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Which 2 will qualify


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Discussion Starter #1
22/01/12: Ivory Coast v Sudan, Malabo
22/01/12: Burkina Faso v Angola, Malabo
26/01/12: Sudan v Angola, Malabo
26/01/12: Ivory Coast v Burkina Faso, Malabo
30/01/12: Sudan v Burkina Faso, Bata
30/01/12: Ivory Coast v Angola, Malabo

Games also to be held in Equatorial Guinea.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Squads known so far:

Just Burkina Faso

Goalkeepers: Daouda Diakite (KV Turnhout, Belgium), Germain Sanou (St Etienne, France), Adama Sawadogo (Missile FC, Gabon)

Defenders: Ibrahim Gnanou (Alania Vladikavkaz, Russia), Robert Sankara (Asec Mimosas, Ivory Coast), Bakari Kone (Lyon, France), Payul Koulibaly (Charleroi, Belgium), Stephane Agbre (Athletico, Portugal), Mamadou Tall (Persepolis, Iran), Issa Gouo (ASFA, Burkina Faso)

Midfielders: Charles Kabore (Marseille, France), Mahamadou Kere (Konyaspor, Turkey), Mohamed Koffi (Petrojet, Egypt), Djakaridja Kone (Dinamo Bucharest, Romania), Wilfried Balima and Florent Rouamba (both Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), Alain Traore (Auxerre, France), Jonathan Pitroipa (Rennes, France) Bertrand Traore (Chelsea, England), Traore Razak (Lechia Gdansk, Poland)

Forwards: Moumouni Dagano (Al Khor, Qatar), Aristide Bance (Samsunsport, Turkey), Yahia Kebe (Al Kharitiyath, Qatar), Narcisse Yameogo (Desportiva Camacha, Portugal), Issiaka Ouedraogo (FC Trenkwalder Admira, Austria).

Dagano - former Belgian league hero :D Pitroipa off course

Others :confused:
 

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Ivory Coast are the favorites for this entire tournament, so they should progress.

Burkina Faso for second. I group them with a team like Mali, good players in the squad but tend to underachieve.

Don't know much about Angola or Sudan of course, Sudan did well just to qualify.
 

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The Brazil of Africa, the IVORY COAST

Goalkeepers: Barry Boubacar (Lokeren, Belgium), Gerrard Gnanahouan (Avranches, France), Daniel Yeboah (Dijon, France), Ibrahim Kone (US Boulogne, France)

Defenders: Siake Tiene (Paris St Germain, France), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart, Germany), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes, France), Igor Lolo (FC Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray, Turkey), Kolo Toure (Manchester City, England), Souleymane Bamba (Leicester City, England)

Midfielders: Kafoumba Coulibaly (Nice, France), Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Orduspor, Turkey), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover, Germany), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United, England), Max Gradel (St Etienne, France), Yaya Toure (Manchester City, England), Marco Taddei Ne (Tavria Simferopol, Ukraine)

Forwards: Gervinho (Arsenal, England), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Wilfried Boni (Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands), Abdul Kader Keita (Al Sadd, Qatar)

No Sekou Cisse :D we can breath a sigh of relief

The only real surprise on the list is Marco Taddei Ne who plays for Ukrainian side Tavria Simferopol.

Some players to miss out are West Ham United's Guy Demel, Kofi Ndri Romaric of Espanyol and Aruna Dindane, who is playing in Qatar.
 

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What a wide range of strikers Ivory Coast have. And they still left out Lacina Traore. They should begin to count with him after this tournament.
 

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GROUP B PREVIEW

Group B has drawn tournament favourites Ivory Coast against Burkina Faso, 2010 Nations Cup hosts Angola and Sudan, one of three teams to contest the first Nations Cup in 1957.

Until the last round of matches, the group will be based in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.

IVORY COAST

Nickname: Elephants
Coach: Francois Zahoui
Captain: Didier Drogba
Nations Cup record: Making 13th appearance
Best Performance: Winners (1992)
Fifa ranking: 18

The Ivorians arrive at the Nations Cup as favourites for the event - but it's a tag they have carried badly in the past few years.

For every Nations Cup since they returned to the competition in 2006, football writers have praised the quality of a squad comprising Didier Drogba, the Toure brothers, Didier Zokora and Emmanuel Eboue etc. - one that has been good enough to reach the first two World Cups in the country's history.

Yet this talented generation has gone steadily backwards at the Nations Cup: runners-up in 2006 (albeit losing on penalties), semi-finalists in 2008 and quarter-finalists in Angola last time around - so fuelling the fires of those critics who have questioned their ability to gel into a united side.

In the absence of seven-time champions Egypt, who have won the last three Nations Cups (twice knocking out the Ivorians), Cameroon, who boast four African titles, and two-time winners Nigeria, the pressure is on Ivory Coast more than ever - but can they handle it?

One key area where the team may appear different is in central midfield where it will be fascinating, and perhaps decisive, to see if Yaya Toure maintains his transformation from a holding player into a box-to-box goalscoring midfielder.

If he carries the drive - and continues the marauding runs - shown since joining Manchester City six months after the last Nations Cup, then the Elephants could prove a different prospect in 2012.

Either way, the goalscoring burden on Drogba's shoulders should be less - with Gervinho a more mature player since the last Nation Cup, while a sign of the Ivorians' strength is that highly-rated striker Seydou Doumbia has to settle for a place on the bench.

The Elephants' sole Nations Cup triumph came twenty years ago under a local man (Yeo Martial) and the superstitious will point to the fact that an Ivorian, Francois Zahoui, is leading the team out at the tournament for the first time since.

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SUDAN

Nickname: Nile Crocodiles
Coach: Mohamed 'Mazda' Abdallah
Captain: Haitham Mustafa
Nations Cup record: Making 8th appearance
Best Performance: Winners (1970)
Fifa ranking: 120

Sudan coach Mohamed 'Mazda' Abdallah believes his side are better prepared for the 2012 finals than they were for their Nations Cup return four years ago - and fans of the Nile Crocodiles, the second weakest team at the finals for Fifa, will hope he is right.

The fact that the Sudanese had returned to the tournament for the first time since 1976 seemed to be the sole positive from Ghana 2008, where the team failed to score while conceding nine goals in three comprehensive defeats.

Although some stalwarts remain, such as goalkeeper El Moez Mahjoub and captain Haitham Mustafa, record scorer Haytham Tambal has been axed after failing to play for the last seven months because of injury - and Mazda will bring a newlook team to the finals.

He experimented during recent tournaments in Tanzania (Cecafa Cup), Morocco (LG Cup) and Qatar (2011 Arab Games), and knows his players well since Sudan's squad is the only one at the finals to be entirely composed of local players - 19 of whom come from just two teams (Al Hilal and Al Merreikh).

Nonetheless, the coach is fully aware of the negatives this situation brings and has been working hard to try to bring the squad's fitness levels up to those that Sudan's group rivals - many of whose players are based in Europe - will boast in Malabo.

The Sudanese were the last team to qualify for the 2012 finals - doing so as one of the best runners-up - and have a big task if they are to make an impression at the finals.

They have not won a match at their last three Nations Cups - with their last victory coming in the final itself in 1970 - but that game was on home soil in Khartoum, where Sudan have been traditionally strong over the years.

Often poor on their travels, the Sudanese won twice and drew in Ghana this time around - the first time they have avoided defeat away from home in a qualifying campaign this century - so allowing Mazda to dream of a quarter-final placing in 2012.

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BURKINA FASO


Nickname: Stallions
Coach: Paulo Duarte
Captain: Mahamoudou Kéré
Nations Cup record: Making 8th appearance
Best Performance: Semi-Finals (1998)
Fifa ranking: 66

Burkina Faso's Nations Cup place was only confirmed on 10 January, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected Namibia's claim that the Stallions should be expelled after fielding an ineligible player in qualifying.

Namibia believed that Cameroon-born Herve Zengue failed to fulfil Fifa's criteria to play for an adopted nation but despite the CAS ruling, the left back has not made the Burkinabe squad.

Nonetheless, it remains to be seen what impact the uncertainty over Burkina's participation at the finals will have on the side in Malabo.

Coach Paulo Duarte was in charge of the Stallions at Angola 2010, where the team failed to score - meaning Burkina Faso have now registered four blanks in their last five Nations Cup matches.

However, the problem goes deeper than that since the Stallions have never managed to win a Nations Cup match on foreign soil - with all their victories coming when hosting the tournament in 1998.

So fans will be hoping for big performances from tricky Rennes winger Jonathan Pitroipa as well as attacking midfielder Alain Traore, who has already bagged a very impressive seven league goals from 17 games for Auxerre this season.

Traore's younger brother Bertrand has also made the squad but is the 16-year-old's inclusion a sign of his brilliance or, alternatively, one of Duarte's desperation?

Turkey-based defender Mahamoudou Kéré will captain the side, with the experienced Daouda Diakite in goal and veteran striker Moumouni Dagano joining Aristide Bance up front.

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ANGOLA

Nickname: Palancas Negras
Coach: Lito Vidigal
Captain: Kali
Nations Cup record: Making 6th appearance
Best Performance: Quarter-Finalists (2008, 2010)
Fifa ranking: 85

After many failures to achieve anything of note in African football, Angola burst onto the scene when qualifying for the 2006 World Cup - appearing at the finals just four years after the end of a three-decade civil war.

Despite a creditable performance in Germany, it would be another two years before the Palancas Negras made it out of the group stages at the Nations Cup, which they achieved at Ghana 2008 thanks to four goals from then Manchester United striker Manucho.

Angola repeated their quarter-final feat when hosting the competition two years ago, as former Al Ahly coach Manuel Jose led the side, only for the southerners to be knocked out by eventual finalists Ghana.

The Palancas Negras' star had seemed very much on the rise yet they were in danger of missing this month's finals altogether until Lito Vidigal took charge this time last year.

One month later, the former international - who played at the 1998 Nations Cup - had instantly proved his worth when leading his country to the final of the African Nations Championship, a tournament for locally-based players only.

Although he then lost his first 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in March, Vidigal delivered when it most mattered - as his charges won their final three matches without conceding a goal to pip seemingly-certain qualifiers Uganda to the finals.

Just over half the squad have survived from the last tournament, with some veterans among them: such as defender Kali (the 33-year-old captain) as well as forwards Flavio (32) and Love (32).

Gilberto and Manucho (who top scored in qualifying with four goals) are also nearing 30, but at least Vidigal has younger players to turn to - with Mabina, Djalma and Zuela all impressing last time out.


source: BBC Football
 

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Ivory Coast leading Sudan 1-0. Drogba scoring with an assist from Kalou. Doumbia is ripping Sudan apart...no wait, he's on the bench. :eekani:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gervinho's so frustrating to watch

Great lay-off from Drogba ended with Gervinho shooting the ball out of the stadium from point blank range

Now great counter attack opportunity. Drogba completely free. He overdribbles and passes back to Yaya Toure who drags the ball wide
 

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Sudan did have two decent chances at the end of half, one shot hitting the crossbar, but in reality they aren't good enough to trouble Ivory Coast
 

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Sudan playing slightly better, but Drogba should have put CIV two ahead, volleyed a ball instead of settling and scoring easily
 

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2012 AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS

GROUP B
Round 1


22.01.2012 - Malabo (EQG)

IVORY COAST 1-0 SUDAN

(Drogba 39')

ANGOLA - BURKINA FASO - at 20:00 CET


Current Standings
1 Ivory Coast ......................1G 1W 0D 0L 1-0 3P
2 Sudan ............................1G 0W 0D 1L 0-1 0P
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3 Angola ..........................0G 0W 0D 0L 0-0 0P
3 Burkina Faso ................0G 0W 0D 0L 0-0 0P


 

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HT: 0-0 between Burkina Faso and Angola

Decent game, Angola slightly better but Pitroipa looks really good, too bad none of his teammates are of the same level.
 

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Ivory Coast needs defenders. I remember against Israel they struggled badly and that friendly wasn't too far ago.

Well, I'm picking Ghana to win this thing, I want to see a surprise :D I think while IVC has the heavy advantage in terms of veteran experience + deep quality players, I think and I do hope Ghana surprises them :D
 

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1-1 to Burkina 10' later with a really well struck freekick by Traoré. Best game of the tournament so far this one.
 
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