African Cup of Nations full draw. Nigeria escaped group of death.
African Cup of Nations full draw.
The draw has been made for this year’s AFCON with Mohamed Salah’s nation kicking off this year’s tournament against Sunday Chidzambwa’s side
Host nation Egypt will start this year’s Africa Cup of Nations against Zimbabwe on June 21 after being drawn alongside DR Conga and Uganda in Group A.
Egypt will be hoping Mohamed Salah and home support can help propel the country to their eighth AFCON triumph, with their last win coming back in 2010.
This year’s competition will have 24 nations participating, with the top two from each four-team group progressing to the quarter-final stage.
The best four third-placed teams will also qualify for the knockout rounds.
South Africa have been drawn alongside Namibia, Ivory Coast and Morocco in what is widely being regarded as this year’s “Group of Death”.
Morocco are currently ranked as the 45th best team in the world by FIFA, while Ivory Coast are 65th, Namibia are 113th and South Africa themselves at 73 in the world.
Highest-ranked side Senegal – who are FIFA world No. 23 – have been gifted a relative comfortable group alongside Tanzania and Kenya.
However, Senegal will also come up against Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria in the group stage as well which looks to be one of the more attractive ties of the tournament’s group stage.
And reigning champions Cameroon take on Guinea Bissau, Benin and Ghana in another evenly-matched group.
They beat Egypt 2-1 in 2017’s final in Gabon and they will be hoping they can retain their title and pick up their sixth AFCON trophy come July.
Odion Ighalo will be tasked with firing Nigeria to another AFCON triumph after his brilliant success during the qualification campaign.
The Super Eagles topped their group on 13 points, above South Africa, with Ighalo’s seven goals in the process playing a major role.
The Shanghai Shenhua striker will be alongside Alex Iwobi and the experienced Ahmed Musa in their quest of winning their fourth AFCON trophy.
The tournament itself is scheduled to finish on July 19 with the final contested in Cairo’s renovated 75,000-seater International Stadium.
Group A: Egypt, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Uganda
Group B: Burundi, Madagascar, Guinea, Nigeria
Group C: Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, Senegal
Group D: South Africa, Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco
Group E: Angola, Mauritania, Mali, Tunisia
Group F: Guinea Bissau, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon