ADVERTISEMENT

What we learned so far from AFCON 2024

Glitz, glamour, and adrenaline-packed action were the hallmarks of the recently concluded tournament.

What we learned so far from AFCON 2024

Glitz, glamour, and adrenaline-packed action were the hallmarks of the recently concluded tournament. It was a feast for the eyes, with many twists and turns filled with nail-biting suspense, Puskas-worthy goals, and stellar performances from the continent's top footballing talents.

Although an 81st-minute winner by Sebastien Haller might be a bitter pill to swallow from the tournament's favorites, Nigeria, it was truly a marvel. Not even the best essay writing service can describe our thrilling experience.

It showcased what Africa has to offer in the football world, with passion, goals, and a fierce competitive spirit that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Therefore, it's only right to reflect on some of the reasons learned during the tournament.

ADVERTISEMENT

Heading into the competition, there was a lot of talk of heavy hitters like Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria to dominate easily. In a twist of events, we got to witness underdogs such as Cape Verde, DR Congo, and Equatorial Guinea show up and show out their talents.

There were many upsets in the group stages, with Nigeria securing a point against Equatorial Guinea in the second match of the finals. Moreover, tournament's favorites and seven-time trophy leaders, Egypt, needed a last-minute penalty from Mohamed Salah to secure a point against Mozambique.

Furthermore, juggernauts like Ghana, Algeria, and Tunisia failed to pass the last 16. Underdogs like Cape Verde, Angola, and Equatorial Guinea shocked the masses by finishing at the top of their respective groups.

Another spectacular display came with the tournament's eventual winners, Ivory Coast, losing 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea in the final Group A match. Who would have thought the side would recover and win the tournament on their turf?

ADVERTISEMENT

The most shocking result in the tournament was FIFA 115th ranked Namibia emerging through the scraps and handing 2004 tournament winners a well-deserved 1-0 win.

You don't need to pay to write an essay to understand that Nigeria was their undoing in the final. Heading into the finals, Nigeria was the favorite, even if it wasn't on its turf. Ivory Coast scrapped wins and capitalised on a draw to see past the semi-finals.

The fact that Equatorial Guinea breezed past this side with four goals only leaves a bitter taste for the Super Eagles to fathom.

Zaidi Sanusi put up a subpar performance that affected the side's offensive output. Bright Osayi-Samuel was fresh air for the side, providing offensive threats and defensive resoluteness.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another player who was anonymous in the first half was surely Chukuwueze. Given the high-profile talent he brings to the side, we almost forgot he was present in the first half. The trickery and speedy breaks were nonexistent.

Lookman was the shining light on the left wing while proving a menace to Ivory Coast with a couple of chances created. Questions about the side's mentality on the big stage need to be raised. This loss hurts more, given the bolstering attack present in the side.

In addition, it felt like Osimhen was feeding off scraps. There was no service in attack to test his tracking skills. And whatever landed on him, he had to fight off the ever-present Evan Ndicka, who manhandled the Napoli striker.

One thing that was clear to see was that the Super Eagles needed an engine in midfield by the name of Wilfred Ndidi. He might have fallen from grace with Leicester City getting relegated to the Championship, but it doesn't take away his defensive output in our midfield.

A midfield duo of Iwobi and Onyeka surely isn't the best talent pool available. More questions need to be raised about Peseiro's selection. The lack of balance cost us the game against a formidable midfield of Kessie, Fofana, and Seri.

ADVERTISEMENT

One spectacle we are conversant with in any AFCON tournament is coach sackings. And AFCON 2024 didn't fail to disappoint.

The biggest sacking was Ivory Coast's coach, Jean-Louis Gasset, following a 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the group stages. The tournament's winners were on the brink of a group-stage exit following two losses in three matches. The move paid off in the end.

However, Gasset was one of many coaches to face the sack at the tournament. Ghana coach Chris Hughton was shown the door after disappointing draws. The sack becomes permanent following their departure in the group stages.

ADVERTISEMENT

Apart from sackings, there were also suspension dramas, with Tanzania coach Adel Amrouche receiving an 8-match suspension and a $10,000 fine from CAF. This followed dissent comments following a pre-game interview.

Another coaching drama involved Morocco's coach Regragui, who CAF partially suspended following a heated outburst in their match against DR Congo.

The holy trinity of Salah, Mane, and Mahrez is exiting the door while paving the way for new talent. New faces are starting to take the center role, with a crop of talent showing up.

Despite their early exit from the competition, one rising star for Ghana is West Ham youngster Mohamed Kudus.

ADVERTISEMENT

More needs to be said about the potential of Adingra, who individually dominated the left-hand side of Nigeria. Only a few players can say they gave Ola Aina a difficult time for 90 minutes. But, the Brighton youngster had Ola Aina on toast while assisting the winning goal for the tournament.

Another name that deserves recognition is the Super Eagles captain, Troost-Ekong, who came through with several clutch goals. Furthermore, his header gave the Super Eagles their first goal before an equaliser from Kessie. He put in a captain's performance with two clutch penalties and an order throughout the tournament.

It was a terrific tournament that showed the continent's potential to the world. Moreover, the viewership numbers skyrocketed with multi-million deals signed with broadcasters, painting a positive picture for future events.

---

ADVERTISEMENT

#FeaturedPost

Enhance Your Pulse News Experience!

Get rewards worth up to $20 when selected to participate in our exclusive focus group. Your input will help us to make informed decisions that align with your needs and preferences.

I've got feedback!

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

10 Northern governors will fly to US to learn how to protect their region

10 Northern governors will fly to US to learn how to protect their region

Task force enters streets as Alex Otti declares war against indiscipline in Abia

Task force enters streets as Alex Otti declares war against indiscipline in Abia

FG suspends mining activities within OAU after reports of illegal operations

FG suspends mining activities within OAU after reports of illegal operations

Like Bobrisky, EFCC drags Cubana Chief Priest to court for spraying naira notes

Like Bobrisky, EFCC drags Cubana Chief Priest to court for spraying naira notes

Israeli military leaders to hold third meeting on how to deal with Iran

Israeli military leaders to hold third meeting on how to deal with Iran

Nigeria's telecoms sector witnesses revival as NCC's leadership draws acclaim

Nigeria's telecoms sector witnesses revival as NCC's leadership draws acclaim

Like Ganduje in Kano, Kaduna Assembly opens investigation against El-Rufai

Like Ganduje in Kano, Kaduna Assembly opens investigation against El-Rufai

DNA on Chidinma's dress matches victim, Ataga in alleged murder trial

DNA on Chidinma's dress matches victim, Ataga in alleged murder trial

NDLEA destroys 300 tons of illicit drugs in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu praises effort

NDLEA destroys 300 tons of illicit drugs in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu praises effort

Pulse Sports

Lionel Messi's son breaks the internet after scoring five goals for Inter Miami

Lionel Messi's son breaks the internet after scoring five goals for Inter Miami

Naija Stars Abroad: Onyedika, Boniface, and Osimhen shine across Europe

Naija Stars Abroad: Onyedika, Boniface, and Osimhen shine across Europe

Victor Osimhen and Tobi Amusan make list of Forbes’ 30 under 30 Class of 2024

Victor Osimhen and Tobi Amusan make list of Forbes’ 30 under 30 Class of 2024

Alex Iwobi makes Premier League history which Mikel, Yakubu, Kanu could not achieve

Alex Iwobi makes Premier League history which Mikel, Yakubu, Kanu could not achieve

Like Michael Jordan - Details of Victor Osimhen’s ‘superhuman’ jump against Monza emerges

Like Michael Jordan - Details of Victor Osimhen’s ‘superhuman’ jump against Monza emerges

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT