. pretty awesome scene
 

SoxFanInCali

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This was the 4th time Ivory Coast has gone to the ACN Final.  It's the 4th time it's gone to penalties after a 0-0 game.  The only other time they won, it was another extended 11-10 shootout.
 
Now the CAF need to figure out who is going to host the 2017 tournament.  It was supposed to be Libya, but they pulled out due to security concerns.
 

Cellar-Door

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AFCoN is always so so shitty. There are so many good players in Africa, but the coaching, training, medical staffs, facilities and the FAs are all comically terrible. Unfortunately it will never change since they block vote for Sepp and he rewards them with graft and looking the other way when they miserably fail to reach the standards everyone else in the world is held to. The only breaking point would come if the European FAs backed a move by Club teams to refuse to allow their players to play for the national teams, but the FAs are wimps and never do more than grumble.
 
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