Title holder Zambia was dumped out of the competition on Tuesday, while Burkina Faso and Nigeria qualified. ANT SIMS wraps up the action.
Considering how near the business end of the competition is, some of the matches on show have been rather dull and dreary. If a team needs just a draw to qualify, why would they need to do anything more? Burkina Faso defended all they could against Zambia on Tuesday night and dumped the defending champions out of the competition, while Nigeria qualified for the quarter finals thanks to some magic from Victor Moses.
WHO PLAYED AND WHAT HAPPENED?
Zambia 0-0 Burkina Faso
Ethiopia 0-2 Nigeria
Nigeria beat Ethiopia 2-0 to progress to the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations, along with Burkina Faso. Victor Moses scored twice for the Nigerians to seal the deal and delight headline writers with gems such as “Moses leads Nigeria to the promised land”. The first goal came only after 80 minutes and the second in the 85th minute, when he was brought down in the box by Addis Hintsa, who earned himself a red card.
Africa Cup of Nations title holder Zambia was dumped out of the competition after they couldn’t break down Burkina Faso, and their match ended in a goalless draw. Depsite throwing the kitchen sink and their forward strike force, Burkina Faso’s defence was simply too good. Burkina Faso was an outsider coming into the tournament, but still managed to top its group, finishing ahead of Nigeria on goal difference.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN CONTEXT?
Nigeria will play Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals, while Burkina Faso will come up against either Togo or Tunisia. As the competition heads towards its end, expect some feisty competition from all of those vying for the crown.
“It’s obviously going to be tough at this stage of the competition, no matter who you’re playing. Mali is a very talented team, with very good players. They play a little bit differently from most of the teams we’ve played so far. They like to slow things down; they like to knock the ball around – they are very comfortable on the ball. The important thing is we’re there now and are working on progressing from here.” South African coach, Gordon Igesund.
“We believed we could go further in this. It’s a night of history for Burkina Faso. We had double motivation, being close to qualification and playing against the champions. I told the players this chance might never come again.” – Burkina Faso coach, Paul Putt.
Zambia is the first title holder to exit the competition in the first stage since Algeria back in 1992. (The third team to do so, the Super Eagles, also won the competition in 1980, and failed to progress in the next edition.) Zambia’s run as champion is, however, the shortest in the history of the tournament after the competition switched to odd years after 2012.
Ghana’s players have been awarded with $35,000 (R316,000) after qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
Burkina Faso has made it through to the second round of the tournament for the first time in 15 years. The last time they managed it was in 1998, when they hosted the tournament. DM
Photo: Ethiopia’s Alula Girma (bottom) is tackled by Nigeria’s Ikechukwu Uche during their African Nations Cup (AFCON 2013) Group C soccer match in Rustenburg, January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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