Africa Cup of Nations 2012 Group A: Senegal 1 Zambia 2

22 Jan

Read any preview of the Africa Cup of Nations and you’ll read expert after expert talk of Senegal’s striking talent. Football being football Saturday’s tie between the Terranga Lions and Chipolopolos didn’t really turn out that way. The undoubted talents of Moussa Sow, Demba Ba, Pappis Cisse and Mamadou Niang failed to fire and it was the trio of Christopher Katongo, Rainford Kalaba and Emmanual Mayuka who impressed.

Senegal lined up in their all white strip against Zambia in their green and orange number. If any football match ever symbolised the Tic Tacs battle between “minty fresh” and “fruity” then this was it. It was the Young Boys youngster Emmanuel Mayuka who impressed the most, finding space behind the Senegalese back-line on numerous occasions as the Terranga Lions back four. In the 12th minute the 21 year old Mayunka  headed the Copper Bullets into a fully deserved lead, his celebration matching his exuberant style as he somersaulted towards the touchline giving African Cup of Nations montage editors footage for their end of tournament  pieces.

Only eight minutes later the Chipolopolos had doubled their lead, Rainford Kalaba slotting past the rushing Senegalese keeper with some confidence. The Zambian player who plays his football in the Democratic Republic of Congo for recent African Champions League winners TP Mazembe celebrated with his substitutes who sported some of the finest tracksuit tops ever seen at an international tournament (seriously, if you get a chance take a look at Zambian subs in their forthcoming African Cup matches).

Senegal’s well taken consolation goal from one of the Terranga Lions’ less talked about front-men Dame N’Doye did lead to a resurgence in their fortunes, however their only other real chance was a header from Ba that struck the bar (or did it strike the Ba?). Despite their obvious difficulties in defence and their profligacy in possession the Terranga Lions did show enough to suggest they’ll have enough quality to see off Libya and Equatorial Guinea in their final two games, but their opening day loss gives them very little lee-way in their quest to reach the second stages.

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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Africa


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