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Date: 24 November 2017

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News Headlines

Zambia or Ivory Coast-Cranes's likely AFCON 2013 opponents

[Posted 22 Jun 2012]
[By Charles Malingha]
Zambia or Ivory Coast-Cranes

By beating Congo Brazzaville 4-0 on Saturday for a 5-3 aggregate victory, Uganda Cranes are into the final qualifying round of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by South Africa in January next year.

In that final round, whose draw will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa in the first week of July, coach Bobby Williamsonís side, are likely to face reigning African champions Zambia or this yearís losing finalists Ivory Coast.

The other likely opponents for Cranes, all ranked in the top 15 basing on cumulative points from the past three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, are four-time champions Ghana, Mali and Tunisia, who won the title in 2004.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, four-time victors, Angola, Nigeria, Gabon, Sudan, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea and Burkina Faso, are all on the menu for the Cranes. All the above teams will be in pot one for the draws. Although they are ranked fourth, Egypt must overcome Central African Republic on June 30, to confirm their place in pot 1. Egypt lost 3-2 in Alexandria and must win 2-0 in Bangui to progress.

If the Egyptians lose, Senegal will replace them in pot 1. Senegal, who drew 1-all with Uganda in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers two weeks ago, are currently ranked 16th. Incase the Senegalese move up to pot 1, there is a likelihood Cranes will meet them again in the fight for a slot at Afcon 2013 besides the World Cup qualifiers return leg.

Uganda, whose last appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations came 34 years ago, donít have any points and will be placed in pot 2. Other teams to be placed in pot 2 include past winners Morocco (1976), Benin/Ethiopia, Libya, Niger, Botswana, Malawi, Togo/Kenya, Mozambique/Tanzania, Namibia, DR Congo/Seychelles and Zimbabwe/Burundi. These teams will meet any of the sides in pot 1.

Unlike the old qualification criteria which involved gathering points in an elaborate group stage, the 15 finalists will be decided on a knockout basis. They join hosts South Africa.

The current format was introduced after Caf decided to change the Nations Cup finals from even years to odd years. Cafís move was aimed at avoiding a clash with World Cup finals, which are held in even years. However, for the 2015 Nations Cup, qualification will revert to the group stage format. The final games of the 2013 Afcon qualifiers will take place in September and October this year on a home-and-away basis.

A total of 28 teams which missed out on the 2012 edition actually took part in the second round of the preliminaries, Uganda inclusive. Thus, 14 teams have qualified from the second round now to join the 16 teams which were in the Afcon 2012 in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.



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