Johannesburg - Despite the host nation's early exit from the African Nations Championship, Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Mvuzo Mbebe has on Tuesday said the tournament was gaining momentum in its three host cities.
"A total of 127 986 have attended matches, by match 20, against a total of 197 681 tickets printed and distributed," Mbebe said.
"After three matches, Cape Town has recorded the highest number in stadium attendance with a total of 74 388 and 18 879 for Athlone Stadium, followed by Free State Stadium with 19 021 after two matches, and Polokwane recording a total of 11 698 so far."
The facilities and infrastructure provided for Chan were of a standard befitting the tournament and was reflected in the quality of play, he said.
"The number and the quality of goals scored so far shows the quality of football and skill displayed... and is an indication this tournament is fast becoming a reservoir for players hungry to make their mark.
"An average of 1.9 goals per match, compared to 2.7 goals per match scored during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is quite impressive and it proves the quality of players that the national teams put forward for Chan."
With two more groups to complete the early stages, 20 matches had been played and 31 players had scored a total of 44 goals between them.
Bafana Bafana's Bernard Parker was the leading goal scorer with four goals, while Nigerians Ifeanyi Ede, Rabiu Ali, and Christantus Ejike had scored two each. Diogo Alberto from Mozambique, Ibourahima Sidibe from Mali and Junior Sentamu from Uganda had also scored two apiece.
Nigeria had scored the most goals as a team, with a tally of eight after three matches, while the eliminated South Africans and Mozambicans had scored five and four goals, respectively.
Groups C and D would conclude their group matches on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first two quarterfinals would be played in Cape Town on Saturday, followed by one in Polokwane and one in Bloemfontein on Sunday.