columnBy Fred Vubem Toh
The group comprises Angola, Cape Verde, Morocco and South Africa.
Group 'A' is one of the most open pools in the tournament with Angola, Cape Verde, Morocco and host South Africa. Basing on their track record, Morocco and South Africa are likely to sail through the group stage of the competition due to their past experience in the tournament.
Morocco won the tournament in 1976 and emerged third in 1980 and will be using the 2013 edition of the tournament as preparation for the 2015 edition which they will be hosting. South Africa on its part, freshly coming out of apartheid won the competition in 1996 and with the home crowd effect the Bafana Bafana will be gunning for nothing short of total victory.
However, the surprise may come from Cape Verde who, emboldened by the fact that they got their qualification ticket against a football powerhouse like Cameroon, may turn out to be the revelation of the tournament just like Zambia in Gabon and Equatorial guinea in 2012.. More, so the Blue Sharks are a homogenous squad that has been playing together for years now and missed the 2012 edition by a hair's breadth. With nothing to loose, Cape Verde will be out to prove they are henceforth a squad to reckon with on the continent.
Angola on the other is still yearning for the first nation's cup glory having been eliminated in the quarterfinal in the 2010 edition which they hosted. They made another unsuccessful bid in 2012 and will be out to shake off the yoke of ill luck that has befell them since time immemorial. They were the first team to arrive in South Africa for the tournament after having played a series of friendly matches to keep them fit for the competition. The Palancas Negras can also create surprise by picking one of the two tickets of the group for the knock-out stage of the competition.