Bafana will need the spirit of Benni ‘98 in AFCON group


South Africa has been drawn in a tough group for the African Cup of Nations, that consists of three strong footballing teams.

Most of Africa’s top teams will be happy with the draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. South Africa may be the exception, having been drawn in a group that consists of three strong footballing nations.

Draw overview

With seven titles, Egypt are the most successful team in AFCON history, and the Pharaohs will be confident of navigating Group A. In Group B, Nigeria are favourites to progress and win the group, though Group C promises to be harder to call with both Senegal and Algeria in contention.

Bafana Bafana find themselves in a tough Group D, where they will face Morocco and Ivory Coast, both of which are former winners and regulars at World Cups. As for Group E,  Tunisia, Mali and Angola will all fancy their chances, while defending champions Cameroon and fellow West Africans Ghana are favourites to advance in Group F.

What are South Africa’s chances?

Analysts have been quick to point out that Bafana Bafana are in a tricky group consisting of Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia. Recent form does not bode well for the 1996 winners – they have only qualified for two of the last five tournaments and last reached the quarterfinals in 2013.

Ivory Coast won AFCON as recently as 2015 and although they can no longer call upon Didier Drogba, the likes of England-based Eric Bailly and Wilfried Zaha form the spine of a quality outfit. Morocco reached the quarters in 2017, and also appeared at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, something no other side in the group managed.

With few survivors from the 2010 World Cup, Bafana will be calling upon a new generation when they face Ivory Coast in their first match of AFCON. They play Morocco in the final group game and will be targeting maximum points against neighbours Namibia in game two. And remember when Bafana played Namibia in AFCON some 20-odd years ago? Benni McCarthy scored four goals in 13 minutes and Bafana went all the way to the final. Watch all the action live on SuperSport to see if history will repeat itself.

Bafana Bafana will play all their group stage matches at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt.

AFCON runs from 21 June to 19 July.

GROUP D FIXTURES:

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Morocco vs Namibia
Al Salam Stadium, Cairo
16h30

Monday, 24 June 2019

Ivory Coast vs SOUTH AFRICA
Al Salam Stadium, Cairo
16h30

Friday, 28 June 2019

Morocco vs Ivory Coast
Al Salam Stadium, Cairo
19h00

SOUTH AFRICA vs Namibia
Al Salam Staidum, Cairo
22h00

Monday, 1 July 2019

SOUTH AFRICA vs Morocco
Al Salam Stadium, Cairo
18h00

Namibia vs Ivory Coast
30 June Stadium, Cairo
18h00

You can watch all the AFCON fixtures on SuperSport on DStv.