Uganda Crane will have to negotiate DR Congo, hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe in their quest to better their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations performance when the 2019 Edition comes around June.
Two years ago, Uganda lost 1-0 to seven-time champions Egypt and could only manage a draw in the one all draw against Mali but it wasn’t enough to see them through, the Cranes had lost 1-0 to Ghana in their opening game.
“Our target is to make it out of the group stages and that’s where all our focus is as a a team, it doesn’t matter who we face, we shall just prepare for every opponent accordingly,” Cranes captain Denis Onyango told www.football-256.com before the draw.
Egypt will play the opening match against Zimbabwe in a tournament that will feature 24 teams for the first time in history.
Group C will witness an East African derby involving Kenya and Tanzania who are draw against 2013 winners the Super Eagles of Nigeria together with Algeria.
“We are a very young team and with a lot of experience from the World Cup, it will be a first AFCON for most of the boys but we are ready,” Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa told Supersport after the draw.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is confident but believes it won’t be easy; “We are confident, we shall make good preparations for the tournament. We shall be in Egypt a week before the tournament to acclamatise and play one or two build up games,” Rohr said after the draw.
Burundi, another to complete the East African puzzle is in Group B alongside fellow debutants Madagascar, together with Senegal and Guinea. Defending champions Cameroon are pooled alongside the Black Stars of Ghana, Benin and Guinea Bissau.
“We have the defending champions, Benin and Guinea Bissau also make the group very tough for us but we shall be ready. And Every Ghanaian has a big chance to represent their country in Egypt,” Ghana coach Kwese Appiah said after the draw
Big boys Morocco and Ivory Coast are pooled alongside South Africa and Namibia a group Bafana Bafana captain Dean Furman believes will be tough to negotiate.
“It’s a tough group and we are not taking anyone for granted, we have paid the price for that in the past. But we shall be going to Egypt with a lot of confidence,” Furman said while appearing on SuperSport after the draw.
The tournament will start on June 21st and will go until July 19th in four different cities of the north African country.
A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe
B: Senegal, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi
C: Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia
E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola
F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea Bissau