Arsenal’s five-strong AFCON contingent have made it through the first round of games in Cameroon.
Here’s how they fared…
Morocco 1-0 Ghana
Thomas was substituted in stoppage time as Ghana lost their opening match to Sofiane Boufal’s strike seven minutes from the end. Ghana will hope to get back on track when they face Auba’s Gabon on Friday.
Comoros 0-1 Gabon
Auba had to sit out the game after testing positive for Covid-19 on his arrival in Cameroon. The good news is that our striker is out of isolation, back in training ahead and available on Friday.
Ivory Coast 1-0 Equatorial Guinea
Nico came off the bench to play the final 19 minutes. Captain Max Gradel scored the winner after 5 minutes with a spectacular strike from the edge of the box
What a hit Max Gradel ☄️🇨🇮 pic.twitter.com/iEIea8gd3j
— VERSUS (@vsrsus) January 12, 2022
Nigeria 1-0 Egpyt
Kelechi Iheanacho’s early strike was enough for the Super Eagles to take the points against Mo’s lacklustre Egypt. Our man played the full match in midfield. Egypt go again on Saturday versus Guinea-Bissau.
Tunisia 0-1 Mali
Omar watched from the bench as his country’s match turned into a farce following some bizarre timekeeping that saw referee Janny Sikazwe of Zambia twice blow his whistle before the clock had hit 90 minutes. 25 minutes after the players had returned to the dressing room, officials decided the final minutes should be played only for Tunisia to refuse. Tunisia have since lodged a complaint to CAF about the officiating.
The referee blows the whistle before the 90 minutes are up…
VAR checks, two penalties and a red card… no stoppage time?!
It ends Tunisia 0-1 Mali 👀 pic.twitter.com/tPoiw7ZNGX
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 12, 2022
Didn’t realise the Afcon was golden goal from the outset.
I watched several of these matches. I was surprised that both Partey and Elneny were average if not outright poor. Of course they are affected by their teammates but it was still shocking.
Thought Egypt were poor in general. Don’t remember Salah getting a sniff at goal all match. Though maybe that had something to do with Nigeria just looking a much better organised both in defence & attack.
The Egyptian press attacked Queiroz for his tactics. They sarcastically said that he played a new revolutionary 5-5-0 formation
I mean to be fair it didn’t look miles off of that. Strangely they still made it look as though Nigeria could score at will.
Watched the match too. Nigeria were very impressive and I would put them as favourites. Tommy P come back, miss you.
Looks like the Premier League hasn’t cornered the market on crap refs. Yet.
That ref will get man utda next game. As soon as utd go a goal up he just calls full time
Did generous Auba give his watch to this referee? Wait, he would have stopped the game ten minutes late.
Ridicolous to think Pepe cant beat a 34 year old Sivasspor player for a starting place. Dont know whats going on there, but must be bothersome for him, considering he is one of the biggest signings in recent pl history. 73 mil or not, he should still be much better than that.
To be fair Zaha started on the bench as well. I doubt we’ll see the both of them starting on the bench again
You will see both of them on the bench again. The pitches aren’t great but African football has always called for fighters over talent. You have the talent and it’s a bonus at AFCON. We’ve watched Kanu, Eto’o , Drogba, Yaya , Yeboa, Abedi Pele, Kufo fight in unbearable heat and humidity to get their teams an edge. Believe me it’s easy to watch Zaha or Pepe train in these conditions and decide against starting them. I bet any of you nobody will see Zaha, Pepe, Benrahma start an early kickoff
They’re obviously resting him for the big WAD [West Africa derby] against Sierra Leone on the weekend…
Sierra Leone by the way has a spine of Kamaras. They have Kamaras in goal, as a holding mid, as a 10, and as a striker. Must be confusing as f**k to listen to the commentary if they play out from the back.
Am I a bad person if I don’t wish Ghana well?
Ita ok for the next game…. we can tell ourselves we simply need to see Auba find his form with Gabon…. that it would help knlock Ghana out and Partay comes back sooner is an unintended side effect
I wouldn’t bet on that if I were you, AFCON qulaifies the best third placed teams from the group stage, Ghana probably need just a win to qualify for the next stage
Haha I love how we were able to fit in the Mali game into this article 😂
The ref in the Mali game lol he’d fit in well with EPL standards 👍 hope he can be flown over to ref tonight’s match 😂
How the fk does a game end b4 90 min? Who is regulating these matches?
Ref had to go to the hospital after the game.