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Egypt 2-2 Ghana: Kudus stars with a brace, Salah off injured (VIDEO)




Egypt twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday after losing captain Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half.

Mohammed Kudus scored both goals for Ghana, drilling in the opener from 20 meters soon after Salah went off in the Group B clash at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium.

Omar Marmoush pounced on an error to equalize for Egypt midway through the second half, but Kudus struck again right away to restore Ghana’s lead.

The Black Stars were left to rue another mistake as Mostafa Mohamed leveled on 74 minutes, leaving Ghana with just one point from two matches.

Egypt are only one point better off after back-to-back draws, but their immediate concern will be the health of Salah—whose stoppage-time penalty had snatched a 2-2 draw with Mozambique.

Ghana has now won just one of their last 11 AFCON matches. They were stunned 2-1 in their first game by Cape Verde, the smallest nation in the tournament who can clinch a last-16 place and top spot in the group with a victory over Mozambique on Friday.

Chris Hughton made three changes to his Ghana side as he recalled Kudus and Spain-born striker Inaki Williams, knowing another loss would leave them staring at a second successive first-round exit.

The past four AFCON meetings between the countries had yielded just five goals, a trend that looked set to continue in a quiet first half in which Emam Ashour’s 43rd-minute shot was the first on target.

Moments later though Egypt lost their talisman Salah and then almost immediately fell behind.

The Liverpool forward slumped to the grass as Ghana countered-attacked, clutching the back of his left leg and resigned to the fact his night at the very least was over.

With Egypt still reeling from the loss of Salah, it was Ghana’s key man Kudus who seized the spotlight, shifting the ball away from a couple of defenders and rifling a left-footed drive into the near corner.

Egypt vs Ghana Highlights


FIFA Ranking: Nigeria soar to 28th ahead Ivory Coast after AFCON silver win




Nigeria has made a significant jump in the latest FIFA Ranking, now sitting ahead of AFCON champions Cote d’Ivoire and Erling Haaland’s Norway.

After their impressive showing at the AFCON 2023 tournament, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have climbed 14 places in the FIFA World Ranking. They are now ranked 28th in the world and the third-best team in Africa.

Despite their heartbreaking 2-1 loss to host nation Cote d’Ivoire in the final, Nigeria’s performance earned them plenty of praise. Led by coach Jose Peseiro, the young Nigerian side impressed throughout the tournament, narrowly missing out on a fourth AFCON title.

This move from 42nd to 28th is the highest climb for the Super Eagles in 11 years, matching their position in May 2013. They now sit behind Morocco, who moved up one spot to 12th, and Senegal, who are ranked 17th after moving up three places.

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Nigeria 1-2 Cote D’ivoire: Haller hits winner as Ivory Coast beat Super Eagles to take AFCON title




Sebastien Haller scored a dramatic late winner as Ivory Coast fought back to beat Nigeria 2-1 in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final, completing a remarkable turnaround to claim their third continental title.

Nigeria initially looked set to repeat their group stage victory over Ivory Coast with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of captain William Troost-Ekong’s header late in the first half. However, Franck Kessie equalized just after the hour mark, and Haller scored the winning goal in the 81st minute, sparking wild celebrations among the Ivory Coast fans.

This victory adds to Ivory Coast’s titles in 1992 and 2015 and brings them level with Nigeria on three Cup of Nations triumphs overall, joining Egypt, Cameroon, and Ghana as the most successful teams in the tournament’s history. Nigeria missed the chance to match Ghana’s four victories.

Despite being led by reigning African player of the year Victor Osimhen, Nigeria was considered the strongest team in the competition. However, Ivory Coast’s determination proved too much, making them the first host country to win the AFCON since 2006.

Former captain Didier Drogba, who led the Ivory Coast team that lost to Egypt in the 2006 final, witnessed this stunning victory as a spectator.

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Former Man City player reveals he will REJECT calls to coach Togo




Former Premier League star Emmanuel Adebayor has declined offers to become the manager of Togo as he looks towards the next phase of his career.

Despite being the most high-profile player in the country’s history, Adebayor, who played for Manchester City, Tottenham, and Crystal Palace, decided against taking on a coaching role with the national team.

Having made 87 appearances for the Hawks and scored a record 32 goals, Adebayor shared that he has different plans now that he has retired from playing football.

According to The Sun, the recently-retired forward said: “Being national coach is not at all what Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor is about.

“I’m not planning to become the Togo Hawks coach. I know what my temperament is like.

“But I could be an ambassador for the team, someone who accompanies my young brothers and shares my experience with them.

“I have played at the World Cup, and in an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final. I could tell the players how to prepare for big games, and how to relax.

“Once the current Africa Cup of Nations has finished, I will try to have talks with the Minister for Sport and the authorities.

“I want to see how I can make a contribution. All I want to do is to lend support to my country.

Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte has been in charge of Togo since 2021, but due to their poor performances under his leadership, there is growing support for Emmanuel Adebayor to take on the role.

Adebayor, the former Togo forward, had a decade-long career in England, starting at Arsenal before moving to Manchester City, Tottenham, and Crystal Palace. He retired after playing in Turkey and Paraguay.

In October, Adebayor urged Arsenal fans to “forget” his infamous celebration after scoring for Manchester City against them in 2009.

His acrimonious £25 million transfer from Arsenal to City that summer, as the latter’s rich Abu Dhabi owners began heavy spending, led to taunts from Arsenal fans when he faced them at the Etihad Stadium a few weeks into the following season.

Adebayor’s celebration, which involved a knee-slide in front of the Gunners’ supporters, was a memorable moment from that match.

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