Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Sunday, June 15, 2014

World Cup 2014: Ivory Coast shows the way, but only after Drogba comes on

Get in! Gervinho celebrates his winning goal

Ivory Coast      (0) 2
Japan               (1) 1

Ivory Coast showed the way tonight. Maybe they are Africa’s best hope. A come-from-behind 2-1 win over Japan sees Ivory Cost in a wonderful position, joint top of Group C with Colombia on three points – a draw with Colombia in the next game most likely seals place in the next round.

It wasn’t straightforward though. Ivory Coast started well, with good shape and an apparent understanding of the tactics set out. However, a slip in focus led to slack defending which led to Japan’s goal, a brilliant touch and finish from Keisuke Honda.

From there Ivory Coast seemed to totally lose their shape and, in truth, if wasn’t for Japan’s sloppiness on the counterattack the game could have been out of Ivory Coast's reach by halftime.

The introduction of Didier Drogba on the hour mark changed everything. The Elephants stepped up their pressure and belief. Wilfried Bony soon equalised in the 64th minute before Gervinho’s winner two minutes later.

Ivory Coast have shown the way for other African teams.

Belief is always a problem for African teams as shown by Ivory Coast’s own inability to impose themselves on Japan in the first half. After Bony’s equaliser, however, the Elephants were rampant. At last they looked bigger, faster and stronger.

That’s the way to go for Africa. Keep your shape as a team and play as a unit and then augment that with a gung-ho, no-questions-asked mentality and really impose your superior physicality on the game.  

Go for it Africa.

Match Stats
Throw ins
Pass Success
Aerial Success

Shots on Goal
Ivory Coast

Total Shots
On Target
Off Target
Hit Woodwork

Friday, June 13, 2014

World Cup 2014: Fixtures & Results

World Cup 2014: Schedule

#WorldCup2014... Who will rule the world?
Thursday 12 June
Group A: Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Friday 13 June
Group A: Mexico 1-0 Cameroon
Group B: Spain 1-5 Netherlands, Chile3-1Australia

Saturday 14 June
Group C: Colombia 3-0 Greece, Côte d'Ivoire 2-1 Japan
Group D: Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica, England 1-2 Italy

Sunday 15 June
Group E: (18:00) Switzerland v Ecuador, France 3-0 Honduras
Group F: Argentina 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Monday 16 June
Group F: Iran 0-0 Nigeria
Group G: Germany 4-0 Portugal, Ghana 1-2 USA

Tuesday 17 June
Group A: Brazil 0-0 Mexico
Group H: Belgium 2-1 Algeria, Russia 1-1 South Korea

Wednesday 18 June
Group A: Cameroon 0-4 Croatia
Group B: Australia 2-3 Netherlands, Spain 0-2 Chile

Thursday 19 June
Group C: Colombia 2-1 Côte d'Ivoire, Japan 0-0 Greece
Group D: Uruguay 2-1 England

Friday 20 June
Group D: (18:00) Italy v Costa Rica
Group E: (21:00) Switzerland v France, (00:00) Honduras v Ecuador

Golden Boy... Brazil expects

Saturday 21 June
Group F: Argentina 1-0 Iran, Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group G: Germany 2-2 Ghana

Sunday 22 June
Group G: USA 2-2 Portugal
Group H: Belgium 1-0 Russia, South Korea 2-4 Algeria

Monday 23 June
Group A: Cameroon 1-4 Brazil, Croatia 1-3 Mexico
Group B:  Australia 0-3 Spain, Netherlands 2-0 Chile

Tuesday 24 June
Group C: Greece 2-1 Côte d'Ivoire, Japan 1-4 Colombia
Group D: Costa Rica 0-0 England, Italy 0-1 Uruguay

Wednesday 25 June
Group E: (22:00) Ecuador v. France, (22:00) Honduras v. Switzerland
Group F: (18:00) Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Iran, (18:00) Nigeria v. Argentina

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Field set for 2014 Cosafa Cup

The field for the 2014 Cosafa Cup is set and it will have a West African flavor with continental giants Ghana taking part for the first time. The Black Stars, who will be competing at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, will join 13 other countries for the two-week regional showpiece to be hosted by Botswana in September.

Dancing to the Cosafa beat...
Ghana's Black Stars
Ghana have taken the place of Comoros Islands, who have opted not to compete in this year’s championship, and will be aiming to become the first non-Southern African side to lift the trophy in the tournament’s 17-year history. 

The news represents a boost for the Cosafa Cup with the four-time African champions sure to enhance the tournament’s profile and quality.

“We are delighted to have Ghana competing in Botswana and it is another sign of the high regard the rest of Africa places in the Cosafa Cup competition,” Timothy Shongwe, chairman of Cosafa’s organising committee, said.

“Players from Ghana are coveted by top European clubs and there is a good chance that we will see future superstars of the national team in Botswana later this year. It will be a huge test for our Southern African sides to take on the Black Stars, but that is just the type of competition we are looking for to help develop the game in the region.” 

The format of the 2014 competition will be the same as in Zambia last year where two first-round groups will be contested with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals. Lesotho, ranked 139th in the world, is likely to be one of the six nations drawn to the group stage.

Ghana will likely receive a bye into the quarterfinals along with the five other best ranked teams according to the Fifa World Rankings when the draw for the tournament is made.

Definding Champions... Zambia
There will also be a Plate competition for teams knocked out in the quarterfinals to give all teams the opportunity to play multiple matches. 

Zambia are the defending champions after beating Zimbabwe in the final last year. That was Chipolopolo’s fourth title which moved them to joint most with Zimbabwe. The only other winners in the tournament’s history are South Africa and Angola with three titles each.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Afcon 2015: Lesotho 2-0 Liberia

2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier
First Round, second leg
Sunday, 01 June
Setsoto Stadium, Maseru
Lesotho 2-0 Liberia

Lesotho wins 2-1 on aggregate