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Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

Ghana (Reuters Pictures)

There is plenty of high-profile soccer going on around the world this Wednesday, but perhaps no games carry as much significance as the two African Cup of Nations semifinals. Ivory Coast and Ghana took care of business in the African Cup of Nations quarterfinals with matching 3-0 victories, and all that stands in the way of a star-studded tournament final is one more win for each team.

The two tournament favorites will look to avoid the upset bug in Wednesday's semifinal matches. U.S. World Cup nemesis Ghana kicks things off against Zambia in the opener (11 a.m.), looking to advance to the final for the second straight tournament after falling to Egypt in the 2010 title game.

Ivory Coast got by co-host Equatorial Guinea in the quarterfinals and gets a shot at Mali (2 p.m.), whose only loss in the tournament came at the hands of Ghana. Mali handled Gabon, the other co-host, in dramatic fashion, getting an 84th-minute equalizer before prevailing on penalties. 

Here's a look at some of the other mid-week soccer going on around the world this Wednesday:


AC Milan and Juventus tangle in the opening leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal tie at the San Siro (2:45 p.m., The powerhouse teams currently occupy the top two spots in the Serie A table, with Juventus nursing a one-point advantage. Juve took the teams' earlier meeting this season by a 2-0 scoreline behind a brace from Claudio Marchisio.


Barcelona will aim to take one step closer to another piece of silverware by hosting Valencia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal (3 p.m., GOLTV). The two played to a 1-1 draw in last week's first leg at Valencia, and the winner will have a final date with Athletic Bilbao. 


The three final spots in the German Cup semifinals will be sealed, and there's an American angle to two of the day's matches. Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Joe Gyau and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim meet 2. Bundesliga side Greuther Furth (1 p.m.) while Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin tangle with title chaser Borussia Monchengladbach (1 p.m.,

In the other quarterfinal, Stuttgart will try and fend off favored Bayern Munich (3 p.m., Borussia Dortmund clinched its place in the semifinals with a thorough 4-0 beating of Regionalliga side Holstein Kiel on Tuesday.


Middlesbrough and Sunderland duel for the final place in the FA Cup's Round of 16 with their fourth-round replay (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel). The two played to a 1-1 draw in their initial encounter back on Jan. 29, with Frazier Campbell's 59th-minute goal forcing the replay.


Sporting Lisbon played Nacional to a 2-2 draw in the opening leg of their Taca de Portugal semifinal tie last month, and all that stands between Oguchi Onyewu's side and a chance at silverware is a result in their away leg matchup (3:15 p.m.).

Should Sporting go through, they would face Academica in May's final.


Jozy Altidore's AZ Alkmaar had their league match this past weekend postponed because of a frozen pitch, and that game against ADO Den Haag will be made up on Wednesday (1 p.m.). Altidore has been used primarily as a substitute for AZ's last few games.


How do you see Wednesday's action playing out? Hoping to see an Ivory Coast-Ghana ACN final?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Is this like Greece in Euro 2004? Wikipedia sez Zambia has never qualified for the WC and its highest place finish in the the African Cup was in the quarters last tourney. Beyond that there are a whole bunch of “did not qualify”s and Round 1 exits.

  2. Watching a stream taken from what I think is a Russian language broadcast on EuroSport. No clue who scored Zambia’s goal, but it was a great shot that just caught the inside of the post.

  3. Well, for Drogba’s sake — and the fact that as a Yanks fan there is no love lost with Ghana — I hope Ivory Coast finally wins this thing.

    Where the heck are people watching the Cup in the States? I work all day and have only been following the match reports.

  4. Terrible decision by the ref, whistling a phantom foul as Zambian goalie unable to get a good punch. No way to know if Ghana would have gotten another chance, but the Zambian goalie wasn’t even touched by any Ghanaian.


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