ACN Semi Final Previews

by Dexy Longshot

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
 

The Prophecy According to Dexy Part 4

I still think that Ghana v Ivory Coast will be the final as well but both teams shouldn’t take it for granted, Egypt, my 19-1 long shots at the start of the tournament are now only around 6-1 odds wise but could still do the business if they set there mind too it. They ripped Cameroon apart in the opening game 4-1 but have gradually looked a bit weary. A dull 1-1 draw in the last group game against Zambia, which I watched on the box outside, didn’t inspire much confidence with the Egyptian supporters I was mingling with.

In the quarterfinal it was different story against the Angolans and Man Utds fantastic new signing Manoucho. This was an excellent end-to-end game with both sides really playing with some heart and determination. Adu Rabous 3rd penalty of the tournament (his 4th in total) and another goal for Zaki cancelled out Manouchos screamer for the Palancas Negras (Black Antelopes). Ahmed Hassan who was surprisingly dropped came on for the closing stages as Zaki was carrying an injury. So the Pharoahs back on fine form at last. It may be down to there pre match ritual that has got animal activists up in arms. The players apparently dipped their hands in the blood of a slaughtered cow as good luck. They’ll going to need it against the Elephants in the Semis. You never now though, if Egypt can take it to extra time, they could play for the draw and hope for penalties, Al Hadary would be a good bet to see them through in a shoot-out like he did in the 2006 final.

 

Onto Cameroon and a certain Samuel Eto’o. The 3 times African Footballer of the year has smashed his way to the all time top goal scorer charts with 16 putting to rest Laurent Pokou’s 38-year record in the process. He is 3/10 favourite to win the top goal scorer award despite Kalou, Drogba and Egypt’s Zidan closing in. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon started the tournament as one of the favourites but were soon brought down to earth by Cup Holders Egypt. Since then, The Lions have roared on and after the 3-0 mauling of Sudan and another 3 against Tunisia, the 10 goal Lions & Eto’o may have enough to take on the Black Stars. Geordie Geremi is a danger at free kicks and has been in top form at this tournament, I’m sure king Kev can’t wait to get him back on the Toon. Mbia chipped in with 2 goals against Tunisia in the quarterfinal & Cameroon seem to be getting better with every game. Cameroon are still around 5-1 to win, that looks a bit tasty considering Mensah will be missing for the Ghana back-line.

 

As for the hosts Ghana, they have looked the mutt’s nuts throughout the tournament but had a scare when Nigeria took the lead with the Yaks penalty totally against the run of play. I didn’t fancy the Super Eagles at the start of the tournament despite their 40 million pounds worth of attacking talent, they haven’t let to many goals in but have failed to gel upfront.The Black Stars soon made amends with a Captain Marvelesque header by superstar Essien on the stroke of halftime. Chelsea’s midfield fulcrum is the Becks of this tournament and he stares out of 1000’s of posters and is on the lips of all the Ghana fans. Such is the depth of talent in Ghana’s ranks, he has still been outshone. For me, Pompey’s Sulley Muntari is just as important to the midfield and his spectacular goals are the stuff of schoolboy fantasies. Elsewhere on the turf, ex-gunner Quincy has been in nippy form dribbling down the flank and then there is Forest front man Junior Agogo. On Sunday, he stole the show in the 83rd minute getting on the end of another Muntari cross. Have you seen the size of him, Junior is brick S*ithouse, I wouldn’t like to meet Senior on a dark night. He was man of the match against Nigeria. Forest have been suffering in his absence. The big worry for Ghana will be the suspension for John Mensah. The big man has been a rock in the centre of defence but his clumsy challenge on Odemwingie and resulting red card means he will miss the Cameroon semi. To be fair to Ghana, when Mensah went off, Essien slotted into the center back spot and Muntari took over fulcrum duties in midfield and Ghana continued to press Nigeria. Sadly, The Super Eagles didn’t make use of their extra man and it cost them the game and Berti Vogt’s his job.

 

Ivory Coast have to be my favourites though. They have cruised through this tournament like a knife through butter and simply have no weaknesses. I could talk about them for hours but will keep it short and sweet. They possess all the ingredients to lift the trophy, one of the meanest defences, a powerful midfield and riches galore in the striking department. The Drog has been shown up though (no mean feat) by his Chelsea understudy Kalou. The boy is on fire and has been eating up goals and assists like fat Frank eats pies. Then there are the Kone Brothers and Keita. They murdered the Guinea team 5-0 and on this form are unmissable at 10/11. I’d back Kalou to be top man in the goals chart as well, The Elephant is outrageous 15/2 to get the better of Drog and Eto’o and I’ll be stomping all over that like dumbo on a bouncy castle.

 

Here are my tips then before I jet back to the cold of London, mmm can’t wait.

Ivory Coast to win outright. 10/11
Kalou top goal scorer. 15/2

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    It is true to say that African football has come a long way since Zaïre in 1974, the infamous free kick and all. No longer are African players considered strong with no technique, but they can now boast in having some of the finest players on the planet.

    In the Ivory Coast, Africa now has one of the strongest and most exciting sides in the world. What with the WC being held in South Africa this could finally be the time for an African side to make it to the semi’s at least.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Dexy mate, sort it out! I can’t believe you went against your boys. Egypt Cameroon, no one predicted that, although I did say Cameroon would do it, no one gave them a chance!

  • http://dexysden.com Dexy Longshot

    Oh my days, what a turn-up!
    my boys Egypt in the final as i predicted in my first blog,
    who else got on that bootiful 19-1 e/w.
    I’m counting my readies already. Will be a blinder of a final,
    I can’t wait!!!!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Aslan

    I Reckon Egypt have this one in the bag just hope eto’o doesn’t have his scoring boots on lol

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