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Sports News of Thursday, 27 January 2022


Top 5 upsets at AFCON 2021

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

Algeria 0 Sierra Leone 0

Defending champions, Algeria, got their start to the competition on the worst note when they failed to beat Sierra Leone, who were making just their third appearance in the competition.

The North Africans had been ranked second in power rankings for the tournament favourites, behind Senegal.

The Fennec Foxes are currently ranked 29th in Africa compared to the Leone Stars, who are108 in the world.

Despite boasting of stars such as Riyad Mahrez, Yacine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli, Islam Slimani amongst others, the Lions could not roar past the largely inexperienced West Africans.

Algeria 0 Equatorial Guinea 1

As if failing to win their opening match against Sierra Leone was not bad enough, Algeria’s hopes of qualifying to the knockout phase was dashed by Equatorial Guinea, who ended the North Africa’s 35-match unbeaten run with a 1-0 win.

Esteban Obiang scored the only goal of the encounter in the 70th minute but the defending champions failed to mount a successful comeback as they saw their unbeaten record crash in the hands of 114th ranked Equatorial Guinea.

Guinea 0 Gambia 1

The fairytale for the debutants continued in the round of 16 when they dumped a more fancied Guinea out of the competition thanks to a 71st minute goal from their talismanic striker, Musa Barrow, who plays in the Italian Serie A.

Bologna striker Barrow and Ablie Jallow have both scored twice apiece in the competition for Tom Saintfiet’s side, who are turning heads in the competition.

The Scorpions have only conceded once in the competition so far.

The question on everyone’s lips will be, will they be able to upset hosts Cameroon in the quarter-finals?

Gambia 1-0 Tunisia

Debutants Gambia recorded their shock win of the competition, a 1-0 triumph over Tunisia, in their final Group F game with Belgium-based forward Ablie Jallow scoring the only goal in the 93rd minute as they ended their group phase campaign with seven points.

The Scorpions will have goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye to thank after the German-born shot stopper caught a penalty and also made several key saves to keep the result goalless.

The Gambians controlled the game after Tunisia’s Ben Mustapha was sent off and while the Eagles of Carthage were hoping the game will end in a draw, Jallow struck from inside the box to hand the lowest-ranked team at the tournament the maximum points.

Ghana 2-3 Comoros

The Black Stars hope of qualifying to the round of 16 was simple: beat Comoros and play in the knockout stage. But the task proved too difficult for the four-time African champions.

Ben Nabouhane scored the opener for the East African minnows, while Ahmed Mogni netted a brace, one of them in the 85th minute to send the more fancied Black Stars out of the competition.

The loss is one of the biggest shocks in African football as the Ghanaians fell to a country ranked 123rd in the world.