- Don’t upset the coach. Zambia’s players had chance after chance to build a big advantage over Tunisia in their second game in Group B. But time after time after
time, they fluffed the opportunities. After taking the lead, Zambia squandered even that and lost 2-1. Boss Honour Janza was less than chuffed. He said his players had been selfish. “Playing as a team in the last third is the most important thing,” he observed “We created more chances, could have scored maybe four goals but, because of selfish egos, it's difficult.”
- How to stay in with an upset coach. The Zambia skipper Rainford Kalaba emerged from the egorama with a man of the match award. “I think we need to change the mentality, because the mentality is not good,” he complained. Kalaba won the title three years ago with a Zambian team that was such a honed collective that even The Borg would have been asking for tips.
- The bigwigs at the Confederation of African Football, the organisers of the CAN extravaganza, have come up with the format for the 2017 competition. The host country will be announced on 8 April after a meeting of the top brass in Cairo. Qualifiers will begin in June 2015. Essentially 52 teams will be divided into 13 groups of four and the first from each group will qualify for the final stage, as well as the best two runners-up.
- Group B will go down to the wire. Well there’s a cliché we haven’t used yet. But we had to give in to the dark side. Zambia’s defeat to Tunisia on day six means they prop up Group B with one point. Cape Verde and Democratic Republic of Congo both have two points while Tunisia lead with four points. All’s not lost for Zambia though. They can still reach the quarter-finals by seeing off Cape Verde in the final group game on Sunday. They’ve then got to hope Tunisia beat the DRC.
- A week is a long time in football. Ghana coach Avram Grant was asked on his arrival about the facilities and organisation in Equatorial Guinea. He was complimentary about it. That was before the debacle against Senegal. On the eve of the crunch Group C game against Algeria, Grant ranted about a bus that drove like a ship, a training session that was scheduled late and far away from the hotel and having to go and talk to journalists instead of being with his players. Woe, woe and thrice woe!