Sports News of Saturday, 19 January 2013
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa on Saturday with 10 previous winners among the 16 competing countries.
The hosts begin their campaign today against Cape Verde in Soweto’s Soccer City, the 90,000-seat stadium that played host to the final of the 2010 World Cup won by Spain.
South Africa have not won an African Cup match since 2004 and captured their lone championship on home soil 17 years ago. Cape Verde are making their African Cup debut. They shocked Cameroon, one of the continent’s leading football nations, to reach the 16-team tournament.
For many, the Ivory Coast, who are one time winners of the competition stand the best chance of annexing ultimate glory after their failures over the past years.
Coming into the competition with in-form striker, Asamoah Gyan, Juventus’ Kwadwo Asamoah, the budding Mubarak Wakaso and Christian Atsu, Ghana is another team many are tipping to annex the trophy.
Over the years, the Black Stars of Ghana have failed to live up to expectation with backroom squabbling taking a toll on the team at crucial times. Since 2008, the Black Stars have always been in the final four of the competition with their closest being the 0-1 loss to Egypt in the final of the 2010 competition in Angola.
Without star men, Dede Ayew of Olympic Marseille, Sulley Muntari of AC Milan, Michael Essien of Chelsea (on loan at Real Madrid) and John Mensah, now at Rennes, many might overlook the potency of Ghana, but that is where the danger lies.
New coach, Kwesi Appiah who was the assistant coach during the 2012 edition has managed to blend ten debutants at the tourney with some few experienced players to form a core so hard to be broken down.
Ghana kicks off the competition on Sunday, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
19 Jan: South Africa vs. Cape Verde (18:00); Angola vs. Morocco (21:00) – Johannesburg
23 Jan: South Africa vs. Angola (17:00); Morocco vs. Cape Verde (20:00) – Durban
< 27 Jan: South Africa vs. Morocco (19:00) – Durban; Cape Verde vs. Angola (19:00) – Port E.
20 Jan: Ghana vs. DR Congo (17:00); Mali vs. Niger (20:00) – Port Elizabeth
24 Jan: Ghana vs. Mali (17:00); Niger vs. DR Congo (20:00) – Port Elizabeth
28 Jan: Ghana vs. Niger (19:00) – Port Elizabeth; DR Congo vs. Mali (19:00) – Durban
21 Jan: Zambia vs. Ethiopia (17:00); Nigeria vs. Burkina Faso (20:00) – Nelspruit
25 Jan: Zambia vs. Nigeria (17:00); Burkina Faso vs. Ethiopia (20:00) – Nelspruit
29 Jan: Zambia vs. Burkina Faso (19:00) – Nelspruit; Ethiopia vs. Nigeria (19:00) – Rustenburg
22 Jan: Cote d’ Ivoire vs. Togo (17:00); Tunisia vs. Algeria (20:00) –Rustenburg
26 Jan: Cote d’ Ivoire vs. Tunisia (17:00); Algeria vs. Togo (20:00) –Rustenburg
30 Jan: Cote d’ Ivoire vs. Algeria (19:00) – Rustenburg; Togo vs. Tunisia(19:00) – Nelspruit