Afcon Diaries: the six greatest teams in Afcon history - part one

Africa most prestigious tournament is the AFCON

Africa Cup of Nations has produced most football history in the World. Africa has seen series of Afcon tournaments held in different African countries to drive home reasons Africa as a continent cannot be taken off from football history in the world.

The likes of South Africa, Egypt and Ghana who won the African flagship tournament in their maiden appearances and the level of games played in subsequent Afcon games have generated enough evidence that, African football is of age to rock shoulders with the rest of the World.

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Below are the six greatest teams in Afcon history. Enjoy!

Zambia 2012

There was never a chance for Zambia to have won the 2012 African Cup of Nations. It was the greatest shock when Zambia’s Chipolopolo clinched Afcon gold for the first time in the history of African football

Before the tournament, Herve Renard’s side paid homage to their country’s fallen heroes of the 1993 plane crash that wiped out a promising generation of Zambian stars. The homage believed by many, was the reason Zambia won the 2012 tournament

They beat Ghana in the semi final, with Asamoah Gyan's penalty miss and Ivory Coast's penalty heartache with Kolo Toure and Gervinho both missing decisive spot kicks paved way for the Zambians to the promise land in 2012.

Nigeria 1994 

Nigeria’s greatest team won continental gold in the mid-90s, bringing the Afcon title back to Lagos for the first time since their maiden success in 1980.

Victory over Zambia in the 1994 final with Emmanuel Amuneke performance scoring a brace was enough to make Super Eagles of Nigeria heroes. Their golden team continued their stupendous performance in the 94 World Cup in USA but fate denied them in the knockout stages of the World Cup. Nigerian after withdrawing from the 1996 Afcon got banned for the next edition which slowed their momentum to lift more Afcon trophies.

South Africa 1996

South Africa having been accepted into the African mundial tourney after the end of the apartheid system, put pieces together to host the rest of Africa in 1996. The Bafana Bafana boys with the support of their hero, Nelson Mandela ensured they won their first and only Afcon in that same year. Tunisia who appeared in the final with South Africa were beaten in a memorable final berth. Mark Williams scoring the decisive goals for the South African boys to lift the trophy. The 1996 wins for South Africa was very important to the southern African country where the team was named Nation Builders. The name was borne out from the apartheid regime the country went through to rebuild the nation. South Africa in 1998 and 2002 found themselves in the respective World Cup years.

To be continued....





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