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2022 African Cup of Nations gets underway

The 2022 African Cup of Nations is now in full swing.

The competition kicked off on Sunday the 9th of January as hosts Cameroon took on Burkina Faso. A full week’s worth of action has since played out, with every side now having played two of their three group games.

Controversy dominates

So far, there have been a number of high-scoring, intense ties, with a scoop full of controversy thrown in for good measure.

For example, the referee in Tunisia and Mali’s game would originally blow for full time after 85 minutes. The game was then restarted, but despite lengthy stoppages in the second half, the referee then blew the full-time whistle after 89 minutes and 44 seconds.

This was followed by CAF officials storming into the Mali post-match press conference to demand the final three minutes of injury time be played.

In the end, though, the game was not restarted and Mali escaped with a controversial win.

Elsewhere, Ghana and Gabon’s clash ended in a brawl, with Benjamin Tetteh punching a Gabon star:

Despite these issues, though, each team has played two games apiece, with a clear picture of who is likely to progress into the knockout rounds emerging.

Here is 101’s group by group round-up from the first week of the 2022 AFCON.

Group A

As mentioned above, it would be hosts, Cameroon, who kicked off this year’s AFCON.

The hosts have been handed a pretty easy group that consists of Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Ethiopia.

So far, Cameroon have, unsurprisingly, dominated their games; beating Burkina Faso 2-1 and Ethiopia 4-1.

Their final group clash comes against Cape Verde on Monday, with a draw enough to ensure they secure top spot in Group A. They are currently priced at 8/11 with bet365 to secure the three points.

Here is how Group A looks after week one of action:

Group B

Group B would see two Liverpool teammates pitted against each other as Sadio Mane’s Senegal and Naby Keita’s Guinea vie for a spot in the knockout rounds along with Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Senegal, after reaching the final in 2019, were amongst the favourites to win the competition this term.

However, they would struggle to earn a win over Zimbabwe in their opening match, only being saved by a last-minute penalty from Mane.

Then, Senegal would play out a 0-0 draw with Keita’s Guinea, who beat Malawi 1-0 in their opening match, on Friday

This means Group B will go down to the wire, with Senegal needing to better Guinea’s result in the final set of group games to secure top spot.

Mane and co. will face Malawi and are priced at 2/5 to win, whilst Guinea take on Zimbabwe.

Here is how Group B looks at present:

Group C

Group C at the 2022 African Cup of Nations consists of Morocco, Gabon, Ghana and Comoros.

At present, it is Morocco who top the group, having picked up maximum points so far with wins over Ghana and Comoros.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon are in second spot, having picked up a win over Comoros, followed by a 0-0 draw with Thomas Partey’s Ghana.

That result leaves Partey’s Ghana on just one point with only one game left to play. As result, Ghana need to see off Comoros in their last match and hope Gabon lose to Morocco. If not, Arsenal could be handed a boost with Partey heading home after just three games.

Group D

Group D would see two African heavyweights face off in the opening round in the form of Nigeria and Egypt.

Egypt, of course, have Mohamed Salah – arguably the best player in the world right now – in their squad.

However, Salah could not break down Nigeria, with Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho instead scoring the only goal on the day for Nigeria.

Egypt then went on to pick up their first win of the tournament vs Guinea-Bissau, whilst Nigeria saw off Sudan.

As a result, Nigeria look set to secure top spot in Group D, with Egypt likely to finish in second place.

Egypt’s final group game comes vs basement-dwelling Sudan on Wednesday. They are priced at  with bet365 to win.

Group D standings after week one of action:

Group E

Group E is home to the current AFCON holders, Algeria, as well as Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea.

As Algeria won the whole thing last time out, Riyad Mahrez and co. were expected to dominate this group.

However, they have so far drawn with Sierra Leone and were dealt a shock loss at the hands of Equatorial Guinea.

As a result, Algeria’s only way of qualifying now is by beating Ivory Coast (11/8 price with bet 365) in their last group match and hoping Sierra Leone see off Equatorial Guinea.

Ivory Coast, though, will prove a tough nut to crack and would only drop points on Sunday after some spectacular goalkeeping errors which eventually ended in Serge Aurier being between the posts:

Group F

Group F is made up of Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Tunisia.

It is Gambia and Mali who currently look set to make it into the knockout rounds with the due sat joint top of the group with four points each.

Mali would beat Tunisia 1-0 in their opening match, before drawing with Gambia on Sunday. Gambia, meanwhile, saw off Mauritania in their opening outing.

Tunisia then picked up their first and only win so far with a 3-0 drubbing of Mauritania, who are now unable to qualify for the knockout rounds.

So, with Tunisia set to face Gabon in the final set of group games, Mali and Gambia simply need one point to guarantee qualification.

Goals of the week

Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho vs Egypt:

Ghana’s Andre Ayew vs Gabon:

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
15 Everton FC 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6

– Soccer Sports

Liverpool pair clash & Arsenal man heading home? Liverpool pair clash & Arsenal man heading home?

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