[ 2012-01-22 ]
2012 Afcon: Zambia stun Senegal, Equatorial Guinea win
First half goals from Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford
Kalaba ensured Zambia earned all three points in
their opening 2012 Africa Cup of Nations game
against favourites Senegal, claiming a 2-1
A second half consolation from the west Africans,
which was scored by Deme N'Doye, was not enough to
give them a point.
Highly-rated Senegal failed to live up to their
billing as a composed Zambia squad controlled much
of the game, particularly the first half. Many
critics had written off the Zambians, yet it was
them who deservedly led after only 11 minutes.
Young Boys striker Mayuka put coach Herve Renarb’s
charges in the lead with a free header that owed
much to the lousy defence of coach Amara Traore’s
side. The 21-year-old converted from three yards
past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul.
Senegal threatened to get the leveller two minutes
later, but a free kick from Mamadou Niang followed
up by a header from Moussa Sow was pushed out by
goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
The Copper Bullets were on top of their game as
captain Christopher Katongo controlled affairs for
the southern Africans, and a smart feed to Kabala
allowed the striker to fire past Coundoul to
increase their tally in the 20th minute.
The Senegalese were found wanton, especially their
defence, whenever the Zambians headed towards
their goalmouth, though the score was unchanged
before the break.
The Teranga Lions added some spark into their play
with the introduction of Papiss Demba Cisse. But
coach Traore’s half-time briefing and changes were
not enough to overturn the deficit, though they
did manage to produce a consolation courtesy
N'Doye. The Copenhagen striker chested down from a
long free kick and then fired past Mweene.
In spite of the west African’s determination to
live up to expectations, going so close as to hit
the bar, the Zambians held on to their win to top
Group A on three points, leading Equatorial Guinea
on goals scored.
Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Libya
Equatorial Guinea got the 2012 Africa Cup of
Nations off to a dramatic start with a 1-0 win
over Libya in their first Group A match in Bata on
The tournament opener looked set to be a tame
goalless stalemate until the 87th minute when
Nzalang Nacional broke the deadlock through
attacking midfielder Javier Balboa.
It was Equatorial Guinea’s first win in an AFCON
finals tournament and will reportedly earn their
players a $1-million bonus from the son of the
Libya settled the quicker of the two teams, but it
was the hosts who dominated the first half once
they found their rhythm. Nzalang Nacional were
soon launching raiding attacks, particularly down
the left flank where Iban Iyanga saw plenty of the
Equatorial Guinea thought they had taken the lead
on 16 minutes when a low shot from Ivan Bolado
squirmed through the arms of Libya goalkeeper
Samir Aboud and rolled over the line, but Thierry
Fidjeu was in an offside position when the effort
came in and the goal was controversially ruled
The hosts continued to boss the game in the
remainder of the first half, but after the break
it was Libya who began to see more of the ball.
However, the North Africans lacked the quality in
the final third to really test the hosts’ defence.
Nzalang Nacional had been quiet for most of the
second half but on 87 minutes they finally broke
the deadlock, with Javier Balboa springing the
offside trap and firing the ball into the top
corner after running onto a great pass from
substitute Daniel Ekodo.
Rolan de la Cruz almost made it 2-0 a few minutes
later with a sizzling drive that rattled the
crossbar, but the hosts did need goalkeeper Danilo
Emanuel to make a vital save in between.
Source - Goal. com and MTNFootball
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