New Champion to be Crowned at Equatorial Guinea 2015

Posted January 7th, 2015 at 4:01 pm (UTC-4)
2 comments

Equatorial Guinea 2015Equatorial Guinea 2015 is shaping up as one of the most competitive Africa Cup of Nations football tournaments in recent years.

The 16-team tournament, which kicks off January 17th, features nine former champions, but not the reigning titleholder, Nigeria, which failed to qualify.

Longtime African football analyst David Legge, soccer writer for Agence France-Presse, says he counts seven teams that could possibly lift the trophy on February 8th in the seaport city of Bata.

They are, in alphabetical order, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli and the Desert Foxes of Algeria are bidding for their first Nations Cup title in 25 years. Photo: Reuters

Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli and the Desert Foxes of Algeria are bidding for their first Nations Cup title in 25 years. Photo: Reuters

The Desert Foxes of Algeria kicked sand in the faces of many World Cup experts by reaching the Round of 16 for the first time in the country’s history at last year’s football showpiece in Brazil.

However, the Algerians haven’t won the Nations Cup since 1990 when they hosted the African championship and captured their only crown.

Of the seven teams that Legge mentioned, Ghana and Cameroon have the proudest Nations Cup pedigrees. Each has won the Cup four times.

The Black Stars of Ghana, like the Desert Foxes, have gone through a long dry spell at the Nations Cup. Their last African title was in 1982.

Cameroon’s last championship was in 2002, when it beat Senegal, 3-2 on penalty kicks, in Mali. That was Senegal’s best ever Nations Cup showing.

French coach Claude Le Roy will be giving instructions to Congo-Brazzaville's players during the 2015 Nations Cup. Photo: AP

French coach Claude Le Roy will be giving instructions to Congo-Brazzaville’s players during the 2015 Nations Cup. Photo: AP

Legge’s dark horse picks for the 30th edition of African football’s premier event are Gabon, Cape Verde and Congo-Brazzaville, which plays Equatorial Guinea in the tournament’s opening match in Bata.

He says “the sly French fox” Claude Le Roy, the head coach of Congo-Brazzaville, makes the Congolese a threat to go far in Equatorial Guinea.

The 66-year-old Le Roy has had successful coaching stints in the past with Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Legge’s words, “has a magical effect” on the teams he guides.

Equatorial Guinea, which co-hosted the 2012 Nations Cup with Gabon, has had only about nine weeks to get ready for staging the tournament at a cost estimated at $40 million.

Morocco, the original host, wanted the competition postponed because of Ebola fears and Equatorial Guinea stepped in as a last minute replacement.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

2 responses to “New Champion to be Crowned at Equatorial Guinea 2015”

  1. segun Adeyemi says:

    ”The Desert Foxes of Algeria kicked sand in the faces of many World Cup experts….” Nice one, Sonny. They may just kick more sand in the faces of their opponents at the Nations Cup to lift the trophy. Can’t wait for the tournament to start! Let the games begin!!!

  2. Mark Ouma says:

    Sonny this is a good preview of the tournament. My take is a bit different.

    Clearly this 2015 Orange African Cup of Nations is a very open contest. It is a while since the Nations Cup has been so open. The two sides that emerge from Group C featuring Algeria, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa should provide at least one of the finalists.

    The 2013 finalist Burkina Faso, and Cape Verde Islands are strong contenders to reach the semi finals. They play under no pressure which is good for them.

    There are five teams (Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon,Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo) all from the Central Africa region where the contest is taking place. They will have some sort of home ground advantage. This could see them surprise us by producing the winner (Republic of Congo) as they did in 1972 in Cameroon.

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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