Saturday, February 11, 2012

Zambia plot to shock Cote d'Ivoire

Zambia Coach Herve Renard has said they respect Cote d'Ivoire, but they wish to beat the favourites to win Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final. The two teams will clash in the championship game at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT) at the Stade d'Angondje in Libreville. Renard said he also thinks The Elephants will not underrate Zambia despite the disparities in terms of class. "I don’t think Cote d'Ivoire will underrate Zambia they have respect for us and we also have a lot of respect for them but we want to beat them," Renard said. "We will be in a tough game. It will be tough game, like the game against Ghana."
Zambia beat Ghana 1-0 on Wednesday in a match they struggled throughout until the 78th minute, when second- half substitute Emmanuel Mayuka scored the winning goal to see them through to the final. Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene said the prospect of facing deadly Cote d'Ivoire striker Didier Drogba baring down on his goal does not scare him. Mweene, who saved a crucial penalty against Ghana in the semi-final, said they are psyched to face The Elephants. "I don’t get the shakes just because I am facing Drogba, for us it is just one those games," Mweene said. Drogba, like Zambia strikers Christopher Katongo and Emmanuel Mayuka, is on the top of the scorers’ chart with three goals heading into the final. "There is no panic in camp because we are meeting them," said Mweene, who features for top-flight South African club Free State Stars. "I feel no pressure the coach has done a lot for us mentally always tells us to be cool and level headed." Skipper Christopher Katongo said Chipolopolo are seeking a healing after the 1993 air crash that wiped out a generation of the country’s football stars. Zambia Captain Christopher Katongo has said winning the 2012 Africa Cup will help in some way to heal Zambia of the 1993 Gabon air crash. Thirty players, officials and crew members died in an air crash off the coast of Gabon in April 1993 on their way to Dakar to play Senegal in a 1994 World Cup qualifier. "The strength it has given us is that this team wants to achieve something and finish that goal that our brothers failed to finish," Katongo said. "If we can fulfil that dream by winning the cup, most of the tears from the Zambian people will be taken away. I think that is the only strength." The team on Thursday held a moving one-hour memorial service on the shores of Beach Sabliere that was the epicentre of where the victims’ bodies were washed ashore. Thursday’s visit was the first time a Zambian football team had visited Beach Sabliere since the accident happened 19 years ago. Cote d'Ivoire will be playing in their second final in a space of six years hoping to lift their first Africa Cup title since 1992. Zambia, on the other hand, go into their third Nations Cup final in search of their first-ever title after picking silver in 1974 and 1994. Mtnfootball ********* Zambia keeper unfazed by date with Drogba Zambia keeper Kennedy Mweene says he is not losing any sleep about sparring with Ivory Coast's feared striker Didier Drogba in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations. Mweene is Zambia's last line of defence against a Drogba-led Ivorian attack that has already scored nine times at the 2012 Cup in their five match unbeaten run to the final. Yet Mweene, appearing at a press conference at the team hotel on Friday, hardly appeared to be shaking in his boots at coming up against the Chelsea giant. "Drogba, no, I don't feel any more pressure. The coach Herve Renard has helped us to keep cool, whether it's a big or small game. "He's done a lot with us mentally, I'm not shaking about Drogba, it's just one of those games. There's no panic." The 27-year-old was instrumental in Zambia's 1-0 semi-final defeat of Ghana on Wednesday, guessing correctly to dive to his left to save Asamoah Gyan's early penalty. "That was the most important save of my life," Mweene, who is attached to South Africa side Free State Stars, reflected. "It's helped to give me confidence ahead of the final." Zambia captain Christopher Katongo made the point that beating one of the competition favourites in their semi has helped his teammates discard any sense of stage fright against the star-studded Elephants. "The young players learned something against Ghana, not to fear big names. It's just 11 players against 11 out on the pitch, they've picked that up from the Black Stars victory. "I talked with the coach before the Ghana game, saying nobody knows us, we have to beat the big teams to gain recognition. "If we want to be at the summit we need to defeat the giants. The Ivory Coast are on top, they are favourites, but I think this is our moment." Katongo said one of the keys to Zambia's progress to the final had come from Egypt, the champions in 2006, when they beat the Ivorians in the title showdown in Cairo, 2008, and 2010. "We've seen from the Egyptians the importance of team spirit, they didn't have any huge individual stars but collectively proved that spirit can get you far. That's one of the reasons why we've done so well here." The form book suggests Zambia face a mountain to climb on Sunday, but Copper Bullets manager Renard says he likes heights. "When I see a mountain I want to climb to the top of it, that's what we'll be doing on Sunday," said the Frenchman. On Thursday, on their arrival in Libreville, Zambia paid their respects to their fallen comrades who perished in the 1993 air crash off the Gabon coast. Katongo, reflecting on that simple but moving ceremony and its significance to the 2012 national team, said: "We want to finish what they started, we're here to dry the tears shed for our comrades by the Zambian people. "Their memory is always fresh with us, we think about them every time we play a game." AFP ******** Renard finally makes a name for himself Barely known in his native France, former cleaning company executive Herve Renard is about to make a name for himself after coaching Zambia to their third Africa Cup of Nations final. Zambia have never been African champions but meet Ivory Coast on Sunday as they bid to finally clinch a title they were so close to in 1974 and 1994. When he realised as a teenager he was never going to make the grade as a top professional player, Renard switched to coaching French amateurs sides but never got a chance with a first division team. "I am not in the who's who," the 43-year-old told Reuters by telephone from Gabon. "I took out the rubbish for eight years and now I'm about to coach in the African Nations Cup final. Soccer is magical right?" At the age of 15, he landed in Cannes to train in one of the finest French soccer academies of the time. "I was one of the best," said a man who played with future World Cup winners Marcel Desailly and Didier Deschamps in their teenage years. "But as soon as I was confronted by top players, I realised I was not that good. I ended up as an average third-tier player." After his playing career fell apart, he set up a cleaning business which he owned for almost a decade. "I often remember those years when I got up at 3 in the morning to go clean buildings, it helps keep all this in perspective," he said. However, Renard never gave up soccer and started coaching with sixth-tier Vallauris and Draguignan on the Cote d'Azur. It helped him catch the attention of former Cameroon coach Claude Le Roy, whom he followed around the world as an assistant at clubs and national sides. Renard took sole charge of Zambia in 2008. After leading "the Copper Bullets" to the Nations Cup quarterfinals in 2010, Renard left but he could not help returning when they called him back late in 2011. "On November 15, for our first game against Nigeria, I said to myself: 'What am I doing... it's a disaster'", he said about a game Zambia lost. Now Renard believes his own story can inspire his team to upset favourites Ivory Coast on Sunday having already shocked much-fancied Ghana 1-0 in Wednesday's semi-final. "Most of our players don't have the same background as other Africans, who play with top European clubs like Manchester City," he said. "I have always believed in myself. Here in Africa, they recognise my skills. Now we have a final to play and we have to win. No matter how, we have to win." Reuters ****************** Penalty was a million dollar save - Mweene Kennedy Mweene says his Africa Nations Cup semifinal penalty save against Ghana was worth a million dollars. Mweene made a dramatic 6th minute save against Ghana striker Asamoach Gyan in their semifinal on Wednesday with the scores at 0-0. "It was a million dollar save," the Free State Stars goalkeeper said. "Had it gone in, I think it would have been very difficult for us to come back into the game." Mweene said his save was also the first signs that the game would eventually go their way despite Zambia being under the cosh from a strong Black Stars team. "If you saw me after I saved the penalty, I didn’t jump up and down because I knew we would still win it," he said. "That is my job and that is what I do and will not take any honour for it. The strikers do their job like the other players and I did my duty for the team to save the penalty." Backpage TXT ************* African Nations Cup finalists Zambia LIBREVILLE, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Factbox on Zambia ahead of Sunday’s African Nations Cup final against Ivory Coast: Past record: * Runners-up: 1974, 1994 * Zambia have qualified for 11 of the last 12 Nations Cup finals, but only got past the group phase in 1996, 2010 and this year. They were semi-finalists in 1982, 1990 and 1996. * Zambia were to host the finals in 1988 but withdrew because of financial constraints. Recent form: * Zambia finished top of their qualifying group, ahead of Libya, in October and then changed coach. They upset Senegal on the opening day of the finals and have won four and drawn one of their games at the tournament, all of which have been played in Bata and Malabo. Coach: * Frenchman Herve Renard returned to take charge of Zambia for a second successive tournament, having been appointed in October. The Italian Dario Bonetti qualified Zambia for the tournament but was fired straight after. Renard left Zambia after the last Nations Cup to become coach of Angola but was fired after just six months and then moved onto USM Alger in Algeria. The 43-year-old played at Cannes in France before working under compatriot Claude LeRoy in China, England and with Ghana’s Black Stars. Key player: * Speedy captain Chris Katongo is now playing in China, after spells in South Africa, Denmark, Germany and Greece. A quick winger with a nose for goal, he had two seasons in the Bundesliga with Arminia Bielefeld. He was promoted to sergeant in the Zambian army after he scored a hat trick in a Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa in 2007, having started his professional ambitions while pursuing a parallel career in the military. Other facts: * Eight members of the current Zambia squad first competed at the Nations Cup finals in 2006. * Swiss-based striker Emmanuel Mayuka of Young Boys Berne is the only member of the Zambia squad on the books of a European club. * Current Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya captained Zambia when they last appeared in the final in 1994 in Tunisia, losing 2-1 to Nigeria. Reuters. ******** Ivorian golden generation tipped to win Ivory Coast's golden generation are one game away from their consecration as African football's best team after progressing efficiently to Sunday's African Nations Cup final, but must still get past dangerous Zambia. After several successive tournaments in which they failed to live up to predictions of glory, the Ivorians start as huge favourites to win the Nations Cup in Libreville. Zambia themselves exceeded expectations in reaching the final with a largely unknown squad, only one of whom plays at a European club. Their semifinal win over Ghana marked the second major scalp Zambia had taken at the tournament after an opening-day win over Senegal, another of the pre-tournament favourites. Ivory Coast's cautious, sometimes uninspiring, approach has attracted criticism but the insistence on putting a priority on defence has paid dividends for coach Francois Zahoui. The Ivorians have yet to concede a goal in the tournament, co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, and have won all five matches en route to the final. The performance contrasts with the disastrous defensive lapses that cost the country dearly in the last two tournaments which they had also been expected to win. They also possess a potent line-up of individual attacking talent, as striker Solomon Kalou emphasised after their semifinal win. "We are better organised than before and we have players who can score at any moment - Gervinho, Didier Drogba, myself. We can all make a difference," he told reporters. "It's been a long wait to get back to the final," added Kolo Toure, one of eight players from the team that lost on penalties to Egypt in the final six years ago. "We now need to use this experience to win. It will mean so much to our country." Zambia had emerged "from under the radar" said coach Herve Renard, who has shown clever tactical planning at key moments in the tournament. "We have to take this cup, this is an opportunity," added captain Chris Katongo. "This is the greatest moment ever a player can have to play in the final. It doesn't come every day." Reuters ******** African Nations Cup finalists Ivory Coast Factbox on Ivory Coast ahead of Sunday’s African Nations Cup final against Zambia: PAST RECORD * Winners: 1992 * Runners-up: 2006 RECENT FORM The Ivorians were the only side to complete the qualifiers with a 100 percent record and have kept up that winning streak at the finals tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, winning five matches without conceding a goal. They are the top-ranked team in Africa (18). COACH Francois Zahoui is hoping to emulate the achievement of Ivorian compatriot Yeo Martial, the last black African coach at the helm of a Nations Cup-winning side exactly 20 years ago. The 49-year-old has already broken down barriers, becoming the first African international to play in Serie A when he was a dreadlocked winger with Ascoli in 1981. Zahoui took over as Ivorian coach from Sven Goran Eriksson after the 2010 World Cup. KEY PLAYER With more than 50 international goals, Didier Drogba remains the talisman for the Ivorians even as he approaches his 34th birthday. He is competing in his fourth Nations Cup having narrowly failed to steer the well-fancied ‘Elephants’ to glory in the last three tournaments. He is still hoping to atone for missing a penalty in the shootout that followed the 2006 final, where the Ivorians lost to hosts Egypt. OTHER FACTS * Eight players from the 2006 squad that were runners-up in Egypt return to the final on Sunday in Libreville. *Didier Zokora became the first Ivorian to pass the 100-cap mark in the quarter-final win over Equatorial Guinea. * Midfielder Yaya Toure was crowned African Footballer of the Year in December, a month before the Nations Cup finals kicked off. Reuters ************ Hayatou defends poor Afcon crowds No force in the world can order fans to go to matches, Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), said on Friday. Hayatou was defending Caf against criticism at some of the desperately low crowds seen at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. While bumper attendances turned up to follow co-hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea whenvever they played, elsewhere it was a markedly different picture. A paltry 132 fans went to the game between Sudan and Burkina Faso in the 30 000-seater Bata stadium, while the sight of row upon row of empty seats was an altogether too frequent sight at many other games. But Hayatou said: "What can Caf do? We want stadia to be full but no force in the world can go into homes and tell people 'Go the the stadium'. "In Africa, but it must be the same in Europe, when the organising country's team is knocked out, enthusiasm drops. "Whilst these teams were still in it, we had full stadia. "But from the moment when they were eliminated (at the quarterfinal stage for both the co-hosts), people are disappointed. "Neither the political power, nor the police, nor Caf, nor journalists can get people to go the stadium, let's be realistic." He did however recognise that the problem needed to be addressed for forthcoming editions of the Nations Cup, with the next one in South Africa in 2013. He suggested one way to solve the problem would be "to appeal to children in schools". Egypt got round the problem of low attendance when they hosted the 2006 edition by filling up their stadia with military personnel. "But the press criticised that, saying 'they weren't fans'," he explained. "Like as if the military weren't men. The Egyptian army paid for the tickets to give to the officers who went to the stadia. "It's always 'fair game' to attack Africa but there are other countries whose stadia are only two thirds full," he concluded. Sapa - AFP *********** CAF announce record cash haul African football has for the first time declared its finances to be in a healthy state as it announced a record surplus and strong equity and cash balance at its congress in Libreville on Friday. The Confederation of African Football said its financial strength continued to grow with equity of $55.9-million and a cash balance of US$47.9-million at June 30 last year. “Our financial performance was close to forecast, giving a surplus of $5.8-million against a budgeted $5-million, primarily due to better cost management,” said Suketu Patel, chairman of its finance committee. “I can say our finances are approaching a comfortable level,” he told delegates in the Gabon capital ahead of Sunday’s African Nations Cup final. CAF has had a considerable increase in its revenue in recent years. A seven-year deal worth some $140-million in television and marketing revenue was signed in 2010, a more than 100 percent increase in what the previously cash-strapped organisation earned from its showcase competitions some five years ago. Sportfive, part of Lagardere Sports, paid $46,8-milion for four successive editions of the African Nations Cup finals, starting with the 2010 tournament in Angola to the 2015 finals in Morocco. Up to 2008, CAF earned $5,5-million every two years for Nations Cup rights. A seven-year deal for the rights to the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup, the two annual club competitions, earns CAF $71,4-million through until 2017. Previously African football’s governing body were paid $5-million annually for the club competition rights and before 1997 did not get a single cent. CAF now also earns revenue from several other competitions, including youth events. Mtnfootball *********** Kwarasey looks at the bright side Ghana goalkeeper Adams Kwarasey is picking up the positives despite their failure to reach the final of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars were dealt a devastating blow at the continental showpiece after Zambia beat them 1-0 in the semifinal in Bata on Wednesday. The Norwegian-born glove man was criticized for his poor aerial judgement in the tournament, but he says he is learnt a lot on his debut. "This is was my first major game at such a big tournament and surely I made some mistakes but I have learnt a lot," Kwarasey said. "I believe that the experience that I have garnered from this tournament will go a long way to shape me and make me a better goalkeeper for my nation. "When the team wins, we all take the credit and when they lose, the same principle should apply,'' he added. The Stromsgodset man will be in between the sticks when the Black Stars battle for bronze against Mali on Saturday in Malabo. Mtnfootball ********* 2012 African Nations Cup final Factbox on the 2012 African Nations Cup final, to be played between the Ivory Coast and Zambia in Libreville, Gabon on Sunday: * Sunday’s final is the continental championship’s 28th. The first was played in 1957 in Sudan when Egypt won. * Both the Ivory Coast and Zambia are competing in their third final. The Ivorians won in 1992 but lost in 2006, both times in a post-match penalty shootout. Zambia were beaten in the 1974 (after a replay) and 1994 finals. * If Zambia win they will become the 14th country to win the Nations Cup. African football has 53 member nations. * Eight players in the current Ivory Coast squad - Boubacar Barry, Arthur Boka, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Eboue, Siaka Tiene, Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora - were in the 2006 squad which lost 4-2 on penalties in the final to Egypt. * Only twice in the last eight Nations Cup tournaments has the host nation won the final—Tunisia in 2004 and Egypt in 2006. This year’s co-hosts Equatorial Guinea and Gabon both went out in the quarter-finals. * Nine previous Nations Cup finals have gone into extra time, the last time in 2006 when Egypt and the Ivory Coast were deadlocked after 90 minutes. The Egyptians eventually won on penalties. * Penalties have settled six Nations Cup finals, with the Ivory Coast’s 11-10 win on kicks in 1992 the record for the longest shootout. Ghana beat hosts Libya 7-6 on penalties to win in 1982. * Egypt hold the record for the largest winning margin in a final, beating Ethiopia 4-0 in their first final in 1957. * Ivory Coast will become the third team to complete a tournament without conceding a goal if they can keep a clean sheet in Sunday’s final. The Ivorians achieved the feat in 1992, when they played five games to win the trophy. Cameroon played six games and scored nine goals without conceding when they won the 2002 title in Mali. * Egypt striker Mohamed Diba El Attar scored all four goals in the first Nations Cup final and 11 years later was the referee for the 1968 decider, won by Congo-Kinshasa in Ethiopia. * This year’s final will be handled by 41-year-old Badara Diatta of Senegal, who has been a FIFA referee since 1999. * If Zambia win, coach Herve Renard will be the fourth Frenchman to coach a winning team after Claude LeRoy (1988), Pierre Lechantre (2000) and Roger Lemerre (2004). * Ten different African coaches have lifted the Nations Cup title in the past. Francois Zahoui of the Ivory Coast will become the 11th if his side triumph on Sunday. * The next final will be in Johannesburg next year. South Africa are hosts of the 2013 finals as the Confederation of African Football switch the hosting of the finals from every even to every odd year. The 2015 finals are in Morocco. Reuters

1 comment:

jeje said...

Leur air jordan 3.5 femme gris bleu prix est très réduit par rapport aux autres variations. Cette année asics homme courir pour Halloween, commencez à construire vos programmes asics gel fuji attack caracteristicas maintenant. Ensuite, les cartouches Micron utilisent nos basket adidas femme zx flux leopard coiffes spéciales à 3 et 4 boulons, ce chaussures nike air max 90 junior qui signifie que contrairement aux nike air jordan pas cher livraison gratuite sociétés qui sont coincées dans les années 1970 et new balance femme rose gold utilisent des rivets pour transporter adidas zx flux chaussures leurs boîtes comme un membre stressé, nos boîtes asics gel lyte 5 concepts n'ont PAS de rivets pour les bouchons de air jordan 11 retro low pas cher finition.

Subscribe Now