2013 African Cup of Nations: 5 Best Goals from the First Set of Matches

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 23, 2013

2013 African Cup of Nations: 5 Best Goals from the First Set of Matches

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    The first set of matches from the 2013 African Cup of Nations is in the bag, with plenty of highlights and drama emerging from South Africa.

    Most importantly, after a scoreless opening day, the goals started flowing in over the next three days—some of which make for spectacular viewing.

    Let's jump straight into it and have a look at the best five goals from the opening set of matches at AFCON 2013.

5. Jonathan Ayite vs. Ivory Coast

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    Kicking off our list here Jonathan Ayite, who gave Togo the equalizing goal here against Ivory Coast with a beautiful finish from a corner.

    Two things in particular stood out about this goal; the first is the wonderful step-over at the near post from a Togo teammate that allowed Ayite the space to get his shot off.

    The step-over was completely intentional and set up the Sparrow Hawks for a great goal.

    But who can go past the celebration from the team here either?

    It just completes what was already a wonderful goal.

4. Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu vs. Congo

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    Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu's finish against Congo to give Ghana the opening goal of the match has been without doubt the best team goal of the tournament so far.

    The movement from several players here is excellent, and there is little that Congo can do to stop the might of the African giants going forward.

    Ghana are expected to do very well at AFCON 2013, and whilst they were held to a 2-2 draw here, this goal is an excellent example of just how strong they can be in attack.

3. Emmanuel Emenike vs. Burkina Faso

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    Two brilliant bits of skill here from Nigeria set up Emmanuel Emenike's goal against Burkina Faso—one of which being the flick and the other, of course, was the finish.

    The control and touch on the flick to set Emenike through on goal is incredible, but give credit here also to the goal scorer, who still had a lot of work to do once played through.

    His determination to get to the ball first and find the back of the net was rewarded in the ultimate way, with his side taking a 1-0 lead over the Stallions.

2. Gervinho vs. Togo

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    What a goal from Gervinho

    Said no one. Ever.

    That was until this week, when the Arsenal midfielder netted this brilliant game-winning goal for the Ivory Coast against Togo in the waning minutes of the match.

    Gervinho ran on to the free kick beautifully—timing his run to perfection—and finished magnificently with the outside of his right foot from a very acute angle.

    All whilst having incredible pressure in his face from a Togo defender.

    Arsenal fans will be wondering why Gervinho isn't like this every week, and having watched the video and seen the skill involved, that's completely understandable.

1. Youssef Msakni vs. Algeria

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    Yet as good as Gervinho's goal was, it doesn't beat Youssef Msakni's spectacular finish against Algeria to give Tunisia a 1-0 victory over the Fennec Foxes.

    Msakni danced beautifully around the edge of the 18-yard box before firing with his right foot—dipping and curling the ball to find the top corner and leave the goalkeeper helpless.

    It truly was a remarkable finish from an incredible player, and given the time on the clock and the fact that this goal would be the game-winner, the goal is simply spectacular.

    Msakni's goal could be huge in the context of the tournament for Tunisia, but even if it's not, it's still a pretty special finish to cap off the opening round of AFCON 2013.

    Any great goals from AFCON 2013 that were missed?

    Comment below or hit me up on Twitter:  

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