THE SHIP FINALLY CRASHLANDS; ALGERIA'S EXIT FROM AFCON
Good day, friends. I trust it has been an adventurous one? Talking about adventures, that of Algeria in the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 has finally come to an end with their shameful loss to Ivory Coast today. I had analyzed this in my previous post. At the beginning of the competition, without any work at thinking, one would predict Algeria to get to the quarter-final stage of the competition at least, giving other teams like Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, and the likes a very tough contest for the golden ware. But what we are seeing is a far cry from the preempted end we all had in mind. The big question is, “What went wrong?”
Their game between Ivory Coast could have been their one golden ticket to the knockout stage of the competition should in case they won it. But what did they do? They gave Ivory Coast a very easy win, probably the easiest they have had in this tournament, courtesy of their poor defending, indecisiveness on the ball and lack of clinical finishing. Finishing bottom of the group? 😲 Unbelievable!!! But this is football. Expect the unexpected.
A similar occurrence happened during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Spain, the defending Champions, were disgracefully defeated by the Netherlands and eventually knocked out of the competition at the group stage. Who remembers this? Netherlands would go on to be the first runner-up of the competition that year. Put in the same group as the Netherlands, Chile and Australia, they were able to win only one match and were knocked out in the group stage.
Looking at these two identical but different situations, can we conclude that this was a serious issue of underestimating other teams? I would really love you to drop your view of this in the comment section below.
TEAMS IN THE AFCON 2021 ROUND OF 16 STAGE
As it stands, these are the teams that have successfully made it to the round of 16;
• Cameroon and Burkina Faso as 1st and 2nd, respectively.
• Cape Verde, as one of the four best 3rd place teams from each group.
• Senegal and Guinea as 1st and 2nd, respectively.
• Malawi, as one of the four best 3rd place teams from each group.
• Morocco and Gabon as 1st and 2nd, respectively.
• Comoros, as one of the four best 3rd place teams from each group.
• Nigeria and Egypt as 1st and 2nd, respectively.
• Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea as 1st and 2nd, respectively.
• Gambia and Mali, being the 1st and 2nd placed teams, would need to win their respective matches tomorrow in order to successfully secure a space in the round of 16.
• Tunisia still has a chance of qualifying as one of the top two of the group should they secure a win against Gambia tomorrow and a favourable outcome ensues from the Mali/Mauritania match. In the worst-case scenario, a 3rd place should be sufficient to sail them to the next round, a stormy sail it is.
There you have it. The looming horror finally hits, and it did with no element of mercy or tenderness. This post isn’t intended to be long and bulky. I felt I owe you, my friends, this concluding part of what I began in my previous post.
The competition just got juicier. Make sure not to miss out on any action of the knockout stage, which kick-starts on Sunday. Thank you all for following me, reading and engaging on my posts so far. I’m grateful. If you have not done any of these, it costs nothing but a few RCs 😂. That’s on a very light note.
Stay positive. Peace. ✌✌