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 By Nick Ames

Loss to Tunisia leaves fancied Algeria facing African Nations Cup humiliation

After so much was expected, Algeria are on the brink of an African Nations Cup exit.

FRANCEVILLE, GABON -- Riyad Mahrez knew the game was almost up. Five minutes of normal time were left and Algeria, needing two goals to salvage any impetus for their African Nations Cup campaign, looked out of ideas.

During a stoppage in play Mahrez, shoulders hunched and hands upon hips, turned away, lost in contemplation. His Leicester teammate Islam Slimani offered a pat on the back but that was little help; Mahrez slouched off towards his perch on the right wing and Slimani, slamming his hands...

 By Nick Ames

Defending champions Ivory Coast stutter vs. Togo, Emmanuel Adebayor

Wilfried Zaha is now cap-tied after starting for Ivory Coast.
Wilfried Zaha showed flashes of quality but it wouldn't be enough for the Ivory Coast to defeat Togo.

OYEM, Gabon -- Three points from a surprising 0-0 draw for the Ivory Coast as they begin their African Nations Cup defence...

1. Ivory Coast begin title defence with a stutter

All in all, Ivory Coast stuttered on a night that did little to suggest they will have a straightforward run to a second successive Africa Cup of Nations title. Unfancied Togo deserved their goalless draw and increased their own chances of progressing from Group B; this result was hardly a disaster for the Elephants, but...

 By Nick Ames

Ivory Coast start African Nations Cup defence expecting win over Togo

ESPN FC's Colin Udoh previews the African Cup of Nations and explains why he supports a 48-team World Cup.

Two years ago, when goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the penalty that won Ivory Coast a first African Nations Cup since 1992, there was barely a dry eye among those who understood exactly what it meant. This was the crowning moment for the remains of a vaunted "golden generation" whose powers were on the verge of expiry and a barely conceivable triumph for Barry, the veteran who had often been viewed as a weak link in the Elephants' attempts to be a world power.

If that was the last roar of a group...

 By Nick Ames

African Nations Cup begins disappointingly for hosts Gabon

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goal should have set up a happy Day 1 for the hosts, but things quickly faded.

LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- In the end, a day that briefly promised escapism only added to the list of real-world questions. It had been the most muted of build-ups to this African Nations Cup in Gabon, a country with other problems on its mind, but when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang connected with Denis Bouanga's 52nd-minute cross, it was possible to glimpse a familiar, comforting narrative: the homegrown superstar coming good to pull an ecstatic nation out of a tight spot.

Instead, Juary Soares' 90th...

 By Nick Ames

African Nations Cup: Everything you need to know, Ivory Coast defend title

ESPN FC's Colin Udoh previews the African Cup of Nations and explains why he supports a 48-team World Cup.

The 2017 African Nations Cup starts in Gabon on Saturday, here's everything you need to know about the groups.


This has hardly been a build-up full of anticipation and excitement for host nation Gabon, where a precarious political situation has led to calls for a boycott. Whether that has an impact on the team's performances remains to be seen; home support could make the difference in what looks a three-way tussle for qualification between Gabon, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, although...

 By Colin Udoh

CAF must take FIFA's lead and expand the African Nations Cup

ESPN FC's Colin Udoh previews the African Cup of Nations and explains why he supports a 48-team World Cup.

By the end of the week, two events of significance to African and world football would have taken place.

Two events which, on the surface appear disparate, but upon closer scrutiny, are just vines born of the same root.

First, FIFA voted to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams. It is not a decision that has gone down well with many, and will continue to generate fierce debate going forward.

The major argument being that such an increase would not only present the possibility of too many matches...