Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Africa Cup Of Nations
Zambia's Emmanuel Mayuka (R) vies with Libya's Rabea Aboubaker (L) and Abubaker Suiueinei during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Libya and Zambia at the Bata stadium in Bata. Zambia came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with fairytale qualifiers Libya on Wednesday in a rain-delayed Africa Cup of Nations Group A match.
Africa Cup Of Nations
Senegal's Ludovic Lamine Sale (R) vies for the ball with Equatorial Guinea's Thierry Fidjeu Tazemeta during the Africa Cup of Nations football match between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea at the Bata stadium in Bata. Equatorial Guinea grabbed the headlines on day five of the Africa Cup of Nations with a stunning defeat of Senegal to become the first team into the quarter-finals
Ghana, Mali, on top as opening Cup skirmished ends
Ghana and Mali came out on top as the Africa Cup of Nations completed its opening batch of group matches here on Tuesday.
Ghana are with Ivory Coast carrying the tag of favourites on their shoulders and they duly earned the three points with a 1-0 win in their Group D clash with Botswana.
Black Stars skipper John Mensah got the only goal of the game in the 24th minute when he helped in a corner from the left taken by Emmanuel Agyemang Badu.
That was the high point of the Lyon defender's night as on 65 minutes he picked up the first red card of the 2012 competition when he committed a professional foul on striker Jerome Ramatlhakwana, who was clear in on the Ghana goal after a blunder by Anthony Annan.
The Zebras now with a numerical advantage finished the stronger, but they failed to restore parity.
"We controlled the game until the red card for Mensah," said Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic."We created some chances but they closed down the game with 10 men behind the ball.
"All the same, it was very important that we won our first game of a tournament that has already produced some surprises."
Botswana coach Stanley Tshosane said: "I’m happy with the result but with the performance especially in the second half."
Mali were next out at Franceville and they took the bragging rights in their west African derby with Guinea, like Ghana before them prevailing 1-0.
Against the run of play, Bakaye Traore scored the decisive goal on the half hour with a fierce shot from outside the box off a loose ball.
It was a case of history repeating itself as Mali also triumphed when both countries last clashed at this level in 2004 in Tunisia."We are very disappointed with this result. We were not lucky and that’s why I’m disappointed," said Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer.
"But I still believe we can do something against Botswana and Ghana in our next two games."
Mali coach Alain Giresse commented: "It was important to start well and so three points was the best thing for us. We are satisfied."
"We controlled the first half, but thereafter we made some mistakes and Guinea were good and had some possibilities to equalise."
For one player the 2012 Nations Cup is sadly over before it barely began.
Niger starlet Tidjani Amadou Moutari Kalala, who only turned 18 last week, is flying to France for an operation on a fractured fibula suffered five minutes after he came on as a substitute in his side's 2-0 loss to co-hosts Gabon in Libreville on Monday.
Across the border in Equatorial Guinea the other co-hosts, were in the money after receiving the promised 800,000 euros bonus from the son of the country's president for beating Libya on Saturday.
Equatorial Guinea could swell their bank accounts further if they defeat Senegal in their second Group A clash in Bata on Wednesday.
"I ask you to play (against Senegal on Wednesday) like you did in the first match, scoring more goals. My bonuses will continue for the coming games," Teodorin Obiang Nguema told the team.
The other Group A tie sees fairytale qualifiers Libya needing their first Nations Cup win in 30 years, against Zambia, to realistically hold out any hopes of prolonging their stay after the first round
Monday, January 23, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Michael Jordan thinks only Kobe Bryant deserves comparisons
Ever since Michael Jordan retired — all three times, really — the NBA has searched for the heir to his throne. Many players have popped up as pretenders to the throne, from Harold Miner to Jerry Stackhouse to Vince Carter. In recent years, people have stopped trying to find a clone and just searched for a similarly dominant great player. If you ever wondered why LeBron James is seen as such a failure, a lot of it has to do with his inability to meet the example set by Jordan.
There are many great players in the NBA these days, most of whom have never been directly compared to Jordan. Nevertheless, His Airness says only one player comes close enough to his greatness to merit the comparison. Not surprisingly, that player is Kobe Bryant. Here's what Roland Lazenby, a great writer currently working on a Jordan book, tweeted on Sunday (via PBT):
Kobe's ultimate competition is MJ. That's why MJ watches him. MJ made people think what he was doing wasn't human. Ditto the Kobester.
I never said Kobe was better than MJ. MJ just told me Kobe's the only one to have done the work, to deserve comparison.
Congratulations, Kobe: Your life's work has meant something. All that time spent aping Jordan's movements and skills has paid off. He acknowledged you. You made it.
Of course, if the notoriously petty Jordan was going to mention anyone, it makes that he'd single out Kobe, and not just because he'd consider the mimicry flattering. Bryant really does work harder than everyone else, and he's been good for long enough (with no signs of slowing down) that he may eventually top Jordan's longevity. They're similarly insane competitors.
The "Next Jordan" idea was always a silly one, but Bryant is certainly the player most like Jordan in all aspects of his game — even if he eventually becomes something less than the greatest player of the post-MJ era, which I'm sure many of you will argue in the comments. That's an accomplishment in itself. Even coming close to the top means something.