Cup of Nations Update!

The African Cup of Nations has been going on for a week now in Equatorial Guinea.   So far 14 matches have been played and no one player has scored more than 1 goal. All of the groups have played 2 games except for Group D, who will play their second round tomorrow.

In Group A, Congo has the early lead with 4 points. They drew the opening match with the hosts 1-1 and then beat Gabon 1-0. Gabon beat Burkina Faso in their first match. Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea drew the other match 0-0.

In Group B, Tunisia has the lead with 4 points. They drew their first match against Cape Verde and then beat Zambia. Cape Verde is in second place with 2 points after drawing both of their games. They are tied with DR Congo who also has drawn both of their games.

In Group C, Senegal pulled a big upset beating Ghana in the opening match 2-1. They then went on to draw with South Africa, but still sit atop the table with 4 points. Algeria beat South Africa in their first game. In the matchup of the group, Ghana needed a 90th minute goal from Asamoah Gyan to beat Ghana 1-0.

In Group D, the Ivory Coast drew 1-1 with Guinea, while Cameroon and Mali drew 1-1. They will play their second matches tomorrow. Ivory Coast will play Mali and Cameroon will play Guinea.

The Asian Cup has been going on in Australia for the whole month of January. This week saw the quarterfinals take place. South Korea, Iraq, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates all advanced. If you get a chance, check out the twitter feed to see the missed penalty from Honda for Japan in their 5-4 penalty shootout loss. The semifinals take place next week.

Midweek Review

Liverpool and Chelsea faced off in the Capital One Cup semifinals at Anfield. Chelsea jumped out to an early lead following an Eden Hazard penalty kick. This was Chelsea’s only shot on target all night. They set up the bus but were not able to keep Liverpool out, as Raheem Sterling scored the game-tying goal. In the other semifinal matchup, Tottenham beat Sheffield United 1-0. The second legs will be played next week with a fantastic match set to take place in the Bridge.

In the Coppa Italia, Roma, Fiorentina, and Napoli all won. Inter Milan come up with a big victory against a hot Sampdoria team. These results have set up some great quarterfinal games. Milan will host Lazio next week and Juventus will travel to Parma. Roma will host Fiorentina while Napoli host Inter.

In the Copa del Rey, two giants squared off. Atleti traveled to Barcelona, hoping to get some revenge for the defeat they had just suffered at the hands of Barcelona. However, they were not successful as Messi put in the rebound off his missed penalty. This was the only goal of the match. Barcelona will take a 1-0 lead to the Calderon next week. Villarreal also came away as 1-0 victors over Getafe. Malaga and Athletic played to a 0-0 draw and Espanyol beat Sevilla 3-1 at home. It will be interesting to see who can advance following these results.

Weekend Preview

Marseille missed an opportunity to jump to the top of the French table when they squared off with Nice today. Nice won 2-1, leaving Marseille one point behind Lyon with Lyon still to play this weekend. Lyon will host Metz, as they will look to extend their lead now at the top. PSG will also look to take advantage in a huge match on Sunday as they travel to 4th place St. Etienne. A win for PSG will send them into second place, where as a St. Etienne win will send them to third place. This will be a huge weekend in deciding the top 3 in the French table.

In Italy, there are two big races going on. The race for first place is between Roma and Juventus. Juve seem to be putting distance between themselves and Roma lately and will look to continue this when they host Chievo. Roma will travel to Fiorentina this weekend looking to keep pace with Juventus. The other big race is for the third and final Champions League place. This seems to be a three horse race to the finish between Napoli, Sampdoria, and Lazio. Fiorentina is close, they but will need a big result this weekend to really get in the race. Lazio host Milan this weekend in what should be a big matchup.

In Spain this weekend, the big two travel south. Real Madrid heads to Cordoba and Barcelona travel to Elche. Both teams will look to pick up 3 points on their travels. Atletico Madrid will try to rebound following their loss against Barcelona in the Copa when they host 10th place Rayo Vallecano. The best matchup of the weekend though will take place in La Mestalla, where Sevilla travel to Valencia. These teams are battling for fourth place. They are separated by one point, and this game will go a long way in deciding who makes it into the Champions League next season.

In England, the EPL takes the weekend off because it is time for the FA Cup to resume. This is a chance for some lower league sides to face off against some of the bigger sides. The Fourth Round takes place this weekend. In fact already today, Manchester United faced off against Cambridge United. Cambridge United is in the fourth tier of English football, and their starting lineup cost the club nothing. United cost around 235 million pounds. In a bit of FA Cup magic, Cambridge United were able to hold Manchester United scoreless and earn a replay in Old Trafford. Will we see a bit more of FA Cup magic? Let’s hope so!!


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