AFCON

Libya enjoy bittersweet win

2012-01-30 07:21

Libreville - Fairytale qualifiers Libya enjoyed a bittersweet day on Sunday, defeating Senegal for their first Africa Cup of Nations win since 1982, yet missing out on the quarter-finals.

The Libyans' 2-1 defeat of already eliminated Senegal in Bata was insufficent to lift them into the last eight after Zambia beat Equtorial Guinea 1-0 in Malabo.

That left Zambia as the Group A winners, with the significant reward of avoiding a probable quarter-final date with competition favourites Ivory Coast.

That dubious honour now looks set to fall to Group A runners-up Equatorial Guinea.

Topping the table means the Zambian Copper Bullets are likely to face Angola or Sudan in the quarter-finals next Saturday.

Zambia's French coach Herve Renard said: "The aim was to secure first place, as in 2010 when we finished in front of Cameroon.

"Here, we're ahead of the co-hosts, who were on cloud nine after beating Senegal.

"It wasn't a great match but the important thing was to get the points.

"Now it's imperative we get to the semi-finals for the first time since 1996."

His Equatorial Guinea counterpart Gilson Paulo said: "I'm disappointed because this loss has a bearing on the rest of the competition. But we are still not certain we'll be facing Ivory Coast."

Zambia captain and striker Christopher Katongo settled a cagey Nuevo Estadio de Malabo clash of few scoring chances on 67 minutes, beating Brazil-born goalkeeper Danilo with a hard low shot.

Although the Equatoguineans are 25 places below the Zambians on the African rankings, there was no evidence of a yawning gap between the teams with the National Lightning holding their own entering the final quarter.

However, a goal out of nothing from China-based Katongo silenced the crowd as a throw-in set up the former army sergeant to beat Danilo with a shot into the corner of the net.

At the simultaneous match over on the mainland in Bata Libya celebrated their first victory since defeating Zambia 30 years ago when they hosted the competition.

Libya went in front after just five minutes through Ihab Abousaifi.

Senegal responded six minutes later, when Deme Ndiaye rose above the Libyan defence to head home a corner. Abousaifi scored his second goal six minutes from time with a fine volley.

Afterwards Libyan coach Marcos Paqueta commented: "We didn't have any other choice but to take risks, and it worked. This is an important result for us after what's happened in Libya and the tough conditions endured.

"Among the difficulties is the fact that most of the players haven't been attached to clubs, they've been through a war and there have been psychological consequences.

"This (win) has crowned the efforts made since the start of the competition.

"I hope after their good performance here the players will be granted good conditions in Libya in the future."

A defiant Senegal coach Amara Traore said: "I won't resign, even if the responsibility rests with the manager.

He added: "I began this project two years ago, the team can't be useless. I've got the strong desire to continue.

"To call for the head of Amara or the (sports') minister doesn't achieve annything. As the 2013 (qualifying) Nations Cup approaches there are things to improve...but not by giving the team to a Mourinho, Capello or Ferguson."

Group B wraps up on Tuesday with Sudan requiring all the points against Burkina Faso in Bata and already qualified Ivory Coast to beat Angola in Malabo to put them in contention for a last eight place depending on goal difference.

Read more on:    afcon
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Klopp reveals EPL interest

2014-11-22 08:42

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Vote

Who do you think will be the next manager at Manchester United?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.