Thu, 12 Dec 2019

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations: From A to Z

20 Jul 2019, 22:12 GMT+10

airo - n to of the 2019 frica up of ations, which concluded in airo on riday with lgeria defeating enegal 1-0 in a final decided by a aghdad ounedjah goal after only two minutes:

iyad ahrez-captained lgeria were crowned frican champions a second time after a tournament in which many rival coaches picked them out from early on as the best of the 24 title challengers.

enin stunned orocco in the round of 16, winning 4-1 on penalties after playing most of extra time with 10 men following the red-carding of haled denon.

efending champions ameroon were eliminated by igeria in a second round match that was among the most exciting in the tournament and the loss cost coach larence eedorf his job.

he emocratic epublic of ongo achieved the biggest win of the tournament by thrashing imbabwe 4-0 in roup with edric akambu bagging a brace.

ohamed alah-inspired gypt were shock last-16 casualties, conceding five minutes from time to lose 1-0 against outh frica, and coach avier guirre was sacked almost immediately.

he new 24-team format - up from 16 in the previous tournament - did deliver excitement with the best four third-place qualifiers decided only after the last two group matches.

run of six consecutive top-four finishes by hana came to an end as they lost a last-16 penalty shootout against unisia after aleb kuban had his kick saved.

ear 40 degrees elsius heat when some mid-afternoon matches kicked off was blamed for the often cagey, snail-pace football.

igerian dion ghalo completed a double by finishing as the leading scorer at the finals with five goals having topped the qualifying scoring chart with seven.

laying in une and uly for the first time instead of anuary and ebruary meant hundreds of frican stars avoided having to choose between their country and uropean club.

ack at the up of ations after 15 years, enya had the satisfaction of defeating east frican neighbours anzania in a thriller, but were outclassed by lgeria and enegal.

tarting for the first time in the tournament, outh frican hembinkosi orch scored the goal that shattered gyptian dreams of a record-extending eighth title.

re-tournament outsiders adagascar shocked igeria to top roup , then won a penalty shootout against ongo before a jaded side fell to unisia in the quarter-finals.

igeria finished third for the seventh time to satisfy coach ernot ohr, but not some supporters who criticised the selections and tactics of the erman.

here were four own goals in the 52 matches with unisians ami edoui and ylan ronn, amibian tamunua eimuine and igerian illiam roost-kong the unfortunate quartet.

egular-time penalties proved a problem for enegal with iverpool star adio ane fluffing two before voluntarily relinquishing the role to enri aivet, who missed his lone spot-kick.

he overall quality of the football at the showpiece of frican football was often pedestrian with far fewer memorable matches than forgettable ones.

run of winning every other up of ations from 2012 ended for rench coach erve enard when enin stunned orocco, whose squad had seemed among the strongest.

adio ane-inspired enegal reached a second final and once again experienced the bitterness of defeat having lost a penalty shootout against ameroon 17 years ago.

unisia finished fourth despite winning only one of seven matches, a 3-0 last-eight drubbing of adagascar. hey drew their first four games and lost the last two.

ganda did best of the east frican qualifiers, finishing second behind gypt in roup before stretching enegal, then they lost coach ebastien esabre to gyptian club yramids.

(ideo ssistant eferee) made its up of ations debut from the last-eight stage and was used mainly to judge handballs with the chief complaint being slow decision making.

he scorching weather, with 30-plus degrees elsius temperatures even for night matches, was among the reasons given by the organisers for the many low attendances.

any of the 24 teams in gypt lacked players with the -factor as coaches emphasised teamwork and organisation over individual brilliance.

he most costly yellow card of the tournament was shown to star enegal defender alidou oulibaly in the semi-final win over unisia as it barred him from the final.

imbabwe captain and forward nowledge usona was guilty of the miss of the tournament, failing to score from in front of an open goal during a roup draw with ganda.

More Africa News

Access More

Sign up for The Africa News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!