Ivory Coast's Afcon win shows there's no blueprint for tournament success

After suffering the biggest tournament defeat since Brazil at the 2014 World Cup and sacking their coach mid-stream, the hosts lifted the trophy on SundaySign up to Jonathan's weekly newsletter hereIt was the biggest defeat a tournament host of the Africa Cup of Nations had ever suffered. Ivory Coast fell apart utterly in the second half of their final group game against Equatorial Guinea. If they'd retained a sense of perspective, they'd have realised that even a one- or two-goal defeat was likely to be enough to see them through, but their heads were gone and Emilio Nsue kept scoring the same goal. It finished 4-0, the largest defeat for any major tournament host since Brazil's 7-1 capitulation against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final, and that made progress improbable.The past three weeks have been the story of what followed. There was some low-key rioting, with cars and shops burned out. Ivory Coast's 70-year-old French coach Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked. On his 40th birthday, the former Reading midfielder Emerse Faé was appointed, having never been a head coach before. He had no idea whether he'd have any matches to take charge of. But Ghana conceded twice in injury-time against Mozambique, Zambia lost to Morocco and Ivory Coast made it to the last 16 not so much through the back door, as up the tree and through the bathroom window. Continue reading...
Ivory Coast's Afcon win shows there's no blueprint for tournament success
Photo: theguardian.com

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Italy21013
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Group E

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Group F

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