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Sports

CAN - Will Equatorial Guinea and Sudan follow through on surprise success?

media Yaya Touré (L) of Côte d'Ivoire fights for the ball with Javier Angel Balboa … Reuters/Luc Gnago

Five things we learned from the first two quarter-finals:

  • Defenders should run into the area after a penalty kick. Salim Akram saved Chris Katonga’s spot kick but there wasn’t a Sudanese defender anywhere near the Zambian skipper, as he had all the time in the world to compose himself to slide in the rebound. Akram was understandably apoplectic with his full backs.
  • Sudan and Equatorial Guinea have achieved more than could be expected of them.
    Dossier: Africa Cup of Nations 2012

    But they came across superior opposition in Zambia and Côte d’Ivoire respectively.

  • There’s nothing quite like home-field advantage; Equatorial Guinea at 150 in the Fifa world rankings would not have been at the tournament if they weren’t the cohosts. Now they have to prove that the past fortnight has not been a fluke and qualify the hard way for the next tournament in South Africa.
  • Chelsea are lucky to have Didier Drogba. While the striker masquerading as Fernando Torres continues to redefine futility in opposition penalty areas, at 33, the allegedly fading Drogba is showing he still has an eye for goal.
  • We love unrehearsed goal celebrations. While the Zambians went to the corner flag after each goal and got jiggy with it à la Roger Milla in a circle, Didier Drogba by comparison was robustly medieval. As he cantered to the corner flag, he launched himself into the air while clenching his fist, landed, ran on a bit more then jumped up again while clenching his fist. As for Yaya Touré after his goal, he simply turned and jumped into Drogba’s arms and was held aloft by his burly captain as others flooded in to paw at the midfielder's wonderfulness. Refreshingly touchy feely. Reassuringly old school.
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