Friday, 13 January 2012

African Cup of Nations Preview: Group A

Welcome to Real Talk Football's African Cup of Nation's preview. Here you'll find all you need to know about each team in this years tournament which gets under way on the January 21st. 

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Group A

Iban Iyanga
Equatorial Guinea

Best finish: First time qualifiers

Key Man: Iban Iyanga

Winger who plays for Las Palmas, in Spain’s Segunda Division, he is 24 years old and has 6 caps for the co-hosts.

Coach: Gilson Paulo

Took over as coach on the 3rd of January due to former coach Henri Michael quitting due to a protest at “third party” interference. Paulo had previously worked as Sports Director at the Vasco da Gama football academy.

Qualification process: Co-hosts

Previous appearances: 0

Vs. Libya – 21/01/12
Vs. Senegal – 25/01/12
Vs. Zambia – 29/01/12


Best finish: Runners-Up 1982

Key Man: Samir Aboud

National team goalkeeper and captain. The most successful player in Libyan football history, winning 18 different titles with Al-Ittahad, the 39 year old brings vast amounts of experience.

Coach: Marcos Paqueta

Brazilian coach, 53, has previous experience coaching in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and in his native country. Managed the Saudi Arabia national team at World Cup 2006. With the Arab uprising, and new found patriotism, the national team are riding on the wave of emotion and new found optimism, and the football teams qualification has created its on piece of history. New kit, new flag, new colours, they'll hope to cause some history and be dark horses for the ACN title.

Qualification process: Top Two Runners-Up

Previous appearances:  2

Vs. Equatorial Guinea – 21/01/12
Vs. Zambia – 25/01/12
Vs. Senegal – 29/01/12


Best finish: Runners-Up 2002

Key Man: Moussa Sow

The Lille striker has been subject of a bid from Turkish side Fenerbahce which could hamper his preparation for the ACN tournament. The 26 year old will link up with fellow in-form striker Demba Ba, and could make up a feared front pairing.

Coach: Amara Traore

Been in charge since December 2009, he was a member of the historic 2002 squad which reached the World Cup quarter final, however he didn’t make a single appearance. His only other managerial experience was with second division Senegalese side ASC Linguere.

Qualification process: Group E Winner

Previous appearances: 11

Vs. Zambia – 21/01/12
Vs. Equatorial Guinea – 25/01/12
Vs. Libya – 29/01/12


Best finish: Runners-Up 1974, 1994

Key Man: Colin Mbusema

This name may be familiar to a few Portsmouth fans, he made 4 appearances for the south coast club between 2005-07. He’s been a numerous clubs from Turkey to Portugal, but has found his feet again in South African football, now plying his trade with Golden Arrows, and has hit 11 goals in 14 appearances. Renowned for his poor behaviour, Mbesuma has a chance to prove his worth on Africa’s biggest stage. He has 14 goals in 36 appearances.

Coach: Herve Renard

Former defender who spent his career playing in France. Now, 43, has previously managed in England with Cambridge United, and is taking up his second stint as Zambian head coach.

Qualification process: Group C Winner

Previous appearances: 14

Vs. Senegal – 21/01/12
Vs. Libya – 25/01/12
Vs. Equatorial Guinea – 29/01/12

Scroll down for part two!

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