Portsmouth's manager Grant gestures before their EPL soccer match against Burnley at Turf Moor in Burnley

Avram Grant’s Ghana got their African Cup of Nations campaign off to a losing start

THINGS CAN only get better for our two vested interests at The African Cup of Nations. Avram Grant’s life as coach of Ghana got off to a disappointing start as he saw his new team concede a dramatic 94th minute strike to Senegal as they went down 2-1. Just a couple of hours later at the same Estadio de Mongomo stadium, Dean Furman, captain of South Africa, saw his team capitulate in the last quarter of the game, as three late strikes saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat to Algeria. Both inevitably spoke of their disappointment, though were also insistent that there’s still plenty to play for. Neither side can afford to lose their next group game on Friday, though in all likelihood, their chances of progressing to the next stage of the tournament will lie with their third and final game early next week, when they face each other in a winner-takes-all clash.

THE BAD news is Guy Luzon began life as manager of Charlton Athletic with a 5-0 defeat at Watford. The good news is that the delayed processing of his UK work permit meant he wasn’t officially in charge of the side for their horror show at Vicarage Road. The other bad news for him – given that woeful 90 minutes – is that he will be in the dugout for their next game against Doncaster on Saturday.

SAGI LEV-ARI was last week talking how it would be a dream to play in Major League Soccer, and that wish came true after he was selected to play for Columbus Crew. Set to feature alongside the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, the 25-year-old Israeli said: “I was so happy and it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to go to Columbus, I’m happy they chose me and am excited to join the club.”