AFCON 2021: The Ugly uniqueness of Group B - Latest football news in Uganda
May 26, 2022

AFCON 2021: The Ugly uniqueness of Group B

By Allan Damba
Senegal national team players line up for a team photo before a game | Courtesy photo

The forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations slated for January 9 presents some of the continent’s most powerful and consistent football countries.

Group B is no different as it presents some of the exact quality needed at Africa’s greatest showpiece, save for the ugly fact that, they have no previous winner. 

The Pool includes Senegal, Guinea, Malawi and Zimbabwe and have each, shown considerable might in the past and in recent times, respectively.

Senegal is a giant and powerhouse at so many football levels and standards. Over time, they have produced some of the finest talents including Henri Camara, El Hadji Diouf, Khalilou Fadiga among others, but have yet to win the Cup.

The best they have managed is to make it to two finals (2002, 2019).

Senegal have made 16 appearances at the finals and that dates back to 1965 when they first featured.

Head coach Aliou Cisse who was in charge as the Lions of Teranga lost 1-0 to Algeria in the 2019 final will hope his 20th FIFA ranked side can better the feat for their first ever AFCON Cup.

They are never short of big names including Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly who is also their captain, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Eduardo Mendy(Chelsea), Cheikou Kouyate (Crystal Palace), Idrissa Gana Gueye (PSG) et al.

Guinea who are the second highest ranked side (81st) will fancy their chances of making it out of the group.

The war-marred country will be making the 13th appearance in the finals. Head coach Kaba Diawara will be hoping, with stars like Naby Keita, they can better 2019’s round of 16 finish.

Uganda’s tormentors, Malawi are the third team in Group B.

 Having beaten Uganda 1-0 in March 2021, ‘The Flames’ made their third ever AFCON appearance and will hope to make it count.

The 129th ranked side last made the coveted tournament in 2010 where they did not go past the group stage.

Head coach Meke Mwase will be hoping history can be made, only if they progress to the knockout rounds.

To close the Pool is 121st ranked nation, Zimbabwe. 

Dubbed ‘The Warriors,’ head coach Norman Mapeza will be making the sixth appearance at the finals. There first was in 2004 whereas the most recent one was in 2019. They have never made it past the group stages.

All Group B’s games but one will be played at the Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium, Kouekong. 

However, Zimbabwe’s encounter with Guinea on January 18 will take centre stage at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaounde.

Group B Fixtures

January 10

Senegal – Zimbabwe

Guinea – Malawi

January 14

Senegal – Guinea

Malawi – Zimbabwe

January 18

Malawi – Senegal

Zimbabwe – Guinea

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra-Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

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