The 28th edition of the African Cup of Nations came to an end last night the 12th of Febuary, 2012 after about three weeks of soccer tussle involving top national soccer teams in Africa.
We should not also forget that The Chipolopolo got an extra dose of emotional energy with an earlier visit to the crash site where the members of the national team perished in an air crash about 19 years ago.
Many soccer pundits were not actually surprised how the Zambians were able to hold themselves against the much fancied Elephants of Ivory coast that have crops of major soccer icons in their team. The Zambians played with four midfielders against the Ivorians’ five midfielders. They had very little respect for their opponents and were able to use swift counter attacks to keep the Ivorian defence on their toes throughout the match.
Christopher Katongo, the former Brondby FC player was so outstanding, dashing down the right wing to open up the Ivorian defence on several occassions. He was eventually voted the most valuable player of the tournament and the man of the match.
However, a lot of neutral soccer fans were able to perceive the direction of the ‘’wind-of-luck’’ when in the 70th minute, the Ivorian captain Didier Drogba lost a penalty kick which was earned when Gervinho was tripped in the Zambian box. The enormous energy and speed that was brought into the competition by the Zambians disrupted the Ivorians style of play. The Ivorians usually have a style of play with a gradual build-up from the mid-field. Some observers however believed that the Ivorians were a little bit unlucky with so many lost chances in front of the goal post.
But majority of the viewers, particularly in the Scandinavia where many Africans watched the football competition with keen interest showered encomium on the Zambians national team for their brilliant performance and having eliminated some of the giant teams like Ghana and Senegal before the final match.
The most amazing thing about the Chipolopolo however is that only two members of the team have their professional careers in Europe while majority of the players play at home in the Zambian football league.
And one cannot but conclude that the 28th edition of the African Cup of Nations which was co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea was a great success and that the final match showed that the standard of football on the African continent has improved greatly. Afroscandic congratulates the the newly crowned African football King, the Zambia national football team popularly called Chipolopolo.
Written by Michael Ilori, an Afroscandic Contributor, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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