Wednesday, January 30, 2008

African Cup of Nations Recap--Day 11

Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o became the top scorer in African Cup of Nations finals history today when he converted his second PK of the tournament in the 28th minute, and Cameroon benefited from a Sudanese own goal just six minutes later and went on to win 3-0. Eto'o also scored again right before the end of the game to add to his now-record count of 16 tallies. Cameroon bossed the match from start to finish and although Sudan played much better in the second half, they exit the tournament with no points and no goals scored.

In today's other game, Egypt and Zambia played to a 1-1 draw and that point allowed the Pharaohs to win Group C. Zambia came into the match knowing they really needed a three-goal victory to advance, so an 88nd minute equalizer from Christopher Katongo was little consolation to the Southern African side. Middlesbrough midfielder Mohamed Shawky played the entire match for Egypt and despite knowing they only needed a draw to win the group, coach Hassan Shehata opted to play his usual 3-5-2 lineup.

Final Group C Standings (teams in bold advance):

1. Egypt (7 points, +5 goal differential)
2. Cameroon (6 pts, +5 GD)
3. Zambia (4 pts, -1 GD)
4. Sudan (0 pts, -9 GD)

Group play concludes tomorrow with Group D, and Tunisia and Angola are in the driver's seat to qualification as they both sit on four points while Senegal and South Africa have their work cut out for them with one point each. Interestingly enough, we'll see those groups of two play against each other tomorrow and while a draw would seal the deal for Tunisia and Angola, both coaches have said their sides will be playing to win. My guess? That game will end in a draw.

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