09 February, 2012

Upset of the Year

Above, you see Zambia's Emmanuel Mayuka celebrating after scoring the game's only goal against Ghana in the African Nations Cup semi-final yesterday. Asamoah Gyan had missed an 8th minute penalty kick for Ghana and was removed for a substitute late in the game.

Asamoah Gyan was fouled in the box and took the penalty himself, but Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene made the save to keep the game scoreless. Don't think it was just luck; Kennedy Mweene was named the South Africa Premier League goalkeeper of the year in 2010 with Free State Stars, and is considered to be the best goalie in that league. At halftime, Zambia replaced starting forward James Chamanga with Emmanuel Mayuka, the only Zambia player who plays for a first division European team (Bern SC Young Boys, Switzerland). Mayuka was creating chances for Zambia, but Ghana had far more opportunities and Mweene made several saves, until the 77th minute when Mayuka put a dribble move around Rennes defender John Boye and found himself open enough to shoot the ball into the net. Zambia appears in the African Nations Cup final for the first time since 1994.

Their opponent will be Ivory Coast, who defeated Mali 1-0 yesterday in the other semifinal. The match was one-sided as Didier Drogba struck the post with a header in the 6th minute, and then Yaya Toure struck the other post less than five minutes later with an even stronger header. Arsenal's Gervinho was the man to finally score for the Elephants, in the 44th minute, on a solo run down the left side that beat the Mali defense. Ivory Coast goalkeeper Boubacar Barry needed no saves as Ivory Coast still has not allowed a goal in the entire tournament.

The final between Zambia and Ivory Coast is Sunday, from Libreville, Gabon

Photo: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

06 February, 2012

EPL: Aston Villa v Newcastle Highlights

What a strange season. Newcastle is winning... a lot, they have international teammates Cisse and Ba playing together up top and scoring with regularity (well, Cisse scored in his debut yesterday), and Aston Villa has to rely on ex-Spur Robbie "I'm too old for this sh.." Keane to put one on the board. What's next, Spurs play in CL action next year?

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Chelsea v Manchester United Highlights

Who's the winner when no one wants to win? Chelsea went up 3-0, thanks in part to an own goal by Evans, then quick goals from Mata and Luiz.

Switching to cruise control, Chelsea forgot to realize that none of their wheels were on well and it all just came apart.

They gave up two penalties in 11 minutes and then a final equalizer by Chicharito dooms Chelsea to forever be looking up at another team in London.

Video: Fox Sports

05 February, 2012

African Nations Cup Final Four

Yes, I admit that I enjoyed American Football today, Super Bowl Sunday, but in the rest of the world, Association Football was played as usual. Especially in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, co-hosts of the 2012 African Nations Cup.

Yesterday, powerful co-favorites Ivory Coast defeated co-host Equatorial Guinea 3-0. The game was lopsided, but the score didn't show it in the first half. Despite a dominating performance by Ivory Coast, the score was 1-0 at halftime, thanks to Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Danilo saving a Didier Drogba penalty kick in the first half with the score still 0-0. Drogba must have started taking the game seriously because he dribbled through the whole Equatorial Guinea defense for the game's first goal just before halftime. Drogba scored a header from a Yaya Toure free kick in the second half, then Yaya Toure scored a direct free kick to finish off the hosts 3-0. Next up for the Elephants will be surprising Mali.

EPL: Arsenal v Blackburn Highlights

Ever have one of those days where you wish you hadn't gotten out of bed? Steve Kean is having one of those seasons. Arsenal, came into the game without a win in 2012. Blackburn came in sucking. It was bound to get ugly and it did. Quickly.

Oh, where to begin... Van Persie with a goal in the 2nd minute to start out his hat-trick. Oxlade-Chamberlain netted a brace. Arteta scored. Henry scored again. Arsenal had 68% of possession and limited Blackburn to 2 SOG. For their part, Blackburn did manage to score on one of those, so I guess they have that going for them. Yeah, we're thinking you should send your condolences now to Steve Kean, c/o "a loony bin after working for Blackburn". And get on that, cause the guy is probably going to get fired after this.

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Everton v Wigan Highights

A lot less thrilling than it sounded. A scoreless first half, an own goal by Phil Neville then a late last gasp goal by Anichebe preserves a tie, and both teams walk away with 1pt.

Video: Fox Sports

EPL: Fulham v Manchester City Highlights

Aguero gets a penalty, Dzeko scores and Fulham decides to just gift City a goal when Baird redirects a cross into his own goal. City gets some breathing room up top, 3-0.

Video: Fox Sports

TSI Blog Archive