The first round of this years African Cup of Nations is now complete, and there have been shocks galore. Here is our round up of the 2nd and 3rd group stage matches:
The major shock in Group A was Senegal, who lost all three of their group stage matches. Senegal were heavily fancied to do well in this tournament, having potentially Africa’s strongest strike force. However, poor defending saw them losing all three of their games 2-1.
Zambia topped the group. Following their 2-1 win over Senegal, they followed this up with a 2-2 draw with Libya, and a 1-0 win over co-hosts Equatorial Guinea.
Despite that loss, Equatorial Guinea, somewhat surprisingly, joined Zambia in the second round. They followed up their 1-0 win over Libya in the opening game with a shock 2-1 win over Senegal in the second match.
1. Zambia (7 points), 2. Equatorial Guinea (6), 3. Libya (4), Senegal (0)
Pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast topped the group after winning all three of their group games. After a 1-0 win against Sudan, they followed this up with 2-0 wins over Burkina Faso and Angola.
Sudan joined them against all the odds, going through on goal difference. After a 2-2 draw with Angola they were sent through after an impressive 2-1 win over Burkina Faso.
They went through after conceding one goal less than Angola, who lost 2-0 against Ivory Coast. Burkina Faso lost all 3 group games to crash out without so much as a wimper, scoring just 2 goals and conceding 6.
1. Ivory Coast (9 points), 2. Sudan (4), 3. Angola (4), 4. Burkina Faso (0)
Co-hosts Gabon were impressive throughout their first 3 games, winning all of them to top the group with ease. Following their 2-0 win over Niger in the first game, they recorded 3-2 and 1-0 wins over Morocco and Tunisia respectively.
Despite their loss to Gabon, Tunisia made it through to the quarter finals after a 2-1 win over Niger and a crucial 2-1 win over Morocco in the opening game.
That loss proved costly for Morocco and they were out after their 3-2 loss to Gabon in the second game. They did, however beat league whipping boys Niger in the final game.
Niger lost all three games, scoring just 1 goal, conceding 5.
Along with Ivory Coast, Ghana were the pre-tournament favourites. After opening with a 1-0 win over Botswana, they sealed their place in the Quarter Finals with a 2-0 win over Mali.
Going into the final game, Mali and Guinea were tied with 1 win each from their 2 games. Mali made it through after beating Botswana 2-1, while Guinea could only draw against the already through Ghana.
After an impressive display in their 1-0 defeat to Ghana, Botswana were thrashed by Guinea 6-1, the biggest defeat of the first round.
The Quarter Final line up is as follows:
1. (04/02/12) Zambia vs Sudan
2. (04/02/12) Ivory Coast vs Equatorial Guinea
3. (05/02/12) Gabon vs Mali
4. (05/02/12) Ghana vs Tunisia