Thursday, 10 June 2010


Do you know that with six African nations representing the African continent in the current world cup,  it will  possible to witness an African side get to the final for the first time.

The permutation for this scenario to happen will be  Nigeria to win its group and South Africa to qualify as second place in it's own group or vice versa.

Ghana also needs to win its group and then win the second round match by beating USA or any other team that finishes second in the USA group.

If this scenario happens either South Africa or Nigeria will meet Ghana in the quarter finals, meaning that an African country will get to the semi final for the very first time.

If Ivory Coast gets to the semi-final from their half of the draw, then it means an African Nation will be in the final for the first time ever. keep your fingers crossed.
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Six African Star Players to watch out for:

Karim Ziani: Born and raised in France, his father is from Algeria and his mother is from France. The 27 year old was a regular with Sochaux and Olympique Marseille before joining German Champions Wolfsburg last year.  He has not been on form recently but for his national he is the absolute key man. He was involved in more than 80% of Algeria’s qualifying goals.

Steven Pienaar: Johannesburg- born midfielder had an excellent season with Everton, both his club and country were dependent on his form. He is a fast and versatile player and can play as creative attacking midfielder or winger. He is nicknamed ‘The Mighty Peanut’.

Obafemi Martins: Martins has 24 caps and 15 goals for the Super Eagles. An injury meant he only played in three qualifies but scored twice. He is a fast and deadly player.

Sulleyman Muntari: With Michael Essien not available for the Black Stars, Muntari will be looked upon as the team leader, he is the biggest star in the team and is  known for his thunderous strikes which are a nightmare for goalkeepers. 

Samuel Eto’o: one of the best players in the world, Eto won a fistful of titles with Barcelona including the champion league in 2009 and has just done the same with Inter Milan, he his the only player to have won back to back trebles. He has scored more than 43 goals for his national side.

Didier Drogba: The 32 year old Chelsea striker is one of the best centre fowars in the world. He was recently named African Footballer of the year for the second timeand netted his country first every goal in a world cup. He has 41 goals from 60 games. He his the highest goal scorer in the just concluded English Premeir league.


 Of the 736 players representing their countries in the world cup, 35 were born in 1989 or later and 11 of these players will be representing Africa.

Nigeria,s Lukman Haruna( Monaco) was the captain of their 2007 U-17 World Cup Championship team. With Mikel Obi injured, he his guaranteed a place in  the team to face Argentina. He his hard working centre midfielder, whose style is been compared to Michael Essien of Ghana.

Ryad Boudebouz( Algeria& Sochaux) like Haruna might be fortunate and find himself having a role for the Algerians, with the injury to Algerian playmaker  Mourad Maghni he may have a chance to showcase his talent.

Andre Ayew
Ghana has the most youngsters, with five under 21 players representing the Black Stars. Goalkeeper Daniel Adei plies his trade with Liberty of Ghana.  Jonathan Mensah is another home based player with Free Star State also in Ghana, he has already drawn interest from clubs in Europe.

 Dominic Adiyiah plays for AC Milan; he won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the under 20 world cup last year. He his not expected to be in the first team but is expected to be a supersub.

The two youngsters guaranteed to start for the Black Stars are Andre Ayew currently a free agent and Samuel Inkoom. Ayew is a left sided midfielder and Inkoom who plays for FC Basel is a right back with good crossing ability.

Cameroon has four youngsters lead by Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting a striker who has a goal in two appearances for his country. He switched from Germany after appearing for the youth team and plays for Hamburg.

Nicolas N’Koulou plays for AC Monaco, he is a centre back, and has been linked to clubs in Spain and England.

Joel Matip is another defender who has made four appearances as a substitute in Cameroon’s last five games and is expected to feature for the Indomitable Lions, he piles his trade for Schalke 04.

Abourbakar is the second youngest player at the world Cup, his speed and finishing ability has drawn interest from all over Europe, he currently plays for Valenciennes in France


The world cup is upon us and the African teams are buzzing for hosting the tournament for the first time ever on African soil. Here is a list of the teams representing Africa and tactics they would employ for the world cup and their chances.

South Africa tactics

Team - 4-4-1-3-2
Khune; Gaxa, Masilela, Morris, Mokoena; Dikgacoi; Tshabalala, Pienaar, Modise; Mphela  Parker.

South Africa habit of rapid passing and quick movement off the ball and a level of fitness that will wear down opponents.

South Africa will use the midfield generals of Steven Pienaar and Teko Modise to probe and try break through the centre but wing play will be as important with Siphiwe Tshabalala tricky on the left and Siboniso Gaxa likely to play right back and storm down that flank.

South Africa are expected to play just a single defensive midfielder with Kagisho Dikgacoi likely to get the nod ahead of MacBeth Sibaya. He is quicker and more adventurous.

 Captain Aaron Mokoena is key in the centre of defence while Tsepo Masilela is strong on the left


Team - 4-4-2
Gaouaoui; Yahia, Halliche, Bougherra, Belhadj; Mansouri, Yebda, Meghni, Ziani; Matmour, Ghezzal.

Algeria tactics are built around the game winning potential of Karim Ziani,. The diminutive winger spends his time on the right, looking to run at opposing defences.

Meghni is a new find and a good counter on the left side of attack but faces a battle to get fit in time for the World Cup. With plodding strikers in Ghezzal and Matmour, there is too much of a reliance on the players across the middle.

Hassen Yebda will look to provide some playmaking qualities. Algeria therefore will be well prepared to take advantage of set pieces and look to get their sizeable back four forward on as many occasions as possible.

A dangerous weapon too is Nader Belhadj, continually overlapping on the left hand side.

Nigeria tactics

Nigeria fast pace football and quality defensive midfielder has been a revelation under new coach Lagerback . Odemwingie and Uche have single handly carried teams to the world cup but other players have stated pulling their weight.  Obasi can be expected to make some impact down the right hand side and upfront Martins and Yakubu have both pace and power.

Holding role
Yobo is the mainstay of the defence with Taiwo a deadly weapon on the overlap and also at set pieces.

Right-back is still a position to be settled. Uche Kalu and Haruna are the possible impact players, while Kanu is reserved these days for cameo roles late in the game too, where he still has the footwork to create limited havoc.

Team - 4-1-3-2
Enyeama; Apam, Yobo, Nwaneri, Taiwo; Etuhu; Obasi, Haruna, Odemwingie; Martins Yakubu.

Cameroon tactics

Team - 4-4-2
Kameni; Mbia, Assou Ekotto, Nkoulou, Bassong; Song, Eyong, Emana, Mandjeck; Webo, Eto'o. (st)

Eto'o, who was named team captain – replacing Rigobert Song – by coach Le Guen last August, has had a myriad of players alongside him for more than a decade now but has never had one to even come close to profiting properly from his speed and guile.

At the Nations Cup in Angola, the tall form of Idrissou probably looked the best foil for the Inter striker.

Alex Song will run the midfield – he has a withdrawn role at Arsenal shielding the back line, but Cameroon will look to him for creativity – but Mbia is being moved to right-back.

In defence, coach Le Guen has dropped Rigobert Song and Geremi and will probably use the Tottenham pair of Assou-Ekotto and Bassong in their stead. The 20-year-old Nkoulou is the other centre-back and one with a bright career ahead of him.

Cameroon are likely to line up in a traditional 4-4-2, although against the Dutch they may be tempted to play with Eto'o as lone striker and put more muscle into the midfield, perhaps in the form of Makoun.

Gaouaoui; Yahia, Halliche, Bougherra, Belhadj; Mansouri, Yebda, Meghni, Ziani; Matmour, Ghezzal.

Ghana tactics
Team - 4-1-3-2
Kingson; Inkoom, Mensah, Vorsah, Sarpei; Annan; Asamoah, Prince Boateng, Muntari' Gyan, Amoah.

Ghana's use of a midfield pivot at the African Nations Cup finals in Angola earlier this year proved hugely effective, with Kwadwo Asamoah a veritable general.

The powerful Essien is not taking part but in his place is the equally powerful midfield general Kevin-Prince Boateng  will seek to drive things forward, while Muntari's ability to weave in from the flank provides other exciting options.

Packing the midfield
However, Ghana often inhibit their own ability to move freely by packing their midfield. Sarpei uses the left flank to good effect and Inkoom can push on the right. If they do so, Annan will become the anchor and Asamoah the playmaker.

Up front, Gyan's pace means that he can sit high up on the opposing defence and then break free to capitalise on the service provided.

Ivory Coast/ Cote d'Ivoire

Team - 4-4-2
Barry; Eboue, Toure, Bamba, Tiene; Zokora; Toure; Tiote; Gervinho; Kalou;

The most gifted African team in the world cup ,  surplus of quality strikers will likely see the Ivorians go in with at least three up front against North Korea but be a lot more circumspect against Brazil and Portugal. Drogba leads the line and will have Kalou and Bakary Kone as possible partners with Abdelkader Keita used as second half impact player.

Winning possession in midfield is one of their strong points with Zokora and Toure among the world's best defensive midfielders. Lacking is a better supply to the strikers with the Ivorians missing a genuine playmaker.

The left side of defence is also a weak point with several options tried in recent years but no real solution found. Eriksson's influence will likely not to be as marked as it was with England given the short amount of time he has to prepare the team.

The new coach's priority, after the foibles of the Nations Cup, will be to install better discipline in the defence where Bamba and Toure made calamitous mistakes.