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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old August 23rd, 2006, 14:56 Thread Starter
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African Cup Qualifiers

The qualifiers for 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana will kick off in the first weekend of September (about 10 days away). Please post everything related to the games here. Below is a list of all the matches:

Group 1
Gabon vs Madagascar
Djibouti vs Ivory Coast

Group 2
Mauritania vs Botswana
Egypt vs Burundi

Group 3
Uganda vs Lesotho
Nigeria vs Niger

Group 4
Sudan vs Seychelles
Mauritius vs Tunisia

Group 5
Rwanda vs Cameroon
Equatorial Guinea vs Liberia

Group 6
Swaziland vs Angola
Kenya vs Eritrea

Group 7
Tanzania vs Burkina Faso
Senegal vs Mozambique

Group 8
Guinea vs Algeria
Gambia vs Cape Verde

Group 9
Sierre Leone vs Mali
Togo vs Benin

Group 10
Ethiopia vs Libya
DR Congo vs Namibia

Group 11
South Africa vs Congo
Chad vs Zambia

Group 12
Morocco vs Malawi

Most of these games will be one-sided affairs. The best games this weekend will probably be Rwanda vs Cameroon and Guinea vs Algeria.

Last edited by TonyStarks; August 26th, 2006 at 06:14.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old August 23rd, 2006, 14:58 Thread Starter
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Tunisia call up new players

Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre has named three uncapped players in his squad for their 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritius on 3 September. Striker Salama Kasdaoui, midfielder Belgacem Tunnich and Belgium-based striker Houcine Ragued were included in the 20-man squad. The North Africans are in Group Four, alongside Seychelles and Sudan.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Ali Boumnijel (Club Africain), Adel Nefzi (U.S. Monastir), Hamdi Kasraoui (Esperance)

Defenders: Wissem El Bekri (Esperance), Mehdi Meriah (Etoile Sahel), Amir Haj Massoud (C.S. Sfaxien), Arbi Jaber (Esperance), Radhi Jaidi (Birmingham City, England D2), Karim Hagui (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), David Jemmali (Bordeaux, France)

Midfielders: Chawki Ben Saada (SC Bastia, France D2), Mehdi Nafti (Birmingham City, England D2), Kamel Zaiem (Esperance), Houcine Regued (Mons, Belgium), Joahar Mnari (Nuremberg, Germany)

Strikers: Mohamed Ali Ghariani (Club Africain), Salema Kasdaoui (Esperance), Belgacem Tunnich (Stade Tunisien), Karim Essediri (Rosenborg, Norway), Yassine Chikhaoui (Etoile Sahel)
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old August 24th, 2006, 03:37 Thread Starter
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Cape Verde get Monteiro

Defender Pedro Miguel Cardoso Monteiro has accepted an invitation to play for Cape Verde in the 2008 Nations Cup qualifiers. Monteiro, who just joined English championship side Southampton, turned down similar invitations in the past. But Portugal's decision not to call him up for their national team may have swayed him to finally accept Cape Verde's call. He is expected to feature in next month's qualifier against Gambia. Defender Loloti and midfielder Tubola are the only home-based players in the side, which also includes clubless goalkeeper Veiga. Defender Janicio, with Portuguese side Vitoria Setubal, is the surprise exclusion. It is the first time he is missing a call up since the start of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Veiga (no club), Ernesto (Estoril, Portugal D2)

Defenders: Nelson Veiga (Naval 1º de Maio, Portugal), Loloti (Sporting Praia), Pedro Monteiro (Southampton, England D2), Zé Piguita (Qatar), Nando (Tunisia)

Midfielders: Lito (Naval Primeiro de Maio, Portugal), Emerson (Beira-Mar, Portugal), Néné (Desportivo Aves, Portugal), Sandro (Vitória Setúbal, Portugal), Moreno (Vitória Guimarães, Portugal D2), Tubola (Derby São Vicente)

Strikers: Rodolfo Lima (Portimonense, Portugal D2), Mendes (Académico do Sal), Caló (Qatar), Cafú (SC Freiburg, Germany D2)
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old August 24th, 2006, 15:38 Thread Starter
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Eto'o returns to Cameroon squad for Nations Cup qualifier

YAOUNDE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o will return to the Cameroon squad for next week's African Nations Cup qualifier in Rwanda. The Barcelona striker missed the 1-1 draw with Guinea last week but was named on Thursday in an 18-man squad for the match in Kigali on September 3. It is the opening game for both countries in the campaign to qualify for the 2008 Nations Cup finals in Ghana. It will also be the first game for Cameroon's new Dutch coach Arie Haan.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hamidou Souleymanou (Denizlispor, Turkey), Idriss Carlos Kameni (Espanyol, Spain)

Defenders: Benoit Angbwa (FC Krylia Sovietov, Russia) , Jean Hugues Ateba Bilayi (Paris St Germain, France), Thimothee Atouba (Hamburg SV, Germany), Stephane Bikey (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia), Eric Matoukou (Racing Genk, Belgium), Stephane Mbia (Stade Rennes, France), Rigobert Song (Galatasaray, Turkey)

Midfielders: Saidou Alioum (Nantes, France), Guy Feutchine (St Gallen, Switzerland), Geremi (Chelsea, England), Jean Makoun (Lille, France), Salomon Olembe (Olympique Marseille, France)

Strikers: Rudolph Douala (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona, Spain), Albert Meyong Ze (Levante, Spain), Achille Webo (Osasuna, Spain)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old August 24th, 2006, 15:53 Thread Starter
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Fortune and McCarthy boost South Africa Nations Cup squad

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Bolton Wanderers' new signing Quinton Fortune is due to make his return to the South African side for the first time since March last year after being named on Thursday in a 18-man squad for the African Nations Cup qualifier against Congo next week. Fortune, who has won 47 caps for South Africa, spent the whole of last season out injured and also missed last week's 1-0 win against Namibia in a warm-up friendly. As well as returning to the international fold, he has also played in both of Bolton's opening two league matches following his summer switch from Old Trafford. Also returning to the squad is Blackburn Rovers' new signing Benni McCarthy, Russian-based midfielder MacBeth Sibaya and Benedict Vilakazi, from Johannesburg club Orlando Pirates. South Africa host Congo in Johannesburg on September 2 at the start of the qualifiers for the 2008 African Nations Cup finals in Ghana. The South Africans will be again handled by caretaker coach Pitso Mosimane although Brazilian Carlos Alberto Pareira, who takes over at the start of next year, is planned to be in the crowd.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rowen Fernandez (Kaizer Chiefs), Calvin Marlin (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Bradley Carnell (Karlsruhe, Germany D2), Ricardo Katza (SuperSport United), Nasief Morris (Panathinaikos, Greece), Vuyo Mere, Benson Mhlongo (both Mamelodi Sundowns), Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers, England), Cyril Nzama (Kaizer Chiefs)

Midfielders: Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nkosi (Kaizer Chiefs), Steven Pienaar (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Dillon Sheppard (Mamelodi Sundowns), Benedict Vilakazi (Orlando Pirates), Quinton Fortune (Bolton Wanderers, England)

Strikers: Katlego Mashego (Mamelodi Sundowns), Benedict McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers, England), Glen Salmon (FC Groningen, Netherlands)
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old August 25th, 2006, 08:31
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Djibouti have withdrawn from the competition.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old August 25th, 2006, 09:30
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Originally Posted by the_fan
Djibouti have withdrawn from the competition.
Why?

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old August 26th, 2006, 02:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince-O
Why?
I don't know (I got the news from the ANC wikipedia site and http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foot...ca/5259778.stm) but I'm guessing they couldn't afford the travel costs.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old August 26th, 2006, 05:18
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Originally Posted by TonyStarks

Group 2
Egypt vs Madagascar
Slight correction - we're facing Burundi.

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lol hossam lol...i think your the coolest bro one of the few ppl i like in this world

now thats three rants lol

i love u bro. yr good people


Juventus were relegated to Serie B along with their reputation.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old August 26th, 2006, 06:15 Thread Starter
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Corrected!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old August 28th, 2006, 15:04 Thread Starter
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Uncapped Ca makes Guinea squad

Guinea have uncapped teenager Bocundji Ca in their 20-man squad for Sunday's African Nations Cup qualifier against Algeria. The 19-year-old midfielder, with French club Nantes, was born in neighbouring Guinea Bissau but has been offered a chance of an international career with Guinea. Guinea have a history of using family connections to prize players from neighbouring countries, including midfielder Mohamed Sylla, who was born in Ivory Coast, and defender Ibrahima Camara, who hails from Sierra Leone. But Guinea coach Patrice Neveu dropped Stoke City striker Sambegou Bangoura from the squad which drew 1-1 in a friendly with Cameroon in France on 16 August.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Hamidou Camara (AS Kaloum), Kemoko Camara (AmaZulu, South Africa), Naby Diarso (Satellite FC)

Defenders: Ibrahima Camara (Le Mans, France), Morlaye Cisse (Viry Chatillon, France D5), Mamadou Alimou Diallo (Lokeren, Belgium), Daouda Jabi (Racing Lens, France), Mamadi Kaba (Gueugnon, France D2), Oumar Kalabane (AJ Auxerre, France), Kamil Zayatte (Racing Lens, France)

Midfielders: Bocundji Ca (Nantes, France), Fode Mansare (Toulouse, France), Ibrahima Souare (Martigues, D3), Kanfory Sylla (Khallitea, Greece D2), Mohamed Sylla (Leicester City, England D2)

Strikers: Ibrahima Bangoura (Troyes, France), Ismael Bangoura (Le Mans, France), Kaba Diawara (Genclirbirligi, Turkey), Ibrahima Yattara (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Souleymane Youla (Lille, France)
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old August 28th, 2006, 15:09 Thread Starter
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Angola recall for Yamba Asha

Angola have recalled defender Yamba Asha to their 24-man squad for next weekend's African Nations Cup qualifier against Swaziland. The 30-year-old left back has just served a nine-month ban after failing a doping test at the end of last year's World Cup qualifiers. Yamba Asha, who recently moved to struggling Swedish Club Osters IF, missed the African Nations Cup finals in Egypt in January and June's World Cup finals because of the drugs ban. He had played in all 12 of Angola's qualifying matches en route to their surprise appearance at the finals in Germany. Coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves added Petro Atletico striker Manucho to the squad for the first match for Angola since the World Cup and handed a first call-up to goalkeeper Josimar. Senior players dropped after the World Cup include goalkeeper Joao Ricardo, defender Rui Marques and captain Akwa. The Angolan Football Federation named the squad on Saturday for the match away at Somhlolo on 3 September.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Josimar (Primeiro Agosto), Lama (Petro Atletico), Mario (InterClube)

Defenders: Delgado (Metz, France D2), Elsio (Primeiro Agosto), Jamba (AS Aviacao), Joel (InterClube), Kali (FC Sion,Switzerland), Lebo Lebo (Petro Atletico), Loco (Primeiro Agosto), Yamba Asha (Osters IF, Sweden)

Midfielders: Chinho (Petro Atletico), Figueiredo (Osters IF, Sweden), Gazeta (Primeiro Agosto), Mendona (Varzim, Portugal D2), Xara (Petro Atletico), Ze Augusto (Primeiro Agosto), Z Kalanga (Dinamo Bucharest, Romania)

Strikers: Andre Titi Buengo (Amiens, France D2), Flavio (Ahly, Egypt), Love (AS Aviacao), Mantorras (Benfica, Portugal), Manucho (Petro Atletico), Mateus (Gil Vicente, Portugal D2)
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old August 28th, 2006, 15:09 Thread Starter
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Tchato replaces Atouba in Cameroon squad

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Hamburg SV defender Timothee Atouba has withdrawn from Cameroon's squad for Sunday's 2008 African Nations Cup qualifier in Rwanda because of a thigh injury. Fullback Bill Tchato will be his replacement, the Cameroon Football Federation said on Monday. Landry Nguemo and Justice Wamfor also received belated call-ups to the squad on Monday. Wamfor, of Belgian club Germinal Beerschot, won his second cap in the 1-1 draw with Guinea in a friendly on Aug. 16. Nancy's Nguemo is uncapped. Cameroon's new Dutch coach Arie Haan arrived in Yaounde at the weekend to begin his spell in charge.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old August 28th, 2006, 15:12 Thread Starter
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Striker Mido returns to Egypt squad

CAIRO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Controversial striker Mido is back in the Egypt squad after being dramatically suspended by his country during the African Nations Cup earlier this year. The AS Roma player, who was on loan at Tottenham Hotspur last season, missed Egypt's victory over Ivory Coast in the Cairo final in February after being banned for six months for his angry reaction to being substituted in the semi-final. Mido was named in a 22-man squad on Monday for Egypt's match against Burundi on Saturday, their opening qualifier for the 2008 African Nations Cup finals in Ghana. He was involved in a heated argument with coach Hassan Shehata and had to be restrained by team mates as he left the field in full view of a capacity 70,000-strong crowd during the semi-final win over Senegal. Mido later apologised for the indiscretion and celebrated the Nations Cup success with his team mates although he watched the final from the press box. Turkish-based midfielder Ayman Abdelaziz was recalled after a three-year absence.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed Abou Moncef (Zamalek), Essam Al Hadari (Al Ahli), Sherif Ekrami (Feyenoord, Holland)

Defenders: Ahmed Abou Mosalem (Racing Strasbourg, France D2), Abdulzaher El Saqqa (Konyaspor, Turkey), Ahmed Fathi (Ismaili), Wael Gomaa (Al Ahli), Amir Azmi Megahed (PAOK Salonika, Greece), Hani Said (Ismaili)

Midfielders: Ayman Abdelaziz (Genclerbirligi, Turkey), Hosni Abd Rabou (Ismaili), Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahli), Ahmed Hassan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Ahmed Salem (Al Gaish), Mohamed Shawki (Al Ahli), Reda Shehata (ENPPI)

Forwards: Ahmed Abdelghani (Harras Al Hodoud), Abdelhalim Ali (Zamalek), Mido (AS Roma, Italy), Amr Zaki (Zamalek) Mohamed Zidan (Werder Bremen, Germany), Abdul-Halim Ali (Zamalek)
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old August 28th, 2006, 19:22 Thread Starter
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Diawara left out of Senegal squad

DAKAR, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Defender Souleymane Diawara, kicked out of Senegal's camp earlier this month for a breach of discipline, has been dropped for their African Nations Cup qualifier against Mozambique in Dakar on Saturday. Diawara, who plays for French team Sochaux, was expelled from the camp ahead of Senegal's 1-0 win over the Ivory Coast in a friendly in Rouen on Aug. 16. He had travelled to Paris for a night out without the approval of the coaching staff two days before the match.
Coach Henryk Kasperczak has also left out Charlton Athletic midfielder Amdy Faye and midfielder Issa Ba, both of whom played for Senegal in the African Nations Cup finals in Egypt at the start of the year.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Khadim Faye (Boavista, Portugal), Cheikh Tidiane Ndiaye (Stade Rennes, France), Tony Sylva (Lille, France)

Defenders: Habib Beye (Olympique Marseille, France), Lamine Diatta (St Etienne, France), Pape Malikou Diakhate (Nancy, France), Boukary Drame (Paris St Germain, France), Ibrahima Faye (Troyes, France), Pascale Mendy (Dynamo Moscow, Russia), Guirane Ndaw (Sochaux, France)

Midfielders: Issa Ba (AJ Auxerre, France), Malick Ba (Basel, Switzerland), Pape Bouba Diop (Fulham, England), Abdoulaye Diagne Faye (Bolton Wanderers, England), Moussa Ndiaye (Istres, France D2), Ousmane Ndoye (Academica Coimbra, Portugal), Bayal Sall (US Goree)

Strikers: Henri Camara (Wigan Athletic, England), El Hadji Diouf (Bolton Wanderers, England), Frederic Mendy (Bastia, France D2), Mamadou Niang (Olympique Marseille, France), Ibrahima Sidibe (Debrecen, Hungary)
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old September 21st, 2006, 23:26
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Algerian defender Yahia suspended for two matches
Reuters
20.09.2006


Algerian international Antar Yahia has been suspended for his country's next two African Nations Cup qualifiers, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Wednesday.

Yahia, who plays at French Ligue 1 club Nice, was sent off during his country's opening Group Eight qualifier against Guinea in Conakry on Sept. 3 and has been given the two-match ban for violent conduct.

It means the French-born defender will not be able to play in a competitive international until June next year, missing Algeria's home matches against Gambia on Oct. 6 and the Cape Verde Islands on Mar. 23 next year.

He will only be available again for selection by coach Jean-Michel Cavalli for the fourth round of qualifiers for the 2008 finals in Ghana, away against the Cape Verde Islands in Praia on June 3 next year.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old October 6th, 2006, 20:11
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African Cup of Nations preview

South Africa's chances of qualifying for the 2008 African Cup of Nations finals will suffer a severe setback if they lose in Zambia on Sunday.


in BBC Football
06.10.2006


Defeat would leave the 2010 World Cup hosts five points behind Group 11 leaders Zambia with four matches to play.

The match in Lusaka is one of 22 taking place this weekend in the second round of qualifiers, with only the 12 group winners advancing to the finals in Ghana, plus the three best second-place teams.

Former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who takes charge of South Africa early next year, will accompany the side to Zambia.

South Africa were held to a 0-0 home draw by Congo in their opening qualifier last month while Zambia won 2-0 in Chad.

The visitors go into Sunday's game without striker Benni McCarthy, who rejected a plea to play from caretaker coach Pitso Mosimane.

McCarthy, who has scored five goals for English Premier League Blackburn Rovers since his pre-season move from Portugal, is refusing to play for his country after media criticism of his display at the Nations Cup finals in Egypt earlier this year.

There is also a doubt over Sibusiso Zuma because his club side Arminia Bielefeld do not want him to play.

Zuma ended a six-month injury absence when he played for the German team at the weekend, and scored on his return.

World Cup finalists Angola play their first home match in more than a year when they host Kenya in Group Six on Sunday.

"It will be important to ensure we win for the sake of the crowd," said midfielder André.

Togo will welcome back Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor after he refused to play against Benin last month in the on-going row over World Cup bonus payments.

The Togolese travel to Mali for a tough Group Nine qualifier on Sunday.

Tunisia, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Mauritius in their opening game, will be without injured Brazilian-born striker Francileudo dos Santos for Saturday's Group Four meeting with Sudan in Tunis.

The other Group Four game is an all island affair as the Seychelles host Mauritius, who have included three France-based teenagers in their squad.

Coach Sarjoo Gowreesungkur has called up Arassen Ragaven, who plays for first division Lorient, Daniel Sudanum and Johann Khodabaccus who are both with lower divsion clubs in France.

Ivory Coast, under new German coach Uli Stielike, entertain Gabon in Group One on Sunday.

Stielike has already made an impact by omitting Paris St Germain striker Bonaventure Kalou, a former captain of the Ivorians.

It is the first competitive game for Ivory Coast since their opening-round elimination in the World Cup finals.

Former champions Cameroon and Nigeria face tricky ties this weekend against little-known opposition.

Cameroon, without injured striker Samuel Eto'o, host Equatorial Guinea in Group Five while Nigeria travel to Lesotho for a Group Three clash.

"For a country like ours to play against the big guns is really motivating," said Lesotho coach Motheo Mohapi.

"We are aiming to pull off a shock."

Lesotho's chances of causing an upset have been boosted by the withdrawal from the Super Ealges squad of the injured striker Osaze Odemwingie, John Utaka who cannot travel because of a passport problem and Jay-Jay Okocha, who was not given enough notice to join the team.

Fixtures:

Group 1
Sunday: Ivory Coast v Gabon
Bye: Madagascar

Group 2
Saturday: Botswana v Egypt
Sunday: Burundi v Mauritania

Group 3
Sunday: Lesotho v Nigeria
Sunday: Niger v Uganda

Group 4
Saturday: Seychelles v Mauritius
Saturday: Tunisia v Sudan

Group 5
Sunday: Cameroon v Equatorial Guinea
Sunday: Liberia v Rwanda

Group 6
Saturday: Eritrea v Swaziland
Sunday: Angola v Kenya

Group 7
Saturday: Burkina Faso v Senegal
Sunday: Mozambique v Tanzania

Group 8
Saturday: Algeria v Gambia
Sunday: Cape Verde Islands v Guinea

Group 9
Saturday: Mali v Togo
Sunday: Benin v Sierra Leone

Group 10
Friday: Libya v DR Congo
Saturday: Namibia v Ethiopia

Group 11
Saturday: Zambia v South Africa
Sunday: Congo v Chad

Group 12
Saturday: Malawi v Zimbabwe
Bye: Morocco

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Nelson Mandela
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old October 8th, 2006, 16:08
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African Nations Cup champions Egypt held in Botswana

by Andrew Thompson in Cairo
October 7, 2006
AFP


Defending champions Egypt were held 0-0 away to Botswana as the second round of 2008 African Nations Cup qualifiers kicked off.

The result lifted the 'Pharaohs' above Group 2 surprise package Mauritania into first place on four points, one more than the minnows from the north-west of the continent.

Coached by former Algeria World Cup star and coach Ali Fergani, Mauritania trounced Botswana 4-0 at home last month and will regain the leadership if they avoid defeat away to Burundi Sunday.

Veteran coach and former national team defender Hassan Shehata, who guided hosts Egypt to a record fifth Nations Cup title last February, fielded an array of local and Europe-based talent at the National Stadium in Gaborone.

But despite dominating territorially and creating most of the clearcut chances, a mix of wild finishing and bad luck robbed the visitors of the victory they would have expected from the long journey to southern Africa.

Dodging defeat was a relief for recently appointed Botswana coach Colwyn Roe from England after losses away to Zambia and Mauritania, and at home to the Cameroon Olympic squad.

The Cameroon senior team continued their impressive form under new Dutch coach Arie Haan with a 3-0 home triumph over rising force Equatorial Guinea in a top-of-the-table Group 5 encounter.

Germany-based striker Idrissou Mohammadou, a late addition to the squad after the injury-induced withdrawal of reigning African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o, was the two-goal hero at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

He broke the deadlock after 73 minutes in Yaounde and struck again 60 seconds from full-time after fellow striker Achille Webo, from Spanish club Osasuna, hit the second.

Long a whipping boy of African football, Equatorial Guinea have made steady progress helped by an oil boom in the tiny central African state and launched their campaign with a home victory over Liberia.

Rwanda, who collapsed in the second half when losing by three goals at home to four-time Nations Cup winners Cameroon, are away to Liberia Sunday in a battle of basement dwellers.

Malawi overcame the dramatic midweek sacking of German coach Burkhard Ziese to surprise Zimbabwe 1-0 in Group 12 thanks to a 33rd-minute goal from Moses Chavula at Chichiri Stadium in Blantyre.

Ziese was slightly injured in an attack by supporters of the 'Flames' and manhandled out of the national stadium by stewards ahead of his dismissal following a series of poor results.

Replacement Kinnah Phiri, a former national team midfielder, lifted spirits sufficiently for Chavula to break the deadlock against 2004 and 2006 Nations Cup qualifiers Zimbabwe.

Portsmouth striker Benjamin 'Benjani' Mwaruwari captained the 'Warriors' of Zimbabwe in the absence of injured veteran Peter Ndlovu and while he lamented the loss, his Malawian parents will have mixed feelings.

Morocco, whose only Nations Cup title was won in Ethiopia 30 years ago, beat Malawi in the first round and are now favoured to top the three-team pool and claim a place at the 2008 finals in Ghana.

Wilnes Brutus was the toast of Seychelles after they beat Mauritius 2-1 in an Indian Ocean showdown to collect their first points in Group 4, which includes Tunisia and Sudan, who meet later Saturday in Tunis.

The striker put the home team ahead after 23 minutes and snatched the winner eight minutes from full-time in Victoria after Kevin Gordon had levelled early in the second half.

Seychelles have traditionally struggled against the Mauritians, who exceeded expectations at home in the first round last month by holding 2004 champions Tunisia to a goalless draw.

Sudan defeated Seychelles 3-0 in the other first-round match, but a Tunisian team guided by former France coach Roger Lemerre are expected to qualify for their eighth consecutive Nations Cup tournament.

The highlight of a 22-match weekend programme is the Sunday clash between Zambia and South Africa, who face the grim prospect of failing to qualify for the finals for the first time since 1997 if they lose the Group 11 fixture.

The 12 group winners and the best three runners-up from the 10 four-team pools advance to the finals of the biennial tournament with hosts Ghana, who qualify automatically.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela
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