Sunday, January 27, 2008

African Cup of Nations Recap--Day 7

Samuel Eto'o converted a PK in the 66th minute to draw even with Ivory Coast legend Laurent Pokou for most goals scored (14) in the African Cup of Nations finals and Joseph Job bagged a brace to propel Cameroon over Zambia 5-1 yesterday. This was a game Cameroon absolutely needed to win after their opening loss to Egypt and the Indomitable Lions took care of business. Only a 90th minute goal from Christopeher Katongo prevented Zambia from being shut out. Newcastle midfielder Geremi scored the opening goal for Cameroon and after coming on as a substitute in that game against Egypt, Arsenal starlet Alexandre Song played the full 90 minutes yesterday.

Egypt all but guaranteed their place in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Sudan, a game in which the defending champions had to work a little harder than the flattering scoreline might indicate. Second half substitute Mohamed Aboutriaka scored twice in five minutes late in the game to put the match away for the Pharaohs, but Sudan started out like a house on fire and Egypt did well to survive the rush and come out with the victory. Once again, Middlesbrough midfielder Mohamed Shawky played the entire game for Egypt.

Cameroon will play Sudan to wrap up the group stage and Egypt will take on Zambia, and it doesn't take a genius to predict that the favorites will most likely win those games. If that holds true, Egypt will win Group C and Cameroon would be the runner-up.

Group C Standings (after two games):

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

Today's games could be very interesting as Group D is in action. All four teams in the group are even right now with a point each and to me, this is the most evenly matched group in the tournament, by far. Senegal and Angola will meet although interestingly enough, it was Angola who was one of Africa's representatives in the last World Cup, not Senegal; and Tunisia will play the hosts of the 2010 World Cup, South Africa.

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