Thursday, October 25, 2012


Title favourites Ivory Coast got a double dose of North African opposition in Tunisia and Algeria when the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations draw was made here Wednesday.

The Ivorians, whose golden generation missed out on 2012 success when they lost to Zambia in a penalty shootout, will want to win their their first AFCON title since 1992 against the likes Algeria and Tunisia in Group D of the 16-team tournament next January19-February10.

Hosts South Africa have a potentially tricky start in the opening match against the Cape Verde Islands, the only first time participants at the continental championship.

South Africa also meet Morocco, whose potential is widely acknowledged but who crashed out early at the last finals and have recently changed their coach. Angola are the fourth team in Group A.

Defending champion, Zambia were also handed a nasty surprise when they were paired with Nigeria, the team universally regarded as the one to avoid by coaches present at Wednesday's draw in Durban.

The Chipolopolo, despite having to play the Nigerians, will still be confident of progress to the quarterfinals ahead of Group C's other two sides Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, who return to the finals after an absence of three decades.

2010 finalist, Ghana were drawn as top seeds in Group B and meet Mali, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The black stars,beat Mali in the group phase at the last finals hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon but then lost to them in the third place playoff.


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