Mike Eckel
Mike Eckel's dreams of being drafted by Man United or FC Barcelona peaked when he was captain of his high school football team, but ended during his short-lived college career. He continues to be an avid player (midfield) however and holds out hope that Jozy Altidore will get his act together for 2018. When not running VOA's football blogs, he writes about Russia, international war crimes, Central Asia corruption and oversees VOA's multimedia collaboration efforts.

All posts by Mike Eckel

Les Elephants Raises AFCON Trophy after Epic Penalty Shootout

Posted February 8th, 2015 at 6:34 pm (UTC-4)
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In the end, it came down to the giants: The Giants of African Football. Black Stars and Elephants. Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire. And in the end, it was goalkeeper Boubacar Barry and the Orange Men of West Africa who outlasted Ghana through 120 minutes to claim triumph on penalties in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations […]

Posted in Africa Cup 2015

Hosts Equatorial Guinea Fined for Semifinal Match Violence

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:48 pm (UTC-4)
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Africa Cup organizers hit hosts Equatorial Guinea with a $100,000 fine Friday for not doing more to control the fan violence that erupted during Ghana’s semifinal trouncing of Equatorial Guinea. With Ghana leading 2-0 at the half during the match Thursday, home field fans began to get unruly, pelting Ghanian players with bottles and other […]

Posted in Africa Cup 2015

Ghana Heads to Finals After Downing Equatorial Guinea 3-0

Posted February 5th, 2015 at 6:33 pm (UTC-4)
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Last summer, Ghana’s high hopes for World Cup glory were quashed during a decidedly unimpressive group stage performance, when they were outplayed not only by the eventual winners, Germany, but by the perennial upstarts, the United States. Now, they are on the verge of replacing that memory with a new one, as a decisive 3-0 […]

Posted in Africa Cup 2015

Cote D’Ivoire Trounces Top-rated Algeria; Ghana Pounds Guinea

Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 11:09 am (UTC-4)
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Before the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament started earlier this month, Wilfried Bony had been newly minted as the best paid African footballer in history, with his signing by Manchester City. His performance leading Les Elephants to a 3-1 victory over Algeria shows why. Bony scored twice Sunday to silence The Desert Foxes– Africa’s […]

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Algeria, Ghana Advance to Knockout Round

Posted January 27th, 2015 at 5:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Algeria and Ghana advanced to the knockout round of the Africa Cup of Nations Tuesday, with the Desert Foxes winning a decisive 2-0 victory over Senegal Tuesday and the Black Stars beating South Africa 2-1. Ghana ended the group stage atop Group C on goal differentials, even though Algeria is currently the top rated African […]

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Rain Dampens Zambia-Cape Verde Match… And Neither Side Advances

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 4:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Zambia and Cape Verde battled to a rain-soaked goal-less draw Monday, sending Zambia, the 2012 champions, homeward. The tie resulted in both teams at the bottom of Group B, meaning Cape Verde also failed to advance. In the other Group B match-up, however, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tunisia drew at 1 apiece, giving […]

Posted in Africa Cup 2015

Equatorial Guinea Reaches Knockout Round with Win Over Gabon

Posted January 26th, 2015 at 11:19 am (UTC-4)
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Equatorial Guinea sent hometown fans into exultation Sunday, with a 2-0 win over Gabon that sent the Africa Cup of Nations host advancing to the knockout round. A 55th minute foul by Lloyd Palun against striker Javier Balboa led to a penalty and a goal by Balboa. Gabon, led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, struggled to match […]

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Mali Frustrates Cote D’Ivoire; Cameroon, Guinea Tie

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 4:24 pm (UTC-4)
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Les Elephants continued to show middling results in Africa Cup of Nations 2015, as a dogged Malian side scored early and then held off repeated attacks until a late goal from Max Gradel. Saturday’s 1-1 draw put Mali and Cote D’Ivoire tied at the top of Group D, along with the other teams in the […]

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Ghana Stuns Algeria; South Africa, Senegal Draw

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 5:38 pm (UTC-4)
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When Ghana announced that Asamoah Gyan had contracted malaria on the eve of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, fans of the Black Stars were understandably discouraged. The striker who plays in the UAE Pro League was forced to watch his side’s opening 2-1 loss to Senegal from the sidelines. But the Ghanian captain silenced […]

Posted in Africa Cup 2015

The White Witch Speaks: “This is a Very Nice AFCON!”

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 2:24 pm (UTC-4)
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Congo has already seen historic success in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, its first appearance in the tournament since 2000. Under the experienced eyes of Frenchman Claude Leroy, the Red Devils opened their bid for trophy with a 1-1 tie against Equatorial Guinea, but then notched a 1-0 victory against Gabon. Leroy, who’s known […]

Posted in Africa Cup 2015

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