Africa Cup of Nations - Five Things We Learned On Day 18

It's just been discovered there's the wrong kind of roof around the pitch in Douala while Equatorial Guinea sense a divine right to win a penalty shoot-out.

Smart ...

As the investigations continue into the causes of the Olembé stadium tragedy, the executives running African football confirmed there won't be any matches at the ground until they've received the full report of the investigators. So the quarter-final game between Morocco and Egypt scheduled for Olembé Stadium in the afternoon on Day 22 will take place across town at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

Nada in Douala

Actuially, everything is heading to the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé. The last eight game featuring Senegal and Equatorial Guinea slated for the Japoma Stadium in Douala on Day 22 will be played at the Ahmadou Ahidjo in the evening and so will the semi-final that was supposed to take place in Douala on Day 25.

A last hurrah in Douala

However, the quarter-final between between Cameroon and Gambia on Day 21 will take place at the Japoma Stadium as scheduled. Funny that.

So the Algerians were right

Cold comfort to them now but the Algerians have been vindicated. They complained about the state of the pitch at the Stade Japoma before their final game in Group E on Day 12. Preposterous, said the organisers and they told them to get on with it. And look what happened. Algeria were abject. Missed a penalty and lost 3-1 to Cote D'Ivoire. The Ivorians came a cropper on Day 18 going down to Egypt on penalties. And it has been accepted the pitch can't take it anymore. "The field suffers from the high humidity of the Douala region, the heat and the lack of light," said an insider. "The roof of the stadium puts a shadow over the grass quite early in the day and so it slows down the photosynthesis and the growth of the lawn - it cannot breathe enough." Bets on a bad bounce ruining Cameroon's quest for ultimate glory?

Pray for penalties

Equatorial Guinea seemed to be seeking the penalty shoot-out for their path to the quarter-finals. And why not? As the clock ticked towards extra-time, it was clear they were eschewing the last gasp pyrotechnics of a 1-0. They were passing between themselves in midfield. Mali only had themselves to blame. They squandered several good openings in the 90 minutes. Extra-time wasn't a rip roaring affair. And so to penalties. After the shoot-out entered sudden death, the Equatorial Guinea lads were rattling their kicks away with brio. They were obviously feeling sure their goalie would eventually save them. His first name? Jesus.


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