26 June 2019

Southern Africa: SADC Sides Find Going Tough At AFCON 2019

Photo: South African Football Association
Bafana Bafana players at training session (file photo).

Cairo — A MAJORITY of teams from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have fared badly at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, with none securing victory in the opening matches.

Seven teams from the bloc - Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe- are at the tournament.

Angola and debutantes Madagascar have picked a point each while the rest have lost.

The disappointing results means the next matches are a must-win for the sides or else they increase their chances of bowing out of the tournament.

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe play Uganda at the Cairo International Stadium at 19h00 while DRC battle it out with hosts Egypt at the same venue at 22h00.

Zimbabwean coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, might be tempted to start with the South African-based pair of Evans Rusike and Kudakwashe Mahachi ahead of overseas-based Nyasha Mushekwi and Knowledge Musona.

Mushekwi and Musona fluffed their lines when the Southern African nation narrowly lost their opener against the hosts Egypt.

On Thursday, the enterprising Madagascar play fellow debutantes Burundi at Alexandria Stadium while Tanzania meet neighbouring Kenya at the 30 June Stadium (22h00)

The following day, a SADC affair will be on the cards between former champions South Africa and Namibia at the Al-Salam Stadium (22h00).

Neither Bafana Bafana nor the Brave Warriors of Namibia can afford to lose this encounter.

On Sunday Madagascar will play perennial favourites Nigeria at the Alexandria Stadium (18h00) while Zimbabwe and DRC lock horns in a Group A tie at the 30 June Stadium (21h00).

"This will be interesting to see how Southern African teams would fare in this tournament this year. Their success would confirm whether the teams are good or just making the numbers," said Egyptian football commentator, Ramadan Shahat.

Morocco's Noussair Hadad concurred.

"Southern Africa is well represented at this year's AFCON but I'm not so sure if this will transform into tangible results achieved here in Egypt," Hadad told CAJ News Africa in Egypt.

UPCOMING FIXTURES

WEDNESDAY

Nigeria Vs Guinea, Alexandria Stadium (16h30) Uganda Vs Zimbabwe, Cairo International Stadium (19h00) Egypt Vs DR Congo, Cairo International Stadium (22h00)

THURSDAY

Madagascar Vs Burundi, Alexandria Stadium (16h30) Senegal Vs Algeria, 30 June Stadium (19h00) Kenya Vs Tanzania, 30 June Stadium (22h00)

FRIDAY

Tunisia Vs Mali, Suez Stadium (16h30) Morocco Vs Cote d'Ivoire, Al-Salam Stadium (19h00) South Africa Vs Namibia, Al-Salam Stadium (22h00)

SATURDAY

Mauritania Vs Angola, Suez Stadium (16h30) Cameroon Vs Ghana, Ismailia Stadium (19h00) Benin Vs Guinea-Bissau, Ismailia Stadium (22h00)

SUNDAY

Burundi Vs Guinea, Al-Salam Stadium (18h00) Madagascar Vs Nigeria, Alexandria Stadium (18h00) Zimbabwe Vs DR Congo, 30 June Stadium (21h00) Uganda Vs Egypt, Cairo International Stadium (21h00)

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