25 February 2013

Zimbabwe: ...As They Face Super Powers for Afcon 2015

Zimbabwe will avoid the preliminary round of the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers after being placed in pot three of four ahead of the draw which will be conducted next month.

The draw will take place on March 10 in Morocco during the Caf General Assembly.

A total of 44 teams are on the starting line and seeded in four pots of 11 teams each according to their current ranking.

The preliminary round is scheduled to start in June. As host country, Morocco qualified automatically.The Warriors are in the same pot as Ethiopia, Benin, Angola, Niger, Equatorial, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Liberia, and Sudan.

This means the Warriors will not be placed in the same Groups as these countries but are likely to face Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Uganda, Congo or Central African Republic in pot two.

The top seeds in pot one are Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Zambia, Tunisia and Ghana where the Warriors would draw one of them.

The format reverts back to the usual groups after the temporary knockout format last time and the Warriors could face two continental super powers in their group having squandered an easier opportunity the last time on.The Warriors face scenarios where they can draw both Egypt and the Ivory Coast or Nigeria and Cameroon in the same Group.

But they can also draw Central African Republic and Cape Verde, which under these circumstances would be the more favourable grouping.The format is likely to have 11 groups of four teams where the table toppers qualify while four best runners up also earn their tickets.

The qualification route is tougher this time than in the case of the last qualifiers for the South Africa finals where they played against Burundi and then Angola in a knock-out format.

Warriors coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels is on a rebuilding mission but has set his sights on an Afcon 2015 ticket after the disappointment of failure under Rahman Gumbo.

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