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Sports Features of Friday, 16 June 2017


GHANAsoccernet reviews Africa’s Confederations Cup history

Cameroon won the 2017 AFCON Cameroon won the 2017 AFCON

Ghana's leading football website looks back at the continent's history at the FIFA Confederations Cup through the years as Cameroon is set to mark their return to the competition this weekend.

Ivory Coast were CAF’s representatives at the first King Fahd Cup in 1992, where the Elephants suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Argentina and USA, while Nigeria were unlucky at the 1995 edition when they went unbeaten against Japan, Argentina and Mexico but still only finished fourth.

When the King Fahd Cup was rebranded the Confederations Cup, South Africa made their debut in Saudi Arabia in 1997. Bafana Bafana were entertaining to watch, but ultimately outclassed as they exited in the group phase after losses to the UAE and Uruguay.

Similar group stage exits for Egypt and Cameroon followed in 1999 and 2001 respectively, but in 2003 the Indomitable Lions represented the continent with pride.

Winfried Schafer’s team, led by the likes of Rigobert Song, Geremi and Samuel Eto’o ended as runners-up to France, but their wonderful showing in the tournament was overshadowed by the tragic death of midfielder Marc Vivien Foe, who collapsed on the pitch in the semifinal win over Colombia.

Tunisia made little impact at the 2005 edition in Germany, while four years later the tournament was held on African soil and featured two teams from the continent: hosts South Africa and Egypt.

While the Pharaohs exited in the group stage, they still made waves with a somewhat unlucky 4-3 loss to Brazil in one of the Confed Cup’s greatest-ever matches and a stunning 1-0 win over 2006 World Cup champions Italy.

The hosts fared better, progressing into the semifinals despite being held 0-0 by Iraq in their opener and suffering a 2-0 loss to Spain, who would go on to win the World Cup the following year.

Bafana Bafana then put up a brave showing against Brazil in the semifinal, but a last-gasp free kick from Dani Alves saw the South Americans progress at their expense.

The last Confederations Cup in Brazil four years ago featured a 6-1 win for Nigeria over Tahiti (Africa’s biggest victory at the tournament), but the Super Eagles were unable to advance from their group after losses to Uruguay and Spain.

Overall, African teams have played 33 matches at the Confederations Cup, recording nine wins, seven losses and 17 defeats.

Africa at the Confederations Cup

1992 King Fahd Cup, Saudi Arabia - Ivory Coast

Semifinal: Argentina 4-0 Ivory Coast

Third place playoff: USA 5-2 Ivory Coast

P2 W0 D0 L2 GF2 GA9

1995 King Fahd Cup, Saudi Arabia - Nigeria

Group stage: Japan 0-3 Nigeria

Group stage: Nigeria 0-0 Argentina

Third place playoff: Mexico 1-1 Nigeria - Mexico won 5-4 on penalties

P3 W1 D2 L0 GF4 GA1

1997 Confederations Cup, Saudi Arabia - South Afric

Group stage: South Africa 2-2 Czech Republic

Group stage: UAE 1-0 South Africa

Group stage: Uruguay 4-3 South Africa

P3 W0 D1 L2 GF5 GA7

1999 Confederations Cup, Mexico - Egypt

Group stage: Bolivia 2-2 Egypt

Group stage: Mexico 2-2 Egypt

Group stage: Egypt 1-5 Saudi Arabia

P3 W0 D2 L1 GF5 GA9

2001 Confederations Cup, South Korea - Cameroon

Group stage: Brazil 2-0 Cameroon

Group stage: Cameroon 0-2 Japan

Group stage: Cameroon 2-0 Canada

P3 W1 D0 L2 GF2 GA4

2003 Confederations Cup, France - Cameroon

Group stage: Brazil 0-1 Cameroon

Group stage: Cameroon 1-0 Turkey

Group stage: USA 0-0 Cameroon

Semifinal: Cameroon 1-0 Colombia

Final: Cameroon 0-1 France

P5 W3 D1 L1 GF3 GA1

2005 Confederations Cup, Germany - Tunisia

Group stage: Argentina 2-1 Tunisia

Group stage: Tunisia 0-3 Germany

Group stage: Australia 0-2 Tunisia

P3 W1 D0 L2 GF3 GA5

2009 Confederations Cup, South Africa - South Africa & Egypt

Group stage: Brazil 4-3 Egypt

Group stage: Egypt 1-0 Italy

Group stage: Egypt 0-3 USA

Group stage: South Africa 0-0 Iraq

Group stage: South Africa 2-0 New Zealand

Group stage: Spain 2-0 South Africa

Semifinal: Brazil 1-0 South Africa

Third place playoff: Spain 3-2 South Africa

Egypt - P3 W1 D0 L2 GF4 GA7

SA - P5 W1 D1 L3 GF4 GA6

2013 Confederations Cup, Brazil - Nigeria

Group stage: Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria

Group stage: Nigeria 1-2 Uruguay

Group stage: Nigeria 0-3 Spain

P3 W1 D0 L2 GF7 GA6

Africa’s combined record at the Confederations Cup

P33 W9 D7 L17 GF38 GA55