Genesis Chapter II
12th AFCON in 1980 in Nigeria as Host & Champions
Nigeria claimed their first continental title as they used home ground to their advantage to overwhelm Algeria 3-0 in the final, with Segun Odegbami grabbing a brace of goals in the gold medal match.
Nigeria had beaten Morocco 1-0 in the semifinals, while Algeria edged Egypt on penalties in a strong competition for North African sides.
Morocco then took the bronze medal as they beat the Egyptians 2-0 in the third-place play-off, Khalid Labied with both goals.
This was the one and only previous tournament appearance for Tanzania, who return to the stage in 2019.
13th AFCON in 1982 with Libya as Host & Ghana as Champions
Ghana’s early dominance of the Nations Cup continued as they claimed a fourth title, this time edging hosts and debutants Libya 7-6 on penalties in the final after they had played to a 1-1 draw in Tripoli.
It was also the last time they Black Stars were champions, a long wait for their legion of fans as they head into the 2019 competition.
Zambia claimed the bronze with a 2-0 win over Algeria, who had lost again to Ghana in the semifinals.
14th AFCON in 1984 with Ivory Coast as Host and Cameroon as Champions
Cameroon claimed their first continental title when they beat Nigeria 3-1 in the decider in Abidjan, with just the beginnings of the team that would compete so well at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Algeria defeated Egypt 3-1 in the bronze medal match as they continued to be among the leading teams, without being able to claim gold.
Malawi appeared at the finals for the first time, but came away with just a single point from their three games.
15th AFCON in 1986 with Egypt as Host & Champions
Egypt were awarded hosting rights and used that to their advantage to claim the title, their third continental success in all.
They scraped into the semifinals with a win over debutants Mozambique in their final fixture, but went on to defeat Morocco 1-0 in the semis and then edge defending champions Cameroon 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out after the decider had ended 0-0.
Ivory coast finished third as they beat Morocco 3-2 in the bronze-medal match. The legendary Roger Milla finished top-scorer in the competition with four goals.
16th AFCON in 1988 with Morocco as Host & Cameroon as Champions
Cameroon’s rise in the 1980s continued as they claimed a third final place in a row and won a second title in three attempts, this time in Morocco.
They beat Morocco 1-0 in the semifinals and then claimed a single goal success in the final as Emmanuel Kundé struck a 55th minute penalty.
The third-place play-off between hosts Morocco and Algeria finished 1-1, with the latter going on to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out success.
17th AFCON in 1990 with Algeria as Host & Champions
Algeria’s run of near-misses in the Nations Cup finally came to an end as they lifted the trophy on home soil when they defeated luckless Nigeria 1-0 in the final.
Chérif Oudjani scored the only goal of the game in the first half as a Rabah Madjer-inspired Algeria claimed victory in front of more than 105 000 people at the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers.
Zambia took home the bronze medal as they beat Senegal 1-0 in the third-place play-off.
18th AFCON in 1992 with Senegal as Host & Ivory Coast as Champions
Ivory Coast became champions for the first time after what would be one of the most epic penalty shoot-outs in football history.
Their final against Ghana had ended 0-0, but that was just the start of the dramas as they eventually triumphed 11-10 in the shoot-out as Anthony Baffoe missed the decisive kick.
Nigeria took the bronze as Rashidi Yekini scored late on to claim a 2-1 victory over Cameroon.
The competition was expanded to 12 teams for the first time.
19th AFCON in 1994 with Tunisia as Hosts & Nigeria as Champions
Nigeria were just about at the peak of their powers and would go on to have a successful World Cup in the United States, but before that lifted the African crown.
They came up against a Zambian side rebuilt after 18 players were tragically killed in an aircraft accident off the coast of Gabon less than a year earlier.
Zambia took an early lead in the final, but Emmanuel Amunike’s brace of goals took the Super Eagles to their triumph.
Ivory Coast defeated Mali 3-1 to finish third.
20th AFCON in 1996 with South Africa as Host & Champions
Debutants South Africa lifted the trophy on home soil, defeating Tunisia 2-0 in the final thanks to a brace of goals from Mark Williams.
It was a deserving triumph after they had brushed aside Ghana 3-0 in the semifinals, though Nigeria’s boycott of the tournament for political reasons has long cast a small shadow over the achievement.
Zambia claimed the bronze medal when they beat the Ghanaians 1-0 in the third-place play-off.
The competition was due to have 16 sides, but ended up with 15 following the withdrawal of Nigeria.
21st AFCON in 1998 with Burkina Faso as Host & Egypt as Champions
Egypt claimed their fourth title as they defeated South Africa 2-0 in the final to deny Bafana Bafana back-to-back triumphs.
Hossam Hassan (Egypt) and a youthful Benni McCarthy (South Africa) top-scored with seven goals each in what was a high-scoring tournament that averaged almost three goals per game having finally been expanded to 16 teams.
DR Congo claimed the bronze medal after a 4-1 penalty shoot-out victory over Burkina Faso as the sides played to a thrilling 4-4 draw in the third-place play-off.