Yesterday Wednesday 26 saw the last Fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations Last 16 played out. Egypt and Ivory Coast who have Nine AFCON titles between them fought tooth and nail up to the Penalty Shoot outs.
Manchester United and Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly saw his penalty saved in the shoot-out against Egypt. Liverpool forward Salah fired home from the spot and nerves of steel as he fired The Pharaohs into Quarter Egypt will now face Morocco in the Quarter Finals this Weekend.
Despite the fact that much of the talk is on Egypt making it into the Quarter Finals and the fact that Salah was the Man of the Match, there is an interesting sub story accompanying in.The disappointed Ivorian fans and shattered dreams of AFCON glory all as a result of Eric Bailly .
This is not meant to blame anyone for the loss. In Football, from time immemorial there will always be one winner. Just like Nigeria had to come to accept and swallow this bitter pill, so did the elegant Elephants from Ivory Coast.
In what could be considered a very even match, both teams gave as good as they got. While it will probably be Egypt who tips the Ivory Coast when the final tally of shots comes in, one has to give credit to the Elephants who had no shortage of chances for themselves (https://www.google.com/amp/s/en.as.com/en/2022/01/26/soccer/1643207496_844006.amp.html )
The Manchester United Curse.
There seems to be something going on with Manchester United fans that if not called a curse, could bad lack be the name to suit it better. On several occasions Manchester United fans have decried this dark cloud following their players not only at club level but even on International duty.
It is not precise where it all began from, some suggest that perhaps during the period when Man Utd board appointed Ole Gunnar Solsjaer as the manager. Since then trophies have been an elusive thing to the Red Devil family. The most painful instance coming in 2021 Europa League finals where Man Utd lost to Villarreal FC in Penalty Shoot outs.
Fast forward,that same year during the UEFA Euros final, Man Utd highly rated Attackers Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho came on as substitutes for the Penalty Shoot outs. The two missed their shots as England was humbled by Italy to emerge Champions of Europe. The tale continues.
During 2021 Copa América ( the 47th edition of the Copa América) final , Manchester United Midfielder Santos Fred was on the recieving end as Lionel Messi’s Argentina aged passed Brazil in a 1-0 win. That dark cloud came back with the son of the soil all the way from the White Continents up to here Africa. Eric Bailly did his best to be frank.
The 27 year old Man Utd Centre-back together with his team kept a clean sheet against a prolific Salah and the relentless Pharaohs. It just didn’t work out.
Egypt ,Senegal and Morocco are considered to be among the favourites to take home the African continent’s most prestigious Football Trophy- that adds to the expectations and excitement as AFCOn resumes this weekend. Who do think will emerge Champion? Share with us in the comments section.
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