SAMUEL ETOÆOconfirmed his status as AfricaÆs best player with five goals in CameroonÆs three group games. The Barcelona starÆs spectacular form helped the Lions win all three games and move into FridayÆs quarterfinals against Ivory Coast, which knocked them out of the 2006 World Cup finals. EtoÆo has a shot at ZaireÆs Mulumba NdayeÆs single tournament record of nine goals and needs only three goals to match Ivory CoastÆs Laurent PokouÆs career record of 14 tournament goals.
Led by 24-year-old captain Pascal Feindouno, a veteran of eight seasons in the French First Division, GUINEAhas been the surprise of the African Nations Cup, winning all three games, including a 3-0 victory over defending champion Tunisia.
FRENCH COACHESdirected four African Nations Cup finalists, and they all reached the quarterfinals: Guinea (Patrice Neveu), DR Congo (Claude Le Roy), Ivory Coast (Henri Michel) and Tunisia (Roger Lemerre).
GHANA,which will face the USA at the 2006 World Cup, exited the African Nations Cup when the Black Stars were upset by Zimbabwe, 2-1, in their final group game. Ghana was one of three African World Cup finalists, along with Togo and Angola, to exit after the first round. Only Ivory Coast and Tunisia reached the quarterfinals.
California resident STEPHEN KESHIlooks to be on his way out as Togo national team coach after the Hawks dropped all three games. The Nigerian feuded with star Emmanuel Adebayor throughout the tournament. The two had to be restrained from going at each other in full view of reporters after the opening game of the competition, a 2-0 loss to Democratic Republic of Congo. By the third game, Adebayor, who recently signed with Arsenal, refused to suit up.
World Cup 2010 host SOUTH AFRICAhit a new low when it lost all three games at the African Nations Cup. The Bafana Bafana, coached by Romanian-American Ted Dumitru, drew a rebuke from South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, who blasted its lack of effort. ôWe cannot be a losing nation in a way that Bafana Bafana lost in Egypt,ö Mbeki said.