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Sports

Five things we learned on day 1 of the Africa Cup of Nations

media Angola's Manucho (L) heads the ball past Morocco's Adil Hermach during … Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations is well and truly underway. RFI's Paul Myers reflects on the first day's action.

  • Rain can spoil an opening day. You whip up the crowd with pre match entertainment. Singing, dancing, speeches, lots of cheering and then the heavens open. It was a truly soggy day in Johannesburg.
  • One man’s sold-out is another man’s not that full. Local organising chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe was chirping about the opening match capacity crowd only the other morning. But there were thousands of empty seats on Saturday night as hosts South Africa entertained Cape Verde. Curious.
    Dossier: Africa Cup of Nations 2013
  • Players from Angola can make it up as they go along. Regio Francisco Congo Zalata is a fine name but he prefers to hunt down opponents with the moniker Mingo Bile. Skipper Mateus Contreiras Alberto is known as Manucho and Ilido José Panzo is Pirolito – rather balletic that.
  • Players from Cape Verde can make it up as they go along. Twenty-six-years ago in Praia, a boy child was named Luis Carlos Almada Soares. But when the bairn became a man and moreover a Cape Verde football man – he anointed himself Platini – in honour of the French maestro. Presumably the No 19, Péricles Pereira, has styled himself as Pek’s to hail a favourite fitness trainer.
  • A nil nil leaves a ‘sold out’ National Stadium disappointed.
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