There have been some great performances over the past 12 months from African teams in domestic, continental and national team competitions. The MTNFooball.com team have had there say and here are our Top 10 African Teams of 2010!
The Ghanaian club pulled off an unusual feat when they claimed the Ghana Premier League (GPL) at the very first time of trying.
They also set a world record for the least productive champions after scoring just 19 goals in 30 matches on their way to the title (an average of 0.63 goals per game), but far the fewest goals scored by any club in the GPL. The next lowest was the 26 goals scored by Chelsea.
Botswana have been simply outstanding in their 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign and stand on the brink of a first-ever appearance at the continental show-piece in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The highlights of the year were twin 1-0 wins over Tunisia, both home and away, to cement their place at the top of the pool.
The Pharaohs won their third-consecutive Africa Cup of Nations title when they triumphed in the final in Angola in January. The rest of the year was not quite as productive as they let their standards slip, most notably with a defeat to lowly Niger in Nations Cup qualifying, but the hat-trick of continental titles deserves hearty praise.
The Moroccan side claimed their first-ever continental title when they won the 2010 CAF Confederation Cup, beating more fancied Tunisian outfit CS Sfaxien in the final. FUS even managed an away win in the two-legged decider, winning the second leg 3-2 to record the greatest day in the club’s history.
The Black Stars had a momentous year, reaching the final of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the quarterfinals of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. They lost to Egypt in the decider in Angola, but enhanced their reputation no end in the event, and then were on the cusp of the World Cup semifinals, but Asamoah Gyan failed to convert a spot-kick deep into extra-time that would have sent them through. All this was achieved with a young and exciting side, which bodes well for the future of the national team.
Nigeria Women Team
The Nigerian women’s side reclaimed the African Women’s Championship, beating previous champions Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in the final in South Africa. The Nigerians were by far the best side on display in the competition and were fully deserved of their title as set the standard in the women’s continental championship.
Nigeria Women U-20 Team
The Nigerian Women’s Under-20 side reached the final of their Fifa World Cup before losing 2-0 to hosts Germany. But it was an outstanding display from the young side, who beat the more fancied USA on their way to the title. The future certainly looks bright for the womens’ game in the west African country.
South Africa failed to reach the second round of the 2010 World Cup, but were drawn in a Group of Death along with eventual semifinalists Uruguay, Mexico and European giants France. They still managed to garner four points, a decent haul, and at one stage in the year lost just one game in 18 matches. They also managed their biggest ever win, 5-0 versus Guatemala. A bitter-sweet season for the side, but compared to previous years, a marked step-up in performance.
Senegal have quietly been building into a formidable unit. Having failed to qualify for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, they have been doing plenty of work behind the scenes and performances in 2010 have been outstanding, including a 7-0 thrashing of Mauritius in a Nations Cup qualifier. Coach Amara Traoré should be applauded for creating what is one of the best attacking sides on the continent.
TP Mazembe retained their African Champions League crown, despite being without talisman Tresor Mputu for much of the year after he was banned for assaulting an official. The club also reached the semifinals of the Fifa Club World Cup, a rare feat for an African side. Mazembe built their success on a strong home record, but were also tough to beat away, and deserved their crown as African kings once again.