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Nigeria exit Africa Cup of Nations due to a slow start and late inexperience

A late Algeria winner meant Nigeria's Cup of Nations run came to an end at the semifinal stage.

CAIRO -- Three thoughts on Nigeria's 2-1 defeat to Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal.

1. Nigeria start slow, catch up, then succumb late

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr opted for an unchanged lineup for the first time this tournament, naming the same 11 starters that zipped to a 2-1 win over South Africa in the quarterfinal. While the names on the team sheet might have been the same, though, the output was decidedly different.

There was none of the early energy that was seen against...

Transfer saga awaits Zaha after his Ivory Coast knocked out of AFCON by Algeria

Wilfried Zaha reacts during Ivory Coasts' Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal loss to Algeria.
Wilfried Zaha's luck ran out as Ivory Coast were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations by Algeria.

SUEZ, Egypt -- A single kick can make the difference between a summer of glory and one of doubt. When Serey Die stepped up to take Ivory Coast's fifth penalty, knowing he had to score after Youcef Belaili's miss had given Les Elephants a reprieve, the watching Wilfried Zaha might have felt particularly inclined to say a prayer.

Zaha's work had long since been done here; he had set up a second-half equaliser for Jonathan Kodjia with a blistering run before being sacrificed for Maxwel Cornet's fresher...

Chukwueze's goal, Rohr's tactics guide Nigeria into AFCON semis

Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukweze was a surprising starter but proved a brilliant one vs. South Africa.

CAIRO -- Nigeria are into the semifinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, as a dramatic late goal from centre-back William Troost-Ekong saw the Super Eagles deservedly edge South Africa 2-1 to reach the last four. Colin Udoh provides his three major takeaways from the Super Eagles' victory.

1. Rohr outfoxes Baxter on the touchline

Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr has had his tactical acumen questioned over and over by many Nigerians, especially in the run-up to his side's quarterfinal with South Africa.


Mexico delivers harsh lessons to the USMNT

CHICAGO -- Throughout this Gold Cup, United States manager Gregg Berhalter spoke of nothing less than winning the tournament. Given the strength of Mexico's side -- even one shorn of players such as Tecatito Corona, Chicharito Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Miguel Layun -- the odds of that happening seemed long.

So the Gold Cup was always going to be about more than winning. It was going to be about gaining experience for the younger elements of the U.S. squad, as well as a manager new to the international...

Mexico's 'other' Dos Santos emerges to haunt U.S. in Gold Cup final

CHICAGO -- The image of Giovani dos Santos taunting Tim Howard with intricate control, coaxing the ball back out of his reach and then lifting the most delicate of lofted shots into the top corner in the 2011 Gold Cup final is etched onto the collective consciousness of Mexico fans.

That was the last time these two countries met in a Gold Cup final. Eight years on, and with Giovani not on Mexico's squad, it was brother Jonathan dos Santos' turn to steal the show and rob Mexico's bitter rival, the...

Nigeria's show of character and Ighalo's goals secure AFCON progress

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt -- Three thoughts on Nigeria's 3-2 win against Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

1. Ighalo leads Nigeria's show of character

As two-goal Odion Ighalo walked off the pitch after being substituted, he took a moment to hit one fist against his palm, indicating to his Nigeria teammates that they must continue to fight. He had done the same thing just before kickoff and again when the Super Eagles went 2-1 down. It was a sign of how far the forward has come and the leadership...