Ivory Coast make nine changes and still win easily against a disappointing Angola side who are booted out of the competition by surprise package Sudan
Early arrivals were offered this account of how Libya crashed out of the tournament despite beating Senegal. You can still read it, if you like.
Ihaab Boussefi's two goals were not enough to send Libya through to the quarter-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations despite a 2-1 win over Senegal on Sunday.
Boussefi struck in the fifth and 84th minutes to give Libya victory at the Estadio de Bata but Zambia's 1-0 win over the co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in Group A's other game in Malabo – which was played at the same time – saw the Zambians progress.
The striker's double did give Libya their first victory at the Cup of Nations in 30 years, however, and the country's first win in the competition on foreign soil.
Libya reached the final of the African Cup at home in 1982, then had two defeats and a draw at their only other appearance six years ago.
Boussefi's early goal raised hopes of an unlikely quarter-final place for Libya, who needed a win combined with a defeat for Zambia to have any chance. He finished neatly after being set up by Ahmed Sa'ad.
Deme Ndiaye equalised with a glancing header from a corner in the 11th minute for Senegal, who were playing for pride alone after defeats in their opening two games.
Boussefi claimed a late winner with a sweetly struck volley six minutes from time but Zambia progressed as group winners ahead of Equatorial Guinea, who had already qualified.
The Libyans still go home with a win from a tournament they were never expected to reach after they emerged from chaos and civil war at home during the qualifying competition to make the finals.
For Senegal it was a third straight defeat at the tournament and a humiliating end to their Cup of Nations after being tipped as possible contenders. They lost all three games by 2-1 to exit the tournament without a point for the first time in their history.
So, the final games in Group B and all we know for sure is that Burkina Faso are out and Ivory Coast are through. The Ivorians need only a draw against Angola to ensure they win the group and play their quarter-final in Malabo, where they have played all their group matches and are comfortably ensconsed in a palatial hotel with en-suite golf club and private beach. Victory for Angola will see them win the group, a draw will guarantee their progress and even a defeat might be fine, depending on Sudan's result against Burkina Faso. Sudan go through if they beat Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast beat Sudan and the margin of victory of both games combined is three or more goals. Or by various other complicated methods, including the exciting possibility of the drawing of lots.
Ivory Coast will start, inevitably, as favourites but their much-vaunted attack could struggle to shine today against an Angola side who were criticised for playing a particularly sterile, dull form of "anti-football" to defeat Burkina Faso. "The type of football we played against Burkina Faso was for a purpose," said the Palancas Negras coach, José Vidigal. "My players carried out instructions perfectly." Given the mutual convenience of a draw, I'm slightly worried that we might not get our full helping of entertainment tonight. Surely there are enough talented attackers on show, including former Manchester United flop turned Africa-wowing hero Manucho, to guarantee a bit of goalmouth fun? Surely?
The winners of this group will play Equatorial Guinea in Malabo this Saturday, 4 February. Runners-up play Zambia in Bata earlier that same day.
Today's teams are in. Ivory Coast select a considerably below-strength side with Kalou, Drogba and Yaya Touré among the substitutes:
Ivory Coast: Yeboah, Bamba, Eboue, Touré, Boka, Lolo, Konan, Coulibaly, Gradel, Doumbia, Bony. Subs: Barry, Angoua, Zokora, Gosso, Kalou, Tioté, Gervinho, Drogba, Tiene, Keita, Touré Yaya, Gnanahouan.
Angola: Wilson, Zuela, Miguel, Airosa, Dani Massunguna, Macanga, Dede, Gilberto, Djalma, Manucho, Mateus. Subs: Hugo, Osorio, Kali, Jaime, Amaro, Flavio, Love, Rafael, Manucho Barros, Mingo Bile, Vunguidica.
Referee: Slim Jedidi (Tunisia).
The teams are in the tunnel. Action imminent.
There are nearly as many people on the teams' benches as there are in the stands. Equatorial Guinea yet to catch football fever, it seems.
I'll also be keeping half an eye on the Burkina Faso match in Bata, who already seem to be a couple of minutes behind this one. That stadium is even more empty. I've been to dinner parties that have attracted more people. But then, that's life in Guardianland for you.
"Wasn't Manucho supposed to the Next Great Sir Alex Ferguson Signing (along with John Curtis, Massimo Taibi, and, inevitably, Bebe)?" asks Lou Roper. "Whatever happened? And could we compile an XI of such illustrious talents?" Yes, Lou, yes he was. He was rubbish. He's playing in Turkey now.
1 min: Peeeeeeeep! We're off!
2 mins: Interesting stat: Sudan, who have to win convincingly today to deny Angola a place in the quarter-finals, have not won a single match in the African Nations Cup finals since the 1970 final. Hell of a high to go out on, but that's a lot of rubbish football.
5 mins: The Sudan game has been delayed by a lengthy injury break. It doesn't look good for Abdelgabar, who is being stretchered off on a golf buggy having taken a boot in the face, apparently unconscious.
5 mins: Gradel tricks a couple of markers from a throw-in to get into the penalty area, and shoots optimistically from a silly angle. The keeper saves, but it was a nice bit of skill from the former Leeds man.
9 mins: Ivory Coast try to pass the ball out from defence but Manucho, Angola's lone forward, nicks the ball and wins a corner. Nothing comes of it, mind.
11 mins: Jonathan Wilson on Twitter, debating the wisdom of Ivory Coast's mass player-resting (they've made nine changes for this match), reminds me that at Euro 2008 all four group winners rested players in their final group games, and all played poorly in their quarter-finals – three of them lost, and a stuttering Spain beat Italy on penalties.
13 mins: Angola win a free-kick in a promising position, 18 yards from the byline, out on the left wing. They try to roll a low ball towards Manucho, the kind of clever trick they might have worked on on the training ground. It's a rubbish old pass, though, and the ball is cleared.
15 mins: GREAT SAVE! Wilfried Bony cuts in from the left, takes the ball to about 23 yards from goal and then arrows it fast and low towards the corner of the goal. The keeper tips it wide.
17 mins: Eboué's corner is cleared, and he hacks down a defender in his attempt to get the ball back again. That Bony shot is the finest attacking moment of the game so far, from a shortlist of one.
21 mins: Not entirely relevant to the matter in hand dept: three thousand years of civilisation and the best humanity can offer is this?
22 mins: Is it Wilfried Bony, or Bony Wilfried? Anyone know?
23 mins: Kolo Touré's 35-yard shot zips well wide.
25 mins: Angola have a shot on goal, though Macanga's effort is a) from about four miles out, and b) about four miles off target.
28 mins: Eboué and Dedé collide just outside Angola's penalty area, and both collapse. Play continues for a minute before the referee blows his whistle. Eboué seems the worst affected, though it didn't look like there was much contact.
GOAL! Ivory Coast 1 Angola 0 (Eboué 36) Bony, or Wilfried, whatever he's called, ends my long wait for something interesting enough to update you with by zipping past two men and into the box. His low centre is ludicrously badly defended by Miguel, and Eboué has a tap-in at the far post.
GOAL! Sudan 1 Burkina Faso 0 (Eltaib Mudather 33) Meanwhile in the group's other game Sudan take the lead, meaning that one more goal from either them or Ivory Coast and they would leapfrog Angola into second place.
38 mins: Sudan's goal aided considerably by an indescribably terrible tackle by Burkina Faso's Mamadou Tall. He went to ground and did touch the ball, but only prodded it into a handy shooting position.
42 mins: "How does the level of play compare here?" asks Paul Taylor. "Championship?" It's not terrible, Paul – decent technical ability on show from both sides. Ivory Coast's B team would take the Championship by storm, I think. Gradel, who starred for Leeds before moving to France, and Bony are standing out. Angola look less impressive. The main problem, though, was that until the recent two-goal swing nobody has had any motivation or inclination to attack.
44 mins: A decent set-piece delivery from Angola causes concern. The Ivory Coast goalkeeper comes, but doesn't get anywhere near the ball and is grateful that Bamba beats Manucho to the header.
45+1 mins: Peeeeeeeeep! It's half-time. Sudan have just started the first of two minutes' stoppage-time of their own, against Burkina Faso.
Half-time: Well this is probably a best-case scenario. With Sudan winning and needing just one more goal to move into second place, Angola have little choice but to attempt some concerted attacking in the second period. I'm looking forward to it.
Still half-time, but not for long: The players are back out, the Ivorians in a huddle on the pitch. More action imminent.
46 mins: Peeeeeeep! They're off! Again!
46 mins: The first half of tonight's other game, between Sudan and Burkina Faso, finished a couple of minutes after this one's. But the second half kicked off a couple of minutes earlier there. Go figure.
49 mins: Some promise here for Angola, mainly in their ability to win set-pieces around the Ivory Coast penalty area.
50 mins: ...though Djalma's delivery needs to seriously improve if they're going to make anything of them.
54 mins: Excellent run into the heart of the penalty area by Arthur Boka, the left-back, who is halted within a few yards of goal as he prepared to shoot. Elsewhere, Burkina Faso miss a gilt-edged chance to equalise against Sudan.
57 mins: Igor Lolo is booked, for kneeing Djalma in the back.
60 mins: Abdul Kader Keita has come on for Eboué, who has been stretchered off. Don't worry, Eboué fans: it didn't look like anything serious.
61 mins: Ivorian goalkeeper Yeboah's clearance is charged down by Manucho. The ball could have gone anywhere, but on this occasion it went looping high and wide.
GOAL! Ivory Coast 2 Angola 0 (Bony/Wilfried, 64 mins)! Calamity! A nice pass behind the defence. Dani Massunguna tries to head the ball back to his goalkeeper, not realising that his goalkeeper has come to collect the ball himself. The ball would have bounced into the empty net had Bony/Wilfried not raced in to welly the ball home from two yards.
66 mins: And for the first time this evening, Sudan seem on their way to the quarter-finals. Angola waste no time in bringing on another forward, Rafael replacing Macanga.
70 mins: Angola's Massunguna is booked for a frankly terrible challenge on Keita. The two creators of the second goal there.
71 mins: Another Angola free-kick, and this time Djalma's delivery is pretty good. But nobody even competes for the header, Manucho half-heartedly waves a foot at the ball and the goalkeeper collects.
72 mins: From 25 yards, Manucho has Angola's second shot on target. It's not very good.
75 mins: TERRIBLE MISS! Keita's corner is flicked on by Lolo at the near post and practically hits Bamba in the head. He directs it vaguely goalwards, but a bit more precision was required – the ball floats a yard wide.
76 mins: Angola have done pretty much nothing to disrupt the Ivorian defence. They've been terrible disappointing. Though from what little I've seen of the other game it seems Sudan are riding their luck somewhat, Angola can hardly claim that they deserve better.
77 mins: No sooner do I write that than Angola, for the first time, play a decent ball over the Ivorian defence and Mateus has a chance, eventually deflected wide for a corner.
77 mins: BRILLIANT SAVE! From the corner, Manucho heads at goal and Yeboah does excellently to turn it over.
GOAL! Sudan 2 Burkina Faso 0 (Eltaib Mudather, 79mins) More on this in a minute...
80 mins: Cleared off the line! A cross from the right causes a bit of chaos at the far post. The goalkeeper loses it, the ball looks to be dropping towards goal, but it's booted away. And Djalma is replaced by José Vunguidica
81 mins: Sudan's second goal involved quite possibly the worst defending ever seen in the history of football. The goalkeeper boots the ball forward, and Mudather hares off in chase. No defender thinks about tracking his run. The Burkina Faso goalkeeper could have come out and dealt with the situation, but he only gets as far as the edge of his area and then stops, as if there's some invisible force keeping him inside. So Mudather collects the ball without challenge, takes it round the keeper and rolls it into the net. It's genuinely hideous stuff.
84 mins: Didier Drogba has come on. Actually he came on a few minutes ago, while I was busy tapping away.
90 mins: There will be five minutes of stoppage time in the Sudan match. We've got another minute to go before we find out what we're in store for here.
90+1 mins: The answer is four minutes. Ivory Coast are playing keep-ball.
90+2 mins: Angola win a corner, and curl it over everyone's head and out of play for a goal-kick.
90+3 mins: My colleague Jonathan Wilson reports on Twitter: "Angoua comes on for CIV, which means all of 23-man squad bar 3rd keeper, Gnanhouan, has played a part for CIV." An interesting footnote.
GOAL! Sudan 2 Burkina Faso 1! A stoppage-time header, but it's too late to save Angola, surely?
90+4 mins: Peeeeeeeep! And it's all over in Malabo!
90+5 mins: Peeeeeeeep! It's also all over in Bata! Sudan have won their first African Nations Cup match for 42 years, and qualified!
Final thoughts: Angola were a very grave disappointment. I feared the possibility of a mutually convenient goalless draw, but they appear to have expected it. Plan B didn't exist. When forced to attack they were still reluctant, and they came close only once, with a header from a corner. This was a totally deserved beating. Ivory Coast managed to rest 9/11ths of their team and still boost their confidence, maintaining their 100% record with some comfort. Though both of their goals owed a great deal to abysmal defending, the Ivorians clearly have a deep and decent squad. A delighted Sudan now face Zambia for a place in the semi-finals.