For the first time in 39 years Taifa Star are back on Africa’s biggest football stage.
Readers from Ghana or familiar with Ghanaian suburbs would be wondering what Taifa Stars are doing at the Afcon. Sorry to disappoint you, they are not here to cheer Ghana on, neither are they here as spectators.
Taifa Stars is the official name for the Tanzanian national team.
Interesting isn’t it. For the first time in African football history, 3 Eastern African teams are in Tournament. Kenya, Tanzania and of course Burundi who are making their first ever appearance.
Other debutants in the tournament are Mauritania and Madagascar. One other interesting feature about this years tournament is that for the first time CAF approved the increament of participating teams from 16 to 24. A development sports analyst believe aided Burundi, Tanzania, Mauritania and Madagascar’s qualification.
Aside the above information, sports historians believe this years tournament has provided the most shocking results. It probably as a Ghanaian started with the draw between Ghana and Benin.
The first of even more shocks was the defeat of Nigeria by Madagascar by two goals to nil. Then the flood gates were opened:
Benin had gained qualified to the 1/16 with 3 successive draws and had gained qualification as one of the strongest 3rd place teams. Against, Morocco who had won all their 3 group matches, Benin had no chance but after a goal each in regulation time and the score same after 120 mins the game was decided on penalties and Benin won.
Madagascar though a group winner was still an underdog against DR Congo who are ranked 49th best team in the world against they Magascar’s best rank of 190 some 5 years ago. At the end of contest Madagascar shook Africa ones again with a triumpth in a shoot out.
But perhaps the most shocking was South Africa who like Benin had also qualified in 3rd place eliminating host nation and favourite Egypt. Nobody gave South Africa a 10% chance of beating the Pharoahs thus making their victory the most shocking. The tournament is still on the semi finals is between two west african nations and two North Africa nationns, namely Senegal my tip for the trophy, Nigeria, Tunisia and Algeria.
Senegal vs Tunisia and Nigeria vs Tunisia are the semi final pairings.