Africa Cup of Nations

Today ends the group stage of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.  The biannual national soccer tournament awards the champion of the African continent.

The competing teams were chosen as the best teams from their groups in World Cup qualification, which wrapped up in November 2009.

With the first round of matches drawing to an end Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria have all qualified for the knockout stage of the tournament.  The place of the final two teams to qualify will be decided today upon the completion the final two matches; Gabon versus Zambia and Cameroon versus Tunisia.  All four teams still have a chance to move on.

This is one of the most exciting soccer tournaments in the world and many European clubs watch carefully to find new and young talent.  So far, the leading goalscorers through 3 games are Flavio Amado of Angola, currently playing for club Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia, and Seydou Keita of Mali, who plays club football with FC Barcelona in Spain.

Other big stars include Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/FC Barcelona), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast/Chelsea FC), and Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon/FC Internazionale).

Unfortunately, Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo/Manchester City FC) will not be featured in the games as the Togo national team bus was attacked by rebels during it’s travels, after which the team forfeited the tournament.

The Mike Webb Team:

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Group of Death

The draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa took place on Friday, December 4th in Cape Town.  The purpose of the draw was to find out which countries will face each other in the group stage of the tournament.

Qualification for the World Cup finals began in September 2006, right after the World Cup in Germany.  After four years the nations involved have been widdled down to  just 32 (see “2010 FIFA World Cup” blog) which were placed into eight groups of four teams.  Each team will play one game against the other three in the group in order to determine which two countries, based on highest point total, will move on to the knock-out stages.  Teams get three points for a win, one for a tie, and zero for a loss.  In the event of a tie in total points the tie-breaker is goal difference, then goals scored.

Teams were seeded into four pots of eight teams for the draw.  The teams in group one were chosen based on the FIFA World Rankings from October 2009 and also includes the host nation.  The remaining groups were based on FIFA confederations.  Group two was from Asia, North America and Oceania, group three from Africa and South America, group four was from Europe.

As it happened, with the help of special guests including actress Charlize Theron and footballer David Beckham, the groups were chosen as follows:

Group A:  South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France.  Group B:  Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece.  Group C:  England, United States, Algeria, Slovenia.  Group D:  Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana.  Group E:  Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon.  Group F:  Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia.  Group G (aka Group of Death):  Brazil, Korea DPR, Cote d’Ivoire, Portugal.  Group H:  Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile.

Get ready to cheer for your team this summer.

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Northern Virginia Real Estate