Biggest Winning Margins in AFCON History: Who Recorded Huge Wins at the Africa Cup of Nations?

Biggest Winning Margins in AFCON History: Who Recorded Huge Wins at the Africa Cup of Nations?

Joel Reyes
updated at January 9, 2024 at 3:50 PM
In this article:
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D. Drogba
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S. Kalou
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S. Mané
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  • Three teams have racked up five-goal winning margins in AFCON fixtures
  • Ivory Coast recorded two of those emphatic victories in 1970 and 2008
  • Guinea crushed Botswana in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations group stage

AFCON features the best football teams in the African continent.

There were a few times, though, when teams crushed the opposition in this competition.

Here are three Africa Cup of Nations matches with a five-goal margin of victory.

Ivory Coast, AFCON, Africa Cup of Nations, Didier Drogba, Guinea, Botswana, Ethiopia
Ivory Coast team poses for a picture before their quarter-final match against Guinea in the 2008 AFCON. They win 5-0. Image: Lefty Shivambu.
Source: Getty Images

Biggest winning margins in AFCON history

Ivory Coast 6-1 Ethiopia (1970)

Ivory Coast made history in 1970, becoming the first team to record a five-goal win in the Africa Cup of Nations.

They dismantled Ethiopia in Group A action at the Municipal Stadium in Khartoum by a score of 6-1.

Laurent Pokou starred for Ivory Coast in that victory, scoring a whopping five goals.

The Ivorian star bagged goals in the 21st, 60th, 71st, 80th, and 87th minutes to complete the rout.

It was an important victory for Ivory Coast, who advanced to the knockout stage with that result.

Unfortunately for them, they failed to grab a medal in the tournament. They lost to Ghana 2-1 in added extra time in the semi-finals and suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the United Arab Republic in the third-place match.

Ivory Coast 5-0 Guinea (2008)

Ivory Coast headed into their quarter-final showdown with Guinea in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in fine form, having won all of their three matches in the group stage.

That being said, no one expected the Ivorians to destroy Guinea by five goals in their last-eight clash.

Four players scored for Ivory Coast in the 5-0 win, including Abdul Kater Keita, Didier Drogba, Bakari Kone, and Salomon Kalou, who had a brace in the second half.

Four of Ivory Coast’s five goals came from the 70th minute onwards as Guinea suffered one of the heaviest defeats in AFCON history, per Eurosport.

Just like the 1970 team, Ivory Coast failed to take home a medal in this tournament.

They lost 4-1 to Egypt in the semi-finals and suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Ghana in the third-place match.

Botswana 1-6 Guinea (2012)

Botswana and Guinea headed into their clash in the 2012 AFCON needing a victory after they lost their opening matches in Group D.

Guinea kept their tournament hopes alive, recording an emphatic 6-1 win over 10-man Botswana at Stade de Franceville, per France24.

Five players scored for Guinea in the rout, including Abdoul Camara, Ibrahima Traore, Mamadou Bah, Naby Soumah, and Sadio Diallo, who had a brace in the first half.

Guinea failed to advance to the knockout stage, though, as they ended their group campaign with a 1-1 draw against Ghana.

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AFCON Golden Ball winners

Sports Brief recently reported on the complete list of Best Player award winners in the AFCON.

Sadio Mane was the last player to win the Golden Ball, taking home the top prize in the 2021 edition.

He led Senegal to the championship, scoring the winning goal in the penalty shootout against Egypt.

Joel Reyes photo
Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.