P. 1
Afcon team profiles: Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria

Afcon team profiles: Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria

|Views: 237|Likes:
Published by CityPress
Afcon team profiles: Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria
Afcon team profiles: Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria

More info:

Published by: CityPress on Jan 21, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
See more
See less

02/26/2013

IVORY COAST

PROFILE
Powerful Ivorian clubs like Asec Mimosas and Africa Sports have a strong continental footprint, and the country contributes heavily to Africa’s playing contingent in Europe – so it’s clear the Elephants are chronic underachievers. Even their one Afcon win was a laborious effort that came from a penalty shoot-out in 1992. Their fortunes dipped after that triumph and two penalty shoot-out losses in the 2006 and 2012 finals added to their choker reputation. With an ageing squad, this could be their last shot at continental glory before the inevitable slide that has afflicted Cameroon and Egypt. On paper, they have the best players, but they have failed to live up to expectations, twice losing in the final

RANKING

CAF

Fifa

ROAD TO SOUTH AFRICA
It was going to be either the Elephants or the Lions of Teranga (Senegal) coming to South Africa, but Didier Drogba’s inspired team made short work of qualification when they outclassed their west African counterparts. After taking a 4-2 lead from the first leg at home, Ivory Coast ensured their place in the finals with another 2-0 scoreline in Dakar, although the game was marred by violence from the home supporters

1

15

FIXTURES
January 22: January 26: January 30: Togo vs Ivory Coast Tunisia vs Ivory Coast Algeria vs Ivory Coast (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 5pm) (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 5pm) (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 7pm)

STAR PLAYER
DIDIER DROGBA (Shanghai Shenhua, China) It should be difficult to single out Ivory Coast’s star player, as half the team deserves special mention, but Drogba, with 59 goals in 90 appearances, has always been a cut above the rest. The 34-year-old striker knows this edition of the tournament may be his last and he has said he wants to go out with a bang

COACH
SABRI LAMOUCHI The 41-year-old former French footballer might still be wet behind the ears as this is his first coaching job, but he has already led Ivory Coast to a convincing victory against Senegal. He will, however, be under pressure to match and improve on the team’s performance of this year’s tournament, where they finished runners-up to Zambia after losing in a penalty shoot-out - Timothy Molobi

HONOURS
Afcon appearances: 19 Continental titles: One, (1992)

ETHIOPIA
PROFILE
It has been a long 30 years since the Walya Antelopes last graced the Afcon scene, but for one of the pioneers of the competition, having finished second in the first edition in 1957 and capping their early dominance with a title win in 1962, it has been barren pickings since. Various Fifa suspensions and general incompetence on the field saw them trawl the nether regions of African football, but an upsurge in their performances over the past four years, including an excellent fourth place in the 2010 Cecafa Cup, has seen them becoming competitive again. A 2-2 draw against Nigeria denied the Super Eagles a place in this year’s Afcon, adding spice to their January 29 rematch. Ethiopia are now famous for ending Pitso Mosimane’s disastrous tenure as Bafana coach

RANKING

CAF

Fifa

ROAD TO SOUTH AFRICA
Ethiopia got to South Africa the hard way, having to negotiate two qualifying rounds. They squeaked past Benin on away goals, with a 1-1 draw being sufficient in Cotonou after a goalless draw in Addis Ababa. They again required away goals to get past Sudan. They suffered a 5-3 defeat in Khartoum, but Getaneh Kebede’s brace and Adane Girma’s one goal proved crucial to the outcome. Their 2-0 win at home, courtesy of Girma and Saladin Said, made sure those away goals were not wasted

28 102

FIXTURES
January 21: January 25: January 29: Zambia vs Ethiopia Burkina Faso vs Ethiopia Nigeria vs Ethiopia (Mbombela Stadium, 5pm) (Mbombela Stadium, 8pm) (Royal Bafokeng, 7pm)

STAR PLAYER
FIKRU-TEFERRA LEMESSA (Thanh Hóa FC, Vietnam) Lemessa’s experience of South African conditions may come in handy, even though he was impotent while plying his trade as a striker in this country. In 86 appearances in South Africa, while playing for Orlando Pirates and then SuperSport United, he only scored a paltry 11 goals. However, club comparisons cannot be used to gauge international performance because of the differences in intensity, competition and atmosphere. He holds up defenders well and provides space for his team-mates

COACH
SEWNET BISHAW Bishaw is revered in his home country, but is not too well known outside of it. Having guided the side in the early 2000s when they were going nowhere slowly, his experience of the tough times has served him well and he has a better side at his disposal. His lack of Afcon knowledge may be to his disadvantage, but there is nothing more dangerous than a side coached by a tournament virgin with everything to prove and nothing to lose - Khanyiso Tshwaku

HONOURS
Afcon appearances: 10 Continental title: One, as hosts in 1962

NIGERIA
PROFILE
Despite an abundance of talent in their squad and four Fifa World Cup appearances, Nigeria have often flopped spectacularly on the continental and international stage. Coach Stephen Keshi is likely to have one of the strongest strike forces in the tournament as Nigeria’s strikers are all on top form for their European clubs. Obafemi Martins is enjoying his revival at Levante and is among the top scorers in Spanish La Liga, while Peter Utaka is also a hit for his goal-scoring exploits in the Chinese Super League. West Brom sharpshooter Peter Odemwingie has reconciled with Keshi and is likely to be recalled to the national team. Options in attack include Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi, who was handed his Eagles debut against Venezuela last month. And then there is Victor Moses at Chelsea

RANKING

CAF

Fifa

10 57

ROAD TO SOUTH AFRICA
The Super Eagles held Liberia to a 2-2 draw in Monrovia in September but then demolished them 6-1 in the return leg. The October 13 clash in Calaba was the Chelsea boys’ showdown as John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses accounted for half of the goals that sealed Nigeria’s place in Africa’s prestige competition

FIXTURES
January 21: January 25: January 29: Burkina Faso vs Nigeria (Mbombela Stadium, 8pm) Zambia vs Nigeria Ethiopia vs Nigeria (Mbombela Stadium, 5pm) (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 7pm)

STAR PLAYER
IKECHUKWU UCHE (Villareal, Spain) The 28-year-old Uche has been a regular for The Yellow Submarine in Spanish La Liga. He scored in both Afcon qualifying rounds against Liberia. Uche, whose name means God’s Power in Igbo, is quick off the mark and is a predator in front of goal. He was on the scoresheet – over both legs – when Nigeria denied Bafana Bafana a passage to the 2010 Afcon

COACH
STEPHEN KESHI Keshi (50) holds a rare distinction for being the first African coach to qualify three different countries – Nigeria, Togo and Mali – for Afcon. A former Nigerian international defender, Keshi knows the taste of continental glory, having captained the Super Eagles to the 1994 Afcon title. He will launch an attempt to win Afcon as a player and as a coach. But his coaching credentials will be tested by Nigeria’s long-standing rivals in Group C – defending champions Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso - Daniel Mothowagae

HONOURS
Afcon appearances: 16 Continental titles: Two (1980, 1994) RUDI LOUW, Graphics24

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->