AFCON’s Top Moments

By December 30, 2021 Articles

After recording the AFCON preview for the podcast – episode 57 (click here for listen). “I was driving home for Christmas”. No pun intended. But a thought that crossed my mind was – what are the iconic moments in the African Nations tournament? We know who are the record holders. The iconic players. But what are the iconic moments? There’s one that crosses my mind—the famous  18 penalty shootout between Cameroon and the Ivory Coast. But with that in mind, and the famous trophy up for grabs in January, i thought it would be great to retrace our history—jog our memory, and look at some of the top moments in the tournaments history.

Ghana v Ivory Coast (Final) penalty shootout 1992

A heart in mouth moment—for both fans and Anthony Baffoe, who suffered the heartache of scoring, and then having to retake the penalty (missing) which proved to be the winning save for the Ivorians—capturing their 3rd AFCON’s title.

South Africa’s triumphant debut appearance

One of the founding members of CAF—South Africa, up until 1996 had never participated in Africa’s showpiece event. Disqualified for the first tournament for refusing to field a multiracial team. They were then subsequently banned as apartheid took hold of the country.

But on home soil in 1996, in what was a great year for sport in the country. South Africa won the continents showpiece event.

Victor Ikpeba’s disallowed penalty (2000 Final)

The goal that wasn’t! Victor Ikpeba’s disallowed penalty in the shootout of 2000—not only crossed the line—by a yard, but proved decisive for Cameroon to seal victory in a great final which saw Nigeria fight back from two goals down to level the game at 2-2.

Ikpeba was not the one only held his head in his hands in disbelief. We all did!ls in the 2000 and 2002 tournament.

Cameroon Win Back to Back

Led by the Cameroon’s iconic Rigobert Song. In sleeveless shirts—retains their title, the Indomitable Lions had no equals in the 2000 and 2002 tournament.

Egypt Make History

Mohamed Aboutrika, Wael Gomaa, Essam El Hadary and Ahmed Hassan will forever be etched in Egyptian history for what they did for their country at AFCON’s.

Not many sides have won the African Nations. But Egypt recorded this feat 3 times in a row in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Angola 4-4 Mali

In 2010, the opening match of the AFCON’s pitted the hosts Angola against Mali. Angola seemingly cruising to an easy 3 points on the opening day. The “Palancas Negras”—who were coached by Manuel Jose, threw away a 4-0 halftime lead. Mali, a new side after the break, mounted an historic comeback, in what is one of the most incredible comebacks in AFCON history.

Zambian Heroes

In 1993 after a plane accident that killed the entire Zambian team off the coast of Libreville. 20 years year on, the fairytale seemed to write itself. With Zambia, led by Herve Renard, guiding Chipolopolo (The Copper Bullets) to their first AFCON’s victory in that very same city. Stoppila Sunzu scoring the decisive goal in a penalty shootout. Phenomenal story!

What are your top moments in the history of the tournament? This could be in your life time, or the actual history of the tournament.

As with our podcast. Like, comment, share and subscribe/follow. We’ll posting as usual vía social media keeping up with the stories as they unfold in the coming weeks (w/the AFCON’s). As always if you have any questions or queries. Email us at or tweet or DM us at @teamghanaeu on IG or Twitter.

Written by Andrew Mensah-Twumasi @andrewmensahjr (IG/Twitter)



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