Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI highlights the four hosts in the Africa Cup of Nations history who failed to progress from the group stage, thus causing a premature extinction of the home fans’ real party in the Africa’s foremost football showpiece.
1. GABON – 2017
Gabon became the fourth AFCON hosts to crash out at the group stage
They were forced to a 1-1 draw by newcomers Guinea-Bissau in the opening game of the competition, drew 1-1 with Burkina Faso before rounding off with a 0-0 draw with Cameroon.
Burkina Faso topped the group with five points, followed by Cameroon also with five points, but finished second based on fewer goals scored.
Gabon became the fourth AFCON hosts to crash out at the group stage.
2. TUNISIA (1994)
For the second time, Tunisia hosted the AFCON in 1994 (their first was in 1965), and were tipped as one of the favourites for the trophy.
Drawn in Group A, along with Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Mali, not a few believed Tunisia will ease into the quarter-finals.
But to everyone’s surprise, Tunisia crashed out of their three-team group, finishing third.
In the opening game of the tournament against Mali, Tunisia were stunned 2-0 following two first half goals.
And against Zaire in their final group game, Tunisia could only play a 1-1 draw and crashed out.
Zaire finished top of the group with one win and one draw, Mali was second after claiming one win and suffering a defeat.
3. COTE D’IVOIRE – 1984
At the 1984 AFCON, hosts Cote d’Ivoire could not make it out of a group that also had Cameroon, Egypt and Togo.
Cote d’Ivoire’s opening game ended 3-0 in their favour against Togo, but their next game against Egypt ended 2-1 in favour of the North Africans.
And against Cameroon in their last Group A game, Cote d’Ivoire were beaten 2-0 and became the second hosts of the AFCON to go out in the group stage.
Egypt topped the group, Cameroon finished second, Cote d’Ivoire were third, while Togo finished fourth.
4. ETHIOPIA – 1976
Ethiopia became the first ever hosts of the Africa Cup of Nations to crash out at the group stage when they hosted in 1976.
Drawn in Group A with Egypt, Guinea and Uganda, Ethiopia finished third after one win, one draw and a loss.
In their first game of the 1976 AFCON, Ethiopia got off to a good start beating Uganda 2-0.
Against Uganda who eventually topped the group, Ethiopia lost 2-1.
And in the decisive last group game against Egypt which was a must win, Ethiopia could only manage a 1-1 draw and crashing out. The Pharoahs finished second.