It is still some 8 weeks to the start of Afcon 2013. I am sitting in front of my crystal ball just as I promised.
I am attempting to peer into the future. I have Afcon 2013 on my mind. I drift into the future.
It is February 10, 2013, the curtains have being drawn for the end of the Africa Cup of Nations. There is now a winner and 15 'losers'.
I see a raised platform with football players waiting in line to be decorated by the CAF President, Issah Hayatou, who serving his last term in office and supervising his last Africa Cup of Nations championship. He is accompanied by the President of South Africa, Dr. Joseph Zuma.
The continent has just watched three weeks of a feast of the best of African football. Now it is time to crown the king. Which country do I see on the exalted podium?
Let me take you through the journey first.
It is South Africa all the way. The spirit of the championship, their position as hosts, the psychology of doing well in all the pre-championship friendly matches, creates a 'monster' for Morocco, Angola and Cape Verde. Angola would have come through with South Africa from the group if only they played the last and not their second match against South Africa. The sequence of matches is very critical in these group matches and South Africa win their first two matches to be comfortable going into the knock-out stage. So, Angola suffer and Morocco benefit by taking full advantage of their own last match against a South African team that does not need to play 'do-or-die' and to risk everything by giving their all in their last match, having qualified earlier. Thats why Angola do not qualify from the group. In short, South Africa and Morocco go through in Group A.
There has being some truly exciting matches here. Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo provide the best of them. That they play against each other in the first match provides the opportunity, no matter, the result of their match, of carefully navigating through the other matches against Mali and Niger. They easily secure a berth in the next round. The Congolese prove to be a strong team, because the core of the team comes from the T.P. Mazembe FC. They are to DR Congo what Barcelona FC are to Spain.
The Malians and the Nigeriens only make up the numbers in this group without enough ammunition to cope with the maturity of Ghana and the cohesiveness of the Congolese.
Ghana and DR Congo go through.
This is straightforward. Nigeria's 'coat of many brilliant colours' surely and entertainingly overcome Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. That, on the eve of the championship, Keshi is still inviting more and more players from the army of old Nigerian players all over Europe does not affect the team too much. Nigeria still creates a buzz here with some absolutely beautiful individual performances. The major test as is expected comes from Zambia. Nigeria and Zambia play a very cautious 'arrangee' match, safely avoiding any bruising contest that might damage either of them and stop them from coming out of the group.
Zambia, as defending champions, play with confidence and eyes-on-the-trophy mentality. They outrun, outplay and overpower Burkina faso and Ethiopia. But Nigeria top the group. And Zambia come a close second.
On paper Cote D'Ivoire had looked like clear favourites not just of the group but in the championship. But almost one year after disappointing at the last hurdle in Afcon 2012 in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon they are still 'wobbling and fumbling' to victory here. The 2012 team that was stronger failed to win. This one with the same array of tired players that looks strong enough to take this championship fail to do so, even if they go through this round.
Togo 'help' all the other teams to build up their points.
The North Africans, Tunisia and Algeria, provide, perhaps, the match of the tournament when they meet each other. They bring out the best in each other whenever they meet. After that encounter they return to the hard reality of the rough and tumble of African football and one of them, Tunisia, falls by the way. The Algerians are slightly the stronger of the two North African teams and join Cote D'Ivoire into the quarter-finals round.
So, these are the 8 teams that come through.
South Africa and Morocco, Ghana and DR Congo, Nigeria and Zambia, and Cote D'Ivoire and Algeria.
I am still staring at the crystal ball even as I know my mind is now drifting.
South Africa take on DR Congo and win.
Ghana rout Morocco.
Nigeria and Cote D'Ivoire play a bruising match. This match inflicts too much damage on both teams and makes their semi-final match very difficult to win. But the Super Eagles know they have to redeem their image against the Ivorians. They win this time for the first time in several previous championships.
Zambia and Algeria play one of the best matches of the championship. The North Africans find the Zambians easier to play against than any other team in the quarter finals because of the way the Zambians play. But the Zambians must survive to get to the finals and defend their crown. They fail. This bridge is too difficult for them to cross.
My crystal ball is getting hazy.
This is the ultimate test for the South Africans. They need to cross this line to win the championship. If they meet Ghana it will be bye bye to their dream of repeating their 1996 feat. Should they meet Morocco they will arrive the finals confident that at that point no team can stop them. The whole of South Africa goes down on their knees in prayer. Who do they meet?
The second semi-final is between...I am getting confused now. Algeria or Nigeria? Repeat of 1980 and 1990?
My eyes are now playing tricks with my mind. Is it Ghana versus Algeria, or South Africa versus Nigeria.
Whats happening here?
I hear a loud shrill in my ears!
I open my eyes, my heart pounding.
I am staring at the blank crystal ball before me. I had fallen asleep!
I am relieved. I will no longer have to put my neck on the chopping block predicting anything any more.
Thank God, it has all been a dream. Or is it?
I am thinking. Just before I woke up, did I not hear the sound of the vuvuzela, plus the faint chants of 'bafana bafana' reverberating in the distant recess of my mind?
Headlines Newsview all
The African Union has authorised increasing the number of troops deployed in the Central African Republic to 6,000, say officials. The country has been in chaos ... Full story
In the groove: Happy, beautiful ladies at the Household of God in Lagos, with Pastor Chris Okotie, as lead singer. ... Full story
Orlando Pirates' progression in the CAF Champions League has given the PSL more headaches, with another two League matches to be postponed and a further ... Full story
Barack Obama helped catch a pregnant woman when she became faint during his speech about the troubled Obamacare website, joking: "This happens when I talk ... Full story
Today's Latest News
- Climate Makes Refugees Out of Young Ghanaians
- Overcoming Adversity: An Ethiopian Child Bride's Struggle For Education
- Shekau Claims Attack On Maiduguri Military Bases
- Mandela Viewing Ends With Final Rush
- Senegal Artist Ousmane Sow Awarded French Honour
- African Union to Increase Central African Republic Force
- Bogus sign language interpreter at Mandela memorial was facing murder charges
- 'Zanu-PF victory was no fluke,' says Mugabe
- Nigerian Women Getting Their Groove On At Pastor Chris Okotie's Church - Video
- Woman in hospital after bleeding continuously …. The S*X was ROUGH, Bungoma
- Man arrested on suspicion of murder of missing Jayden Parkinson
- Peaches Geldof displays her VERY svelte frame in leather pencil skirt
- Most GOSPEL artists are just after MONEY and FAME….There’s no GOD in the music … Says DUNCO!!!!!!!!
- BBC explains how ANOTHER wildlife show is staged before it is aired as producers say scenes were 'dramatised'
- Khloe Kardashian to file for divorce from Lamar Odom 'imminently'
- Attempted murderer Michael McInnes taunts police on Facebook
- HELP, I am pregnant for a Ghost – Woman Claims (PICTURED)
- Doctors 'routinely help dying patients on their way with lethal drug doses - and anyone who says it doesn't happen is deluded'
- Is Nadia Buari And Jim Iyke Now Engaged?
- Invitation to memorial service in honour of Mandela
- Laughter can cause epileptic fits, ruptured hearts and torn gullets, study finds
- Before the bell: Stocks head for gains after rough week
- DJ Smoove Dies
- Comedian Seyilaw Throws Suprise Birthday For His Wife
- Prince George doll on sale from British firm that says it looks like Royal Baby
- 11-year-old boy, risks own life, stops traffic to rescue dog hit by car (PICTURED)
- South Africa: Mandela Statue to Be Erected at Union Buildings
- Beggars making up to £36k a year to blow on hotels and taxis
- South Africa: Mandela Statue to Be Erected at Union Buildings
- Two Halifax women arrested after baby dies in hospital
- Ghana: Climate Makes Refugees Out of Young Ghanaians
- Gambia: Gammol, Galp to Wrestle in Nail-Biting Sanyang League Final
- Teenage girl kills herself for being TOO BEAUTIFUL (LOOK)
- Gambia: Travelling in Africa
- Trendy or Trashy? Kim Kardashian steps out in ‘all GOLD outfit’
- SHOCKING VIDEO: See baby born with ONE EYE in Israel
- While Canada Post threatens balanced budget, CMHC is a huge help
- Man routinely dangles manhood in front of whole family
- Africa: IMF Agenda to Focus on Strong, Balanced, and Inclusive Growth
- Zimbabwe: President Speaks On Succession
- Zimbabwe: President Speaks On Succession
- Zimbabwe: Emirates Makes Africa Team Changes
- Why TV binge-viewing is the It thing (behind ‘selfies’)
- Rising cost of Christmas as price of festive feast has soared by up to 28%
- Doctors forced to take pay cut after surgery manager stole almost £100,000 threatening their practice with bankruptcy
- I'm A Celeb made me and fall for David Emanuel all over again says ex-wife Elizabeth
- Africa: World Bank Approves Funds to Boost Biodiversity Protection in Democratic Republic of Congo
- South Africa: SAFA President to Lead High Profile Delegation to Qunu
- South Africa: Our Strategy Worked Well - Mashaba
- I Don’t Exchange Words With Kids I Talk To Presidents, Eedris Abdulkareem Threatens to Beat Normoreloss
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON AFRICANSEER
A 22-year-old from Reading was arrested by police this morningJayden Parkinson, 17, has been missing from Oxford since December 3Detectives say that they are now ...
BBC explains how ANOTHER wildlife show is staged before it is aired as producers say scenes were 'dramatised'
Hidden Kingdom producers say show features 'dramatised natural history'BBC has described show as 'different approach to traditional wildlife series'Sequence featuring mouse escaping rattlesnake did not ...
Michael McInnes was jailed for six years for attempted murder in 2010He left Kevin McNee brain damaged after repeatedly stamping on his headDespite being given ...
Doctors 'routinely help dying patients on their way with lethal drug doses - and anyone who says it doesn't happen is deluded'
'Practice for doctors when they have distressed patient at the end of life to accelerate process of dying has been happening for generations'Peers clashed in ...
A women with racing heart syndrome died after a giggling fitA quick intake of breath while laughing can cause an asthma attackLaughing too hard can ...
Prince George doll has detailed features, fair hair and moveable limbsDressed in a replica of the christening gown worn by the future KingCreepy creation was ...
Beggars in Nottingham boast they are pocketing up to £700 a weekOne beggar makes so much he throws away food he doesn't want At least ...
Johannesburg — The anti-apartheid icon Mandela's statue will be erected at the Presidency next week, the South African government announced on Thursday. President Jacob Zuma will ...
Police attended the house after concerns for baby's safetyYoung boy was taken to hospital following police call at 1am, but later died By Anna Edwards PUBLISHED: 11:45 GMT, ...
Accra — It was 20-year-old Fizer Boa who first migrated south to Ghana's capital, Accra, to work in the local Abobloshie market as a porter ...
- Rulers of Africa
- Adoption In Africa
- Hotels In Africa
- List of hospitals in Africa
- List of schools in South Africa
- Top 10 Destinations in Africa
- Universities In Africa
- Countries in Africa
- Rulers of Africa