Egypt Seeking Redemption at African Cup of Nations

January 12, 2010

St Mary of Egypt
“1:00 p.m. On Tuesday, Egypt scored three unanswered goals to defeat Nigeria, 3-1, in each team’s opening match in the African Cup of Nations, which was played in Benguela. Egypt opens its African Cup of Nations title defense against Nigeria on Tuesday in Angola, but you will have to forgive the Pharoahs’ supporters back home if, after a failed bid to make their first World Cup in two decades, their minds are still on South Africa. Lined up against them will be the erratic Super Eagles, a team — like many of the African sides headed to the World Cup — still building toward the finals in June.” (NYT)

Egypt 3-1 Nigeria
“Defending champions Egypt came from behind to seal a fine victory over Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations. Chinedu Obasi put Nigeria in front in the 12th minute with a clinical finish. Egypt levelled when a goalkeeping error let Emad Moteab slip the ball into an empty net, before a deflected effort from Ahmed Hassan put them ahead.” (BBC)


Modern football finance: Man Utd edition (updated)

January 12, 2010

“Not the standard 4-4-2 formation is it? That’s the corporate and financing structure of Manchester United FC. The diagram comes from the prospectus to the £500m senior secured notes offering launched on Monday morning. The document provides a fascinating peak into the structure of the English Premier League champions, acquired by the Glazer family in a £790m leveraged buy-out in 2005, both in terms of its finances and the club’s recent performance on the pitch.” (FI)

Angola Aside from the Cup: A Different Soccer Story

January 12, 2010

“During my brief six months working in Angola between 2002 and 2003, a favorite pastime of mine when driving around Luanda was to try to identify the replica team shirts worn by ubiquitous street soccer teams playing in any available space. Brazil’s canary yellow was the most popular, but the range was impressive; I saw complete teams kitted out in the reds of Manchester United, the burgundy of Portugal, the green stripes of Sporting Lisbon, the yellow/orange/black on white design of Germany, even the all whites of Real Madrid—a hopelessly futile choice in the face of the city’s red dirt and grimy haze. I never could quite figure out how Angolan street teams, of both children and adults, managed to procure so many dazzling kits. But it was clearly important—a small, symbolic, daily attempt to claim membership in the community of a global game.” (Pitch Invasion)

The FA Cup provides Italian inspiration

January 12, 2010

“The press coverage of last weekend’s FA Cup third round ties made much of falling attendances. Reports pointed to the rows of empty seats at the DW Stadium, Hillsborough and the Riverside as proof of the hallowed old competition’s waning powers and its increasingly devalued status as an unloved irritant for clubs who prize the Premier League above all else. Is the FA Cup doomed then to go the way of its continental counterparts, the Coppa Italia and Copa del Rey?” (WSC)

Introducing La Liga’s next superstar … Racing Santander’s Sergio Canales

January 12, 2010

 “Saturday afternoon in Islington and Everton’s Steven Pienaar is scooping the ball expertly, delicately over Arsenal’s goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia, and into the net. A thousand miles away, a slight, pale teenager in a black tracksuit with green trim, RACING emblazoned across his chest, watches it on Televisión Española from his hotel room at the NH Convenciones in Seville. The commentator takes a deep breath and emits a long, drawn-out ¡gooooooool! He pauses. ¡Gol! ¡Gol! ¡Gol! ¡Gol! It is, he says, a golazo, a great goal. ‘Brilliant,’ says his co-commentator. And the teenager agrees; it is. But he can’t help thinking that he could do better.” (Guardian)

South Africa World Cup ‘safe’ despite Angola attack

January 12, 2010

“The horrifying attack on Togo’s football team in Angola has sparked a flurry of alarmist stories in newspapers around the world questioning South Africa’s ability to stage the World Cup. Officials organising the South Africa tournament have moved quickly to dismiss those claims.” (BBC)