Africa Cup of Nations: A to Z of dramatic tournament
A objective glut, shocks galore, a Moroccan red-carded twice, an astonishing comeback by hosts Ivory Coast to win Sunday’s remaining after two group losses. The 2024 Africa Cup of Nations had all of it.
Right here, AFP Sport recollects alphabetically a few of the drama from a 24-nation match regarded by many observers as essentially the most thrilling because the occasion debuted in 1957 in Sudan with simply three groups.
Quarter-finalists Angola have been a revelation beneath coach Pedro Goncalves, successful three matches in a row having failed to realize multiple victory at a time in eight earlier appearances.
AFCON-winning coach Djamel Belmadi was fired after Algeria flopped, with a loss to minnows Mauritania resulting in a first-round exit for the Riyad Mahrez-captained facet.
Champions Ivory Coast began the ultimate with three gamers primarily based in Saudi Arabia, two every in England, Germany and Turkey, and one every in France and Italy.
Democratic Republic of Congo coach Sebastien Desabre set a minimal goal of a quarter-finals place and went one stage additional with a hard-working workforce effectively led by centre-back Chancel Mbemba.
Vitality-sapping situations compelled water breaks in every half of matches, with many kicking off in 36 levels Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) warmth and excessive humidity.
Former worldwide Emerse Fae changed sacked Ivory Coast coach Jean-Louis Gasset after the group stage with out ever having been answerable for a senior workforce and guided them to the title.
A document 119 objectives for a 24-team AFCON match have been scored within the Ivory Coast — 17 greater than in Egypt 5 years in the past — at a mean of two.28 per match.
Paris Saint-Germain star Achraf Hakimi missed a penalty as shock 2022 World Cup semi-finalists Morocco bowed out within the spherical of 16 after a 2-0 defeat by South Africa.
A hamstring damage halfway via a second-round group match in opposition to Ghana compelled Egypt talisman Mohamed Salah out of the match. With out him, the Pharaohs made a last-16 exit.
A non-public jet took Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana to the AFCON, however Cameroon coach Rigobert Track was not impressed by his late arrival and used him solely as soon as in 4 matches.
West Ham star Mohammed Kudus couldn’t forestall a second straight disastrous marketing campaign by Ghana, whose first-round departure led to former Premier League supervisor Chris Hughton being axed.
Ademola Lookman performed a key position as eventual runners-up Nigeria reached an eighth AFCON remaining, scoring twice in opposition to Cameroon and the winner in opposition to Angola in knockout matches.
Sadio Mane and Senegal made an finally disappointing title defence. After an ideal three-win group document, they misplaced a last-16 tie on penalties to resurgent Ivory Coast.
Emilio Nsue,a 34-year-old who performs within the Spanish third division, scored a hat-trick in opposition to Guinea-Bissau, the primary at an AFCON since Moroccan Soufiane Alloudi in 2008.
Reigning African Participant of the 12 months Victor Osimhen could have scored solely as soon as for runners-up Nigeria, however his work fee in searing warmth and fixed harrying of defenders gained rave evaluations.
Some Premier League gamers, together with Yves Bissouma of Mali and Dango Ouattara of Burkina Faso, didn’t have the anticipated affect as a result of sickness and damage.
Regardless of a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast supporters queued from 0400 for tickets to observe the last-16 conflict with Senegal in Yamoussoukro.
Moroccan Sofyan Amrabat was red-carded twice in opposition to South Africa — firstly after two yellow playing cards then, following a VAR overview, he was proven a straight pink for a last-defender foul.
South Africa, whose beginning line-ups included 9 local-based gamers, exceeded expectations beneath Belgian coach Hugo Broos by ending third.
Former champions Tunisia have been among the many greatest disappointments as they didn’t win and scored solely as soon as, main to teach Jalel Kadri quitting after a first-round exit.
There have been many upsets with seven of the FIFA high 10-ranked African groups — Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Burkina Faso — failing to achieve the quarter-finals.
Rui Vitoria of Egypt was amongst seven coaches sacked for poor outcomes or controversial feedback. Beneath the Portuguese, the Pharaohs didn’t win any of 4 group and knockout matches.
South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams broke Cape Verde hearts by saving 4 of their 5 kicks in a penalty shootout after a goalless quarter-final.
A number of Ivory Coast gamers, together with Seko Fofana, Franck Kessie, Oumar Diakite and Sebastien Haller twice, shared the x-factor position throughout an incredible restoration to win the match.
Reigning African Younger Participant of the 12 months Lamine Camara scored an excellent objective as Senegal kicked off with a 3-0 win over the Gambia, however he made little subsequent affect.
Again on the AFCON after three consecutive failed qualifying campaigns, Avram Grant-coached Zambia didn’t sparkle and two factors was not sufficient to take them past the primary spherical.
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