Africa Cup of Nations roundup: Lots will be drawn to determine second place in Group D

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When it comes to the ultra-congested Group D, it wouldn’t have been fitting for the clubs to be separated by an on-field winner.

With all four teams boasting 0W-0L-2D records — all on 1-1 draws — going into the final day of group play, there was the possibility of a four-way tie for first place at the end of Wednesday’s play.

[ MORE: English FA charge Costa | No. 1 villain? ]

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your love for chaos, the Ivory Coast found a winner against Cameroon to make sure there would only be one drawing of lots to see who makes it to the knockout round. That’s because our other match finished dead even.

Here’s the scoop.

Guinea 1-1 Mali

Seydou Keita will be the man sweating the lot drawing just a bit more than the rest of the bunch, as his missed penalty may’ve cost Mali a spot in the Round of 16.

Modibo Maiga bailed him out after halftime in terms of getting to the lots, heading home a cross from¬†Abdoulay Diaby in the 47th minute to level out Kevin Constant’s 15th minute penalty for Guinea.

The lots will be drawn at 10am ET on Thursday. Winner gets Ghana on Feb. 1.

Cameroon 0-1 Ivory Coast

That means the only match that didn’t finish 1-1 in Group D play came at the expense of Cameroon, which had new Montreal Impact man Ambroise Oyongo as an unused substitute.

Cameroon had a 61-39 advantage in possession and a 10-7 edge in shot attempts, but that matters not since Saint-Etienne’s Max Gradel hammered home a shot from 20 yards to push Ivory Coast into a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute that it would not relinquish.

It’s a worthwhile watch:

AC Milan’s Kevin Constant walks off field, after more racist abuse in Italy

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Racism reared its ugly head once again in Italy, as Serie A giants AC Milan took on top-flight newcomers Sassuolo in a friendly.

In the game’s 34th minute, Milan’s Guinean international Kevin Constant walked off the pitch after alleged racial abuse from fans at the Stadio del Tricolore on Tuesday night.

The game continued, but repeated announcements over the stadium’s speakers urged fans to stop the racist chanting or the game would be abandoned. Milan lost the match 2-1, but that hardly mattered.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) had this to say on the latest allegations of racial abuse.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation to ascertain the extent of the racist incident that took place at the Stadio del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia during the Milan-Sassuolo match, which saw AC Milan player Kevin Constant the subject of chants from some supporters in the stands.

This incident once again raises the debate as to what players should do if they’re being racially abused whilst on the soccer pitch.

After the game Milan released a statement saying that, “this was not a decision he (Constant) should have taken upon himself to make.”

So a clear gray-area still exists as to what players should do when suffering from racist abuse.

(MORE: Kevin-Prince Boateng talks about his stand against racism)

Constant’s Milan teammate Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off in January, when Milan’s players were subject to similar abuse from the stands as the played Italian minnows Pro Patria in a friendly.

Boateng was applauded around the globe for his actions and has since been made the first member of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force.

(MORE: UEFA brings in strict racism measures, as relegation and expulsion could be the punishment)

New rules have since been brought into play by FIFA and if there is sufficient evidence to suggest Constant was racially abused during Tuesday’s friendly tournament, then those involved should be extremely worried about the new hard-hitting sanctions coming their way.

Below is a short video clip of the incident (not the best quality), as Constant picks up the ball and kicks it towards the alleged group hurling racist taunts his way, much like Boateng did back in January. He is then approached by players from both teams, the referee and coaches trying to persuade him to play on, but Constant was having none of it.

I didn’t think we’d be speaking about this same topic in the exact same region so soon after the Boateng incident, but sadly we are.

Despite all the good work that’s going on to eradicate racism in soccer, incidents like these prove there’s still a long way to go.

(MORE: Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry advocates hard line on racism)