Africa’s big guns seek revenge


Reigning African champions, Egypt and former winners Ghana, South Africa, Algeria and Morocco were victims of the shocking results that engulfed last weekend’s matches.

With the reverse fixtures fixed for this weekend, the five teams are bent on avenging the losses suffered to boost their chances of qualifying to the next stage of the qualifying rounds.

On Sunday, the Pharaohs of Egypt will host the Flames of Malawi in a Group Twelve clash at the Cairo International Stadium, with the aim of avenging the painful lone goal loss.

The Pharaohs have been given a major boost with doubts cleared over the fitness of strikers Emad Meteb and Amr Zaki.

The duo, were doubtful after sustaining minor injuries during last weekend’s game in Blantyre, but were declared fit for the game after massive improvement in their recovery.

This will be major boost for Egypt coach Hassan Shehata, who has missed a key player in every game during the campaign, which will see DR Congo engaging Djibouti in the other Group Twelve game.

Four-time African Champions, Ghana host Gabon in a Group Five duel at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra.

The Black Stars have been experiencing a downtrend in performance in recent times, as pressure rages on caretaker coach Sellas Tetteh to deliver the maximum points.

Tetteh insists his side has overcome last weekend’s loss in Libreville and, they are course for victory.

Libya is favoured to complete a double over Lesotho in the other Group five clash in Tripoli earlier on Friday.

World Cup hosts, South Africa will be at home to the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a Group Four clash.

Defender Macbeth Sibaya has expressed that the team had learnt some positives from 0-1 loss in Freetown and are focused on winning all three matches to ensure a smooth a passage into the next round.

Bafana Bafana have qualified automatically for the World Cup as hosts, but Sibaya has acknowledged qualifying for the African Cup of Nations will be a major task for the team.

“It is not going to be an easy road. It means we have to win our remaining three matches in the qualifying campaign,” said Sibaya, who captained the team in last weekend’s clash. I

n Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, one of few big guns to have snatched victory away on day three of the qualifiers host Equatorial Guinea in the Group’s other match. In Group Six, Algeria will face Gambia while Senegal battles Liberia in Dakar.

The Atlas Lions of Morocco will welcome leaders Rwanda in the topmost Group Nine clash while, Ethiopia contends with Mauritania in Addis Ababa.

In Group One, fellow four-time African champions, Cameroon will give Tanzania their toughest game of their campaign while Cape Verde will for a double over Mauritius when the two sides come face to face in Praia.

Group Two leaders, Kenya have a dicey trip away to Zimbabwe, just as the Brave Warriors of Namibia in Conakry against Guinea in a repeat of the Ghana 2008 CAN clash. Both teams were in Group A alongside hosts Ghana and Morocco.

The Palancas Negras of Angola will face the Ugandan Cranes in a heated Group Three duel in Luanda. The Nations Cup hosts slumped to a 1-3 loss in Kampala last week and are bent on revenge to remain in contention of the group’s two slots.

Benin squares off Niger in the other Group Three game.

At Abidjan, the Elephants of Ivory Coast who have recorded uninspiring results in the absence of key players including captain Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Aruna Dindane face the Zebras of Botswana in a must win Group Seven encounter, while Mozambique and Madagascar sort things put in the other group clash in Maputo.

In Group Ten, the Desert Hawks of Sudan trek to Bamako as guests of the Eagles of Mali while Zambia seeks for their win of campaign at home to Swaziland in Group Eleven clash.

Fixtures: Friday:

Algeria v Gambia Libya v Lesotho

Saturday: Zambia v Swaziland South Africa v Sierra Leone Cameroon v Tanzania Nigeria v Equatorial Guinea Burkina Faso v Seychelles Morocco v Rwanda Senegal v Liberia Tunisia v Burundi

Sunday: Zimbabwe v Kenya Mozambique v Madagascar Angola v Uganda DR Congo v Djibouti Cape Verde v Mauritius Benin v Niger Ivory Coast v Botswana Ethiopia v Mauritania Guinea v Namibia Ghana v Gabon Mali v Sudan Egypt v Malawi