KAMPALA – The groups for the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon 2023 were confirmed on Friday night, following a draw conducted in Cairo, Egypt.
The draw, which Shawky Gharib – the former Egyptian international midfielder who led his country to a third-place finish at the U-20 World Cup in 2001 and the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon 2019 trophy as coach, together with Mohamed Shawky – the former Pharaohs’ star who shone for Egypt’s U-20 team by winning the 2011 U-20 World Cup bronze medal as well 2006 and 2008 Afcon titles, attended, placed Uganda in pool B.
Uganda defeated South Sudan 2-1 in the Cecafa regional qualifiers played last month, to book a slot at the finals’ – the second consecutive continental appearance.
The Uganda Hippos lost to Ghana in the youngsters’ maiden appearance at this stage.
Hippos’ head coach, Jackson Mayanja described the draws as tricky, especially after pooling teams that appear to be weak on paper.
“Our group is complicated. Teams like Nigeria or Senegal would have been better, because players would have the urge to exhibit their relevancy – for they know those countries are categorised in the top cream, on the continent,” reasoned Mayanja, who was quick add that the technical team would work around to fine-tune the available players.
“However, South Sudan was unbeaten in the (Cecafa) tournament until when we beat them in the final. So – they can’t pushed aside as underdogs,” he added.
The TotalEnergies Egypt Afcon 2023 U-20 will be staged from February 19 to March 11, 2023, with Cairo, Ismailia and Alexandria playing the role of hosting cities.
The twelve-nation tournament will begin with a mouth-watering opening game between hosts Egypt and Mozambique on February 9.
Groups and venues :
- Group A – Cairo International Stadium: Egypt, Mozambique, Senegal, Nigeria
- Group B – Suez Canal Stadium: Uganda, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Congo
- Group C – Alexandria Stadium: Gambia, Tunisia, Benin, Zambia
Leave a Reply