Sunday, 10 February 2013

Nigeria Win the AFCON 2013 – Sunday Mba Scores the Winning Goal on a Sunday

sunday mba scores on a sunday
"Born on Sunday, named on Sunday, played on Sunday, scored on Sunday, Pls join me in welcoming Sunday Mba...."~Wahab Adeshoga

After a beautiful closing ceremony with performances from some of Africa’s biggest musicians, Nigeria faced Burkina Faso in the AFCON final to see who the best team in the continent is. The match was well attended as all the tickets to the 94 000 seat National Stadium were sold out. The Nigerian supporters outnumbered the Burkina Faso supporters but there were many South Africans in the Stadium supporting the under dogs, there were even some Ethiopian fans in attendance.

Nigeria v Burkina Faso Result

Nigerian dominated the first half and was rewarded when Sunday Mba scored late in the first half. The Burkina Faso that was playing in the first half was not the Burkina Faso that we have seen throughout the tournament. In the second half Nigeria continued to dominate the match and missed many opportunities to seal the match. Burkina Faso began to play well and made moves forward but to no avail. They continued attacking in the dying stages on the match but it was too little too late. Sunday Mba’s goal was enough to win Nigeria the AFCON on this day, the 10th of February on a Sunday.

Stephen Keshi Joins an Elite Club

Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi becomes only the second African coach to win the AFCON as both a player and a coach.

Friday, 8 February 2013

AFCON 2013 Final SA - Nigeria v Burkina Faso

Aristide bance celebration
Aristide Bance the Burkinabe Forward celebrating 

It’s on this Sunday as the Super Eagles of Nigeria take on the Burkinabe’s. Nigeria are reaching their first final since the year 2000 whereas Burkina Faso are going to be playing in their first final, their previous best performance having been a semi-final exit when they hosted the AFCON.

Super Eagles the Giants are Becoming Confident Predators

Nigeria is confident going into the final as they have been showing an increase in performance in each game. The people of Nigeria had doubts about this team and there were questions surrounding many of their star players who were left out of the AFCON 2013 South Africa. I even doubted if the super eagles would get past the quarterfinals as they were going to face Ivory Coast who were the pre-tournament favourites and had played well during the group stages. Nigeria surprised everyone by playing well in defeating the Ivoirians who seem to always choke on the big stage (they remind me of the South African Cricket team). The team is getting support now and even those who doubted Stephen Keshi and his team are behind their team now. The AFCON seems to have united Nigerians as evidenced by the twitter comments I read following Nigeria’s victories. If Stephen Keshi’s side win the final on Sunday he will become only the second African to win the AFCON both as player and coach.

The Underdogs are Looking to Upset the Giants 

On the other hand, the Burkinabe’s are not to be taken lightly. They surprised everyone by making past the group stages, since in previous AFCON’s they had not managed to win a match on foreign land. They made it out of the group stages with the help of their top goal scorer in this AFCON Alaine Traoure who was injured in the final match of the group stages. He will not be playing in the final but will be there to support his team mates. Another key member of the Burkinabe squad Jonathon Pitroipa was sent off on Wednesday for simulation after he was tackled in the Ghanaians penalty area but after an appeal for him to play in the final as the simulation was a wrong call by the referee; he has been cleared to play in the final. It must be a relief for the Burkinabe as he is by far their best player of the tournament so far.   Things are looking up for the Burkinabe and they are growing in confidence as evident in their match against Ghana. Despite being denied a penalty, losing Pitroipa and having what looked like a legitimate goal denied they came out on top. Their Striker Aristide Bance had a good game on Wednesday with numerous shots at goal in which he converted one to equal the score against Ghana. Bance even showed confidence when he took a cheeky penalty during the penalty shootout which Burkina Faso won 3-2. This lanky striker could prove to be a menace against the Super Eagles. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Burkina Faso Make it to The Final of The AFCON 2013 Ghana is Out

Bance Fancy blond dreads hair
Bance the goalscorer for Burkina Faso
Source: Twitter

In what was arguably the most exciting game of the tournament Burkina Faso have qualified to go to the finals of the AFCON 2013, beating the favourites Ghana 3-2 on penalties after drawing the game 1-1 in 120 minutes of open play. Burkina Faso controlled the game they out played Ghana. Even though Ghana had a few chances to score which they missed Burkina Faso had more chances, Bance the Burkina Faso forward has multiple chances to convert, he hit the cross bar once and scored their goal in the second half after Ghana had scored from the penalty spot in the first half.

Ghana had trouble dealing with the Burkina Faso attack, they had trouble dealing with Bance and Janathon Pitroipa. The referee was against Burkina Faso in this match first he denied them what looked like a clear goal, then he gave Pitroipa a red card when he had clearly been fouled in the 18 area, saying that he was diving . It was Pitroipa's second yellow that is why he got a red. Despite this the Burkinabe's pulled through and won the match that they should have won in open play through penalties.

Burkina Faso has now for the first time qualified for the final of the AFCON, where they will meet the Super Eagles of Nigeria. This will be an epic match, a David v Goliath match. Burkina Faso have been entertaining throughout this tournament and have had a solid defense only conceding twice so far in the tournament.
They have made the sand pit that is Mbombela Stadium their home, doing very well there. They have been my favourite team this tournament, and I am looking forward to seeing them play Nigeria in the final this weekend.

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