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History of AFCON (2)

Ghana make history in 1970, Egypt lose title in 1974 at home


7th AFCON in 1970: Hosts win the title

The 7th CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was hosted by Sudan for the second time, after the 1957 edition. Similar to 1968, eight teams qualified to the AFCON finals and were divided into two groups of four. Sudan won the title after beating Ghana 1-0 in the final.

Starting with this tournament, it was agreed to hold the AFCON periodically every two years.

The tournament was held from 6 to 16 February 1970. The first group included Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ethiopia, while the second included Ghana, Guinea, Sudan, and Egypt.

The games were played on two venues: Municipal Stadium in Khartoum with a capacity of 15,000 spectators, and Wad Madani also of 15,000 spectators.

Cote d’Ivoire qualified to the next round as the top of its group with four points collected from two wins and a loss, followed by Sudan with also four points, but the former scored more goals.

In the second group, Egypt topped the rankings with five points collected from two wins and a draw, then Ghana with four points from one win and two draws.

In the semi-finals, Ghana beat Cote d’Ivoire 2-1, and Sudan beat Egypt in the other match. Ghana and Sudan qualified to the final.

In the final, Sudan won the title beating Ghana 1-0 in Khartoum. Egypt came third after beating Cote d’Ivoire 3-1.

The tournament marked the fourth final appearances in a row for Ghana, This record is currently unequalled.

8th AFCON in 1972: Congo clinch the title in Cameroon

The 1970 AFCON was the eighth edition of African championship. It was hosted by Cameroon for the first time in Yaounde and Douala cities. The competition witnessed the participation of eight teams that were split into two groups of four. Congo won its first title after beating Mali 3-2 in the final.

The tournament was held from 23 February to 5 March 1972. It was played in two venues: the Stade Omnisports in Yaounde (38,720 spectators) and the Stade de la Réunification in Douala (30,000 spectators).

The participating teams were divided into two groups, the first comprising of Cameroon, Mali, Kenya, and Togo. The second group included DR Congo, Congo, Morocco, and Sudan.

Cameroon was in the lead of its group with five points collected from two wins and a draw, Mali in second place with three points from three draws.

DR Congo qualified from the second group with four points collected from two wins and two draws, then Congo with three points from a win, a draw, and a single defeat.

In the semi-finals, Congo defeated Cameroon 1-0, and then Mali achieved a victory over DR Congo 4-3.

Congo beat Mali 2-3 in the final game. In the third-place match, Cameroon beat DR Congo 5-2.

9th AFCON in 1974: Egypt lose at home

The 1974 AFCON was the ninth edition. It was hosted by Egypt. Eight teams participated in the tournament in two groups.

Egypt had missed the 1970 championship after failing to qualify for the finals for the first time in its history before returning again after only two years to host the tournament.

Egypt hosted AFCON in 1959 under the name of the United Arab Republic.

The tournament was held from 1 to 14 March 1974, in four cities with the participation of eight teams, of which two teams qualified directly, Egypt as the host country and Congo as the title-holder.

As usual, the teams were divided into two groups. The first group included Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, and Côte d’Ivoire. In the second group were Congo, DR Congo, Guinea, and Mauritius.

Egypt qualified as the top of its group with six points from three wins. Zambia came in second with four points from two wins and a loss.

In the second group, Congo qualified with five points from two wins and a draw, followed by DR Congo with four points from two wins and a loss.

In the semi-finals, DR Congo beat Egypt 2-3 at the Cairo Stadium. In the other game, Zambia beat Congo 4-2.

In the final held on 12 March 1972, DR Congo and Zambia tied 2-2, before playing another game on 14 March. DR Congo won the title for the second time in history after beating Zambia 2-0.

10th AFCON in 1976: Morocco crowned champion

The 1976 AFCON was held in Ethiopia for the third time in history. Eight teams participated in the tournament. The teams were divided into two groups, but a final stage group was introduced with the top two finishers of each of the first stage groups. The 10th edition was played from 29 February to 14 March 1974.

As usual, the participating teams were divided into two groups, the first of which included Guinea, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Uganda. The second included Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, and DR Congo.

In the first group, Guinea qualified with five points from two wins and a tie, followed by Egypt with four points from a win and two draws.

Morocco topped the second group with five points from two wins and a draw. Nigeria came in second with four points from two victories and a defeat.

The final stage group included Morocco, Guinea, Nigeria, and Egypt. Morocco won its first championship, by topping the final group with five points. Guinea finished second with four points.

Morocco won the title after a 1-1 draw with Guinea in their final match on 14 March 1976 in Addis Ababa.

11th AFCON in 1978: Ghana win title and Tunisia banned from CAF competitions

The 1978 AFCON was held in Ghana. Eight teams participated in the tournament. The teams were divided into two groups and the first and second teams of each qualified for the semi-finals. The final match was between Ghana and Uganda and ended with Ghana winning 2-0.

The tournament saw the absence of Egypt after losing in the qualifiers from Tunisia. Cote d’Ivoire originally qualified by beating Mali 2-1 on aggregate in the qualifiers, but both teams were disqualified: Cote d’Ivoire for fielding an ineligible player in the second leg, and Mali due to police and stadium security assaulting the match officials during the first leg. Burkina Faso, who had lost to Cote d’Ivoire in the previous round, took their seat.

The competition returned to its previous form, and was divided into two groups of four. The first includes Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, and Burkina Faso, while the second included Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, and Congo.

Ghana qualified as the top of Group A with five points from two wins and a draw, to play Tunisia in the semi-finals that ranked second in Group B with four points from a victory and two draws.

Nigeria qualified as the second of group A with four points from a victory and two draws to play Uganda that topped Group B with four points from two wins and a defeat.

In the semi-finals, midfielder Karim Abdul Razak led Ghana to beat Tunisia 1-0. In the other game, Uganda won 2-1 over Nigeria.

Ghana secured the AFCON title after beating Uganda 2-0 and held the trophy for the third time in history.

In the third place game, the match was abandoned after Tunisia walked off in the 42nd minute with the score tied at 1-1 to protest the officiating. Nigeria were awarded a 2-0 win, and Tunisia were banned from CAF competitions for two years.

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12th AFCON in 1980: Green Eagles win first championship

The 1980 AFCON was held in Nigeria. Eight teams participated in the tournament. The teams were divided into two groups, the first and second teams qualified for the semi-finals.

Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Tanzania, Algeria, Guinea, Ghana, and Morocco participated.

The eight teams were divided into two groups: Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and Tanzania in the first group, while Algeria, Guinea, Ghana, and Morocco were in the second group.

Nigeria came on the top of the first group with five points from two wins and a draw, while Egypt ranked second with four points from two wins and a defeat.

In the second group, Algeria qualified first with five points from two wins and a draw, followed by Morocco in second place with three points from a win, a draw, and a defeat.

In the semi-finals, Algeria beat Egypt 4-2 on penalties after the original time ended in a draw 2-2. In the other match, Nigeria beat Morocco 1-0.

In the final, Nigeria won the title for the first time in their history after a 3-0 victory over Algeria by Segun Odegbami and Muda Lawal. The match was held on 22 March at the Surulere Stadium, Lagos.

In the third place match, Morocco beat Egypt 2-0.

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