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Sports Features of Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Source: GNA

Will it be an Animal or a Star?

By Richard Avornyotse - GNA Sports Desk

Accra, Jan. 30, GNA - The African Soccer Championship is replete with animals - carnivores; herbivores; big and small; land dwellers; amphibians; crawlers and fliers - all donning the colours of participating nations.

There are Lions, Eagles, Elephants, Squirrels, Antelopes and Crocodiles, all vying for the ultimate custody of a gold cup for two years and the title of African Champion.

As the Animals compete against each other, there is bound to be danger for some of them who may fall prey to those with better ability. "Group A" had lions, elephants, men and celestial bodies, Morocco, Guinea, Namibia and Ghana, in that order.

The Atlas Lions of Morocco are supposed to be the most dreaded species, based on the predatory instincts of the lion, but it appears, they are only dominant in the regions of the Atlas Mountains. The red shirted Moroccan Lions have failed to live by the characteristics of their name and are home bound after the preliminary rounds with the Brave Warriors of Namibia, while the Black Stars of Ghana and the Syli Nationale (National Elephants) of Guinea have sailed through to round two.

"Group B" is made up entirely of animals - two eagles, a beautiful, tiny, clever rodent with incredible speed, that derives satisfaction in nuts and an elephant.

Here, the form guide has prevailed with the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire going unscathed after three matches.

The Battle of the Eagles favoured the Super Eagles of Nigeria, who preyed on the Squirrels of Benin to survive, as the Elephants trampled on the Malian Eagles, breaking their bones to post an Eagle obituary. The Crocodiles of Sudan had sworn to devour the resurrected ancient Kings of the Nile, who go by the title of Pharaohs. The Nile Crocodiles broke their jaws in the process and are now pondering if names of carnivores indeed give any advantage in a duel against ghosts or other cordial creatures.

The Pharaohs seem to have immunity against attacks from beasts. They survived in the lions' den, beating the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 4-2 in a match where the Lions were tamed and domesticated by the ancient rulers from the home of civilization.

But watch out for the Cameroonian Lions; they are capable of coming back into reckoning with sharper claws and stronger jaws. The speed of the Antelope seems to be the ace of the Angolans, who go by the nickname of Palancras Negras, meaning the Black Antelopes. The Antelopes sprang away from the Teranga Lions of Senegal, who remain hungry and may starve to elimination if the results of the final day do not go in their favour.

And in another confrontation of Lions, the Carthage Lions of Tunisia failed to inflict any harm on the Teranga Lions as they settled for a 2-2 draw, but the Tunisian Lions had enough power to maim the Bafana Bafana (the Boys, the Boys) of South Africa 3-1. The Battle for the African Crown is gathering momentum and the Elephants, the Lions and the Eagles are poised to fight to the finish with the characteristics of their appellations and try to devour the Antelope.

The Pharaohs are also armed with their weapons made with implements from the bed of the Nile, ready to slay any adventuring beast, while the Syli Nationale of Guinea are also in ambush waiting for any dare devil adventurer.

But can the combined forces of the Animal Kingdom and the other surviving teams douse the sparkle of the Black Stars of Ghana? Did anybody say "tafiakwa"? Yes indeed never. The Black Stars would dazzle.