AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS 2017
Gabon was the home of entertainment as the 31st Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) took place from January 14 2017 to February 5 2017, where 16 countries battled it out for glory. In this article, you can look back on how AFCON 2017 unfolded with all the group tables and analysis of each of the four groups, results of all matches played, and outstanding players and a recap of Cameroon and Egypt journey to the Final.
GROUP A – STATISTICS TABLE
At the end of the group fixture Burkina Faso and Cameroon qualified for the next round, while the host Gabon failed to advance, even though they exited without losing a game. They picked up a point in all three games but it was not enough to guarantee them qualification to the next round. Gabon is the first of all AFCON hosts to crash out of the tournament this early since 1994. Guinea-Bissau also did not make it to the next round. The group was dominated by draws and only two wins coming from the match between Cameroon vs Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Bissau vs Burkina Faso.
The results for each match played in this Group A are as follows:
Gabon 1 – 1 Guinea-Bissau Burkina Faso 1 – 1 Cameroon
Gabon 1 – 1 Burkina Faso Cameroon 2 – 1 Guinea-Bissau
Cameroon 0 – 0 Gabon Guinea-Bissau 0 – 2 Burkina Faso
The Terranga Lions of Senegal took a commanding lead in the group with two wins before drawing their last fixture 2-All with Algeria. The draw meant that Algeria – one of the pre-tournament favourites had to exit out of the tournament. The qualifiers in this group were Senegal and Tunisia, while Algeria and Zimbabwe did not make it to the next round.
Group B recorded the highest number of goals at this stage and also for a game at the tournament this far. Six goals were produced in the Tunisia – Zimbabwe clash. Tunisia remain the only team so far to hit four goals in a group stage
The match results in this group are as shown below:
Algeria 2 – 2 Zimbabwe Tunisia 0 – 2 Senegal
Algeria 1 – 2 Tunisia Senegal 2 – 0 Zimbabwe
Senegal 2 – 2 Algeria Zimbabwe 2 – 4 Tunisia
GROUP C – STATISTICS TABLE
The biggest upset of the tournament came in Group C when defending champions Ivory Coast were knocked out of the tournament on Day 11. The Congolese eventually topped the group and advanced with Morocco.
The match results for this group are as shown below:
Ivory Coast 0 – 0 Togo DR Congo 1 – 0 Morocco
Ivory Coast 2 – 2 DR Congo Morocco 3 – 1 Togo
Morocco 1 -0 Ivory Coast Togo 1 – 3 DR Congo
GROUP D – STATISTICS TABLE
Ghana aimed for a 100% Group record but that was not to be as Mohammed Salah’s 10th minute strike in their game on match day 12 lifted the Egyptians to the top of the group and consigned the Black Stars to their first defeat at the AFCON.
Ghana had previously won games against Mali and Uganda while Egypt beat Uganda and drew with Mali. Both teams advanced while Uganda and Mali bow out.
The results at the group stage for the teams in group D are as shown below:
Ghana 1 – 0 Uganda Mali 0 – 0 Egypt
Ghana 1 – 0 Mali Egypt 1 – 0 Uganda
Egypt 1 – 0 Ghana Uganda 1 – 1 Mali
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: KNOCKOUT FIXTURES AND RESULTS
JANUARY 28 2017
Burkina Faso 2 – 0 Tunisia
Senegal 0 – 0 Cameroon (Pen: 4-5)
JANUARY 29 2017
DR Congo 1 – 2 Ghana
Egypt 1 – 0 Morocco
February 1 2017
Burkina Faso 1 – 1 Egypt (Penalties: 3-4)
February 2 2017
Cameroon 2 – 0 Ghana
Third place play-off, February 4 2017
Burkina Faso 1 – 0 Ghana
FINAL, February 5 2017
Egypt 1 – 2 Cameroon
The Indomitable Lions are the Afcon champions after beating Egypt 2 – 1 in one of the best finals in memory.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are the AFCON 2017 Champions
Here is a recap of the two teams’ journey so far:
For the Indomitable Lions it wasn’t an easy ride to the Final. Before the tournament even started, seven of their top players decided they would rather stick it out with their European clubs than play for the continental trophy. This therefore meant that the Indomitable Lions headed into the tournament with a number of vastly in experienced players, particularly in defence.
Cameroon took an unpredictable and frenetic approach right from the start. They drew their opening fixture against Burkina Faso before beating Guinea-Bissau and then playing out a 0 – 0 draw against the host Gabon. In the quarter finals, tournament favourites Senegal awaited and somehow, the young and leaky defence patched things up and held to push for penalties after a 0 – 0 stalemate.
Fate was on Cameroon’s side and decisive penalty miss from Sadio Mane meant the Indomitable Lions lived to roar another day.
In the semi-finals, Ghana’s Black stars awaited, and Cameroons impossible dream continued. Two late strikes knocked Ghana out thereby guaranteeing them a place in the final where they would clash with Egypt.
The Pharaohs had a relatively untroubled run in the group stages, winning two and drawing one of their three matches.
Their quarter final encounter against Morocco was relatively uneventful and a 1 – 0 victory ensured that they progressed.
Egypt conceded their first goal of the tournament in the semi-finals against Burkina Faso. The match had to be settled on penalties after the Burkina Faso equalised late. Egypt won this match through spot kicks. Egypt’s journey has not been as colourful as Cameroons’.
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT
Christian Bassogog has been named the player of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations after helping Cameroon lift the trophy for the first time in 15 years. The 21 year old becomes the first Cameroonian to win the prize since Rigobert Song in 2002.
Bassogog was awarded the prize having impressed throughout the group stages and putting in a commanding performance in their Final match against Egypt.
Let Us know your thoughts on this year’s AFCON!