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Nigeria exit Africa Cup of Nations due to a slow start and late inexperience

A late Algeria winner meant Nigeria's Cup of Nations run came to an end at the semifinal stage.

CAIRO -- Three thoughts on Nigeria's 2-1 defeat to Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal.

1. Nigeria start slow, catch up, then succumb late

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr opted for an unchanged lineup for the first time this tournament, naming the same 11 starters that zipped to a 2-1 win over South Africa in the quarterfinal. While the names on the team sheet might have been the same, though, the output was decidedly different.

There was none of the early energy that was seen against...

Africa Cup of Nations down to the final four: Who will reach the final?

The Africa Cup of Nations is down to its final four. Nick Ames takes a look at the semifinal matchups, and reveals who of Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria and Algeria will be moving on to the final.

Algeria vs. Nigeria

Backstory: Until their dramatic shootout win over Ivory Coast, Algeria's run through AFCON had been as sleek as they come. They did not concede a goal until Jonathan Kodjia's equaliser for the Elephants, and looked the tournament's most complete team in all departments. A firing attack...

Transfer saga awaits Zaha after his Ivory Coast knocked out of AFCON by Algeria

Wilfried Zaha reacts during Ivory Coasts' Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal loss to Algeria.
Wilfried Zaha's luck ran out as Ivory Coast were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations by Algeria.

SUEZ, Egypt -- A single kick can make the difference between a summer of glory and one of doubt. When Serey Die stepped up to take Ivory Coast's fifth penalty, knowing he had to score after Youcef Belaili's miss had given Les Elephants a reprieve, the watching Wilfried Zaha might have felt particularly inclined to say a prayer.

Zaha's work had long since been done here; he had set up a second-half equaliser for Jonathan Kodjia with a blistering run before being sacrificed for Maxwel Cornet's fresher...

Senegal can't afford another no-show like their loss to Algeria

Senegal players react after losing their Africa Cup of Nations match to Algeria.
Senegal had an off night in their Africa Cup of Nations loss to Algeria.

CAIRO -- Nine times out of 10, Sadio Mane might have looked up and seen the referee's outstretched arm pointing towards the penalty spot. It had been some clattering from a combination of Adlene Guedioura and Ramy Bensebaini as he made his latest incursion into Algeria's box with 19 minutes left, and the number of agonised rolls it brought from Mane seemed to prove the point. But Ahmad Heeralall was unmoved -- inexplicably, to most eyes -- and Senegal's brightest star received further proof that...

Five Africa Cup of Nations players you should know but don't... yet

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off with hosts Egypt facing Zimbabwe in Cairo on Friday, will bring together some of football's household names and some of its far less heralded stars, -- as the biennial continental showpiece does every edition.

We all know Mohamed Salah, who will feature for the Pharaohs in the tournament-opening fixture; the Liverpool and Egypt star is one of the most recognisable football players in the world. But what about Romario Baggio Rakotoarisoa?


Afcon preparations: Tunisia complete hat-trick of victories

No team has impressed more in the pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendlies than Tunisia, who made it three wins out of three with a 2-1 victory over Burundi on Monday evening.

The triumph -- against a Hirondelles team that has also caught the eye during the pre-tournament matches -- came after victories over Iraq and Croatia.

As had been the case against the World Cup finalists, Tunisia had taken the lead only to be pegged back, with a delicious 76th-minute effort from Cedric Amissi -- after fine interplay...