2019 AFCON group-stage draw:
Group A: Egypt, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Uganda
Group B: Burundi, Madagascar, Guinea, Nigeria
Group C: Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, Senegal
Group D: South Africa, Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco
Group E: Angola, Mauritania, Mali, Tunisia
Group F: Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon
Uganda’s National men football senior team, the Uganda Cranes learnt their group stage opponents on Friday.
The draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals were held near the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo.
The tourney which was initially scheduled to take place in Cameroon, will now be hosted by Egypt. The expanded 24-team tournament will start from 21 June to 19 July.
The Cranes qualified with a game to spare in a group that had Cape Verde, Tanzania and Lesotho, returning to the tourney after 2017 Gabon showpiece.
Uganda have been placed in a tough group A that has favourites who also double as hosts Egpyt – The most successful team in Africa. DR Congo and Zimbabwe are the other teams in pool A.
Here is what you need to know about Uganda’s group mates:
Nicknamed the Pharaohs, Egpyt are the most successful nation in African football boasting with seven AFCON titles.
They have the continent’s best star attarction, Mo Salah who vies his trade with English side Liverpool. Arsenal’s Mohammed Elneny is another player Ugandans will be familiar with.
The Arab sides have been Uganda’s nightmare but the Cranes of recent have tried to close the gap, and this is expected to be a close contest.
Egypt In Summary:
Head coach -Javier Aguirre
Captain – Ahmed El Mohamady
FIFA Ranking – 57
*Egypt 15–0 Laos
(Jakarta, Indonesia; 15 November 1963)
*Italy 11-3 Egypt
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 9 June 1928)
Appearances – 24 (first in 1957)
Best result – Champions (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010).
Head to head: Uganda has won 2, drawn 3 and lost 15.
- DR Congo
Nicknamed the Leopards, DR Congo is a big power house in African football. Zaire, as previously known has won the AFCON on two previous occasions.
The side has cream of stars like Yannick Bolassie, Cedrick Bakambu and Arthur Masuaku among others.
DR Congo in Summary
Head coach – Florent Ibengé
Captain – Youssouf Mulumbu
FIFA Rank – 46
*DR Congo 10–1 Zambia
(Kinshasa, Congo DR; 22 November 1969)
*Yugoslavia 9–0 Zaire
(Gelsenkirchen, West Germany; 18 June 1974)
4 (first in 2009)
Champions, 2009 and 2016.
Head to Head: Uganda has won 3 games, drawn none and lost 4 against DRC.
Nicknamed the Warriors, Zimbabwe is an emerging force in Africa. Let no Political wrangles or their crippled economy decieve you.
However, like every Ugandan will agree with me, this is a side we feel that we must beat – And its vice versa for Zimbabwe as well.
Khama Biliat (Kaiser Chiefs) is well known to most Ugandans but Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht) who has scored 22 goals in 34 appearances, is their man to watch.
Zimbabwe in Summary
Head coach – Sunday Chidzambwa
Captain – Knowledge Musona
FIFA Rank – 110
*Botswana 0–7 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
(Gaborone, Botswana; 26 August 1990)
*South Africa 7–0 Rhodesia Rhodesia
(South Africa; 9 April 1977)
AFCON Appearances – 3 (first in 2004)
*Group stage, 2004, 2006, and 2017
Head to Head: Uganda has 2 wins, drawn 7 and lost 5 against the Warriors.