Decisive Moments!

Day two matches which began yesterday are full of stakes for the 16 competing teams as the outcomes will greatly determine their fate in the ongoing tournament.

The ongoing sixth edition of the African Nations Football Championship in Cameroon is negotiating a crucial bend where every action of the 16 participating countries will shape their being in the competition. It effect, it is time for reckoning in all the four pools with the second group games that began in Group A in Yaounde yesterday and to extend to other groups lodged in Douala and Limbe from today January 21, 2021. 

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While some teams are seeking direct qualification to the quarter finals of the competition, others are struggling to right the wrongs of the first outings and hope for a place in the sun when the competition draws its curtains on February 7, 2021. All these calculations which determine the tactics to be used depend on how the teams performed in their first outings. For instance, teams that clinched precious victories on day one are hoping to keep the clean sheet in the second outing. A dream which if realised could book a place for them in the round of eight or at least get them closer. Meanwhile, teams that faulted are devising better tactics to shine in the second outings before negotiating qualification in the last group games. Diverse desires that make Day Two matches decisive and logically more electrifying.

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It is certainly on the above rationality that the Democratic Republic of Congo, defending champions Morocco, Zambia and Guinea that pick three precious points on Day One will be gunning for other wins to sail through to the next level. Whereas, Niger, Libya, Rwanda and Uganda that registered draws as well as Congo, Togo, Tanzania and Namibia that lost in the first matches will be fighting to win and revive hopes of being retained for the quarter finals.  

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Hopes are therefore high that the apparent lacklustre output of most of the attacking lines demonstrated during the first outing will be a thing of the past owing to the ambitions of the second matches and the rest of the competition. In effect, except Group D games in Limbe that produced more goals (five in the two Day One encounters on Tuesday), the other matches played earlier in Yaounde and Douala left much to be desired in terms of the attack. 

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Observers hold that the teams apparently used their first outings to observe their opponents. Granted; there is therefore every reason to hope that the teams are embarking on an all-out conquest this time around if they must outclass each other and bag home the coveted trophy and the honour that comes with emerging champions when the final whistle is blown on February 7. It must be said that in football, spectacle is good as it satisfies the spectators but what wins a match is the number of goals scored that must surpass those of the opponent. 

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