Without too many hairy moments

What we learned from the third day, still deep in the first round, of the 2013 African Cup of Nations.

An amateur football match in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2009 (Image by John Bratt, via Flickr CC).

Ethiopia’s wily head coach Sewnet Bishaw turned this game against Zambia with a substitution on 64 minutes, bringing on Addis Hintsa in central midfield. It was Hintsa’s through-ball that opened up the Zambian defense, which four minutes earlier had been reduced to three players when Herve Renard went for more goals and swapped full-back Musonda for striker Jacob Mulenga. Bishaw saw the chance to exploit Zambia’s stretched back-line and Adane Girma’s found the space with an intelligent run between Chisamba Lungu and Stophila Sunzu, hammering in the equalizer at Kennedy Mweene’s near post. It was the first goal an Ethiopian had scored at the Nations Cup for 37 years.

Zambia piled forward in search of a winner and pushed their wide players high up the pitch, but this left Nathan Sinkala unsupported in midfield, and Ethiopia held on for a memorable point without too many hairy moments.

The Ethiopian fans were having a party all afternoon long, and they look to have a team that could yet provide more shocks. Saladin Said looked elegant and menacing – he was awarded man of the match despite having his penalty saved by Mweene.

And here’s Davy Lane on the Nigeria vs Burkina Faso 1-1 draw:

Emmanuel Emenike’s goal was another in a series of magnificent goals at this African Cup of Nations. A goal that surely delighted connoisseurs of the art of the Centre Forward and Midfield maintenance. It should been enough. Yet somehow the Super Eagles choked on their Stallion prey. Efe Ambrose incurred a red card for a second bookable offense in the 74th minute. The Stallions finally got their noses level when substitute Alain Traoré stroked home Pitroipa’s cross in the 4th and final minute of injury time.

In the match commentary, the South African announcer, Mark Gleeson, said Emenike’s goal was like watching Nigerian legend Rashidi Yekini back in a Super Eagles shirt. Between Emenike, the ginger-haired Ahmed Musa, and Victor Moses on the bench, Nigeria look to have a fine set of attacking players coming through.

Tomorrow it’s Côte d’Ivoire vs Togo and Tunisia vs Algeria.

Further Reading

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Fatou Cissé’s directorial debut meditates on the uncertain fate and importance of Malian cinema amidst the growing dismissiveness towards the humanities across the world.

The meanings of Heath Streak

Zimbabwean cricketing legend Heath Streak’s career mirrors many of the unresolved tensions of race and class in Zimbabwe. Yet few white Zimbabwean sporting figures are able to stir interest and conversation across the nation’s many divides.


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The magic man

Chris Blackwell’s long-awaited autobiography shows him as a romantic rogue; a risk taker whose life compass has been an open mind and gift to hear and see slightly into the future.

How to think about colonialism

Contemporary approaches to the legacy of colonialism tend to narrowly emphasize political agency as the solution to Africa’s problems. But agency is configured through historically particular relations of which we are not sole authors.

More than just a flag

South Africa’s apartheid flag has been declared hate speech by a top court. But while courts are important and their judgments matter, racism is a long and internationally entrenched social phenomenon that cannot be undone via judicial processes.