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Tactics: U.S. defend deep

Tactics Board
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CAF's best push UEFA teams to the limit

Five Aside
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Germany won't repeat 1982 mistakes

Germany
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 By Mark Gleeson

Who will be South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria's over-age Olympic players?

Itumeleng Khune
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune appears set to be one of South Africa's three over-age players.

A newspaper leak in South Africa revealed a rather embarrassing list of pedantic possibilities for South Africa's Olympic team, as they consider which over-age players to pick to strengthen the side for the men's football tournament in Rio.

Coach Owen da Gama's list looked more like a collection of personal favourites and brought howls of derision, followed by a rapid but unconvincing denial as spin doctors at the South African Football Association "slipped" an alternative list to the media.

The...

 By Chris Wright

The Algerian Premier League title race is ridiculously tight

If you think the English Championship title race has been a close-run thing this year, then we urge you to have a quick glance at the Algerian Championnat Premier Division.

You may notice that there are only 11 points between ES Setif at the top of the table and NA Hussein Dey at the very bottom with four games left to play.

Indeed, the Premier Division is so tight that with 12 points still left to play for, a bad run could see Setif go from title challengers to relegation contenders in the...

 By Sam Crocker

Lessons learned in African Nations Cup quarterfinals

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea -- With Ghana and Ivory Coast securing their trips to the African Nations Cup semifinals, here are five things we learned from the tournament's quarters.

1. Guinea replicating their defending from qualifying

Having seemingly put their defensive woes behind them in the group stage, Guinea's operations at the back were about as calm as a Tunisian subs bench. Despite being terrible at the back throughout qualifying, with the bigger teams getting much joy against them going...

African Nations Cup: Algeria's football team has deep French roots

Algeria head coach Christian Gourcuff insists one of the reasons why he took the role at the north African nation was to test himself at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Algeria has a decidedly French flavour to its African Nations Cup team.

The Africa Cup of Nations is now well underway, and while the tournament is already gripping fans, the resulting player absences are being keenly felt in Europe's major leagues. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in France, where no less than 52 Ligue 1 players are participating in the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.

Reciprocally, the showpiece itself has a strong French flavour. Thievy Bifouma, born a generous goal kick away from Stade de France, scored Congo's late equaliser against the...

African Nations Cup preview Group C: Heavyweights ready to impress

Algeria and Getafe midfielder on his side's chances in the forthcoming AFCON in Equatorial Guinea.

Overview

Africa's highest-ranked team, Algeria -- who sit 15th in the world -- four-time former champions Ghana, previous winners South Africa and a Senegal side that seems to have found its soul make up the group of death. This is the pool to watch and it is expected the best football from the first round will come from here.

Projected finish

Too tough to call but here's an attempt: Algeria should advance, given the way they dominated the continental game over the last 12 months. Anything...

 By Michael Cox

Fatigue played a role in round of 16

If the group stage was about shocks, the round of 16 was what we expected.

For the first time since the switch to a 32-team tournament in 1998, the World Cup's round of 16 games were won by the eight group winners, with the eight runners-up eliminated.

How predictable, you might think. We might as well scrap the round of 16 and put the group winners straight through to the quarterfinals. Although, of course, the actual matches weren't remotely predictable.

Two were decided on penalties, three more...