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News Article


Afcon Group A Preview

Afcon Group A Preview

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16 / / Jan 17, 2013 11:22 AM
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Afcon Group A preview – South Africa, Angola, Morocco, Cape Verde

Star of the group: Younès Belhanda, Morocco

Could the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations be the stage where Younès Belhanda truly announces himself as one of the world’s finest players? Already considered one of Europe’s hottest prospects, the midfielder will be relishing the chance to command the spotlight in the continental arena.

 

With creativity that belies his young years, a faultless technique, and the ability to make decisions and predict opportunities in a split second, Belhanda has taken the French league by storm since his debut in 2009. 

 

A terrific season last year saw his club side Montpellier pip PSG to the Ligue 1 title, and since then he has been nominated for the African Player of the Year award and made his debut in the Champions League. 

 

The Moroccan will now be hoping to add the Cup of Nations to his brimming list of accomplishments.

 

One to watch: Zé Luis

Despite this being their maiden international competition, and despite being ranked 63rd in the world, Cape Verde will enter the Afcon fearing no one. This courage is due in no small part to their triad of hotshot attackers.

 

Djaniny scored the crucial second in the home victory over Cameroon, and Ryan Mendes of Lille has impressed intermittently since making his international debut in 2010. However, it is Zé Luis, of Braga, who has the greatest potential to steal the show. Bafana should be particularly wary of the striker, who appeared for the Portuguese side in the Champions League this season.

 

Key matchup: South Africa v Cape Verde, 19 January, Johannesburg

The opening game of a tournament is crucial for any team, in any context, to set the tone and to lay down a marker for the contest to follow. When that game is a home tie to start an international tournament, then a smart start becomes a necessity. 

 

Bafana Bafana cannot afford even an ounce of complacency against the supposed minnows of Cape Verde. 

 

Absent friend: Cameroon

Group A’s absent friends have to be the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, who failed to qualify for January’s centre-piece. Many thought the wholesale absence of the major African nations from the Afcon last year was an anomaly, but Cameroon have shown over 2012 that their problems are much more than a mere blip. 

 

After struggling past Guinea-Bissau in the first round of qualifiers, the Lions were embarrassed by the tiny island nation of Cape Verde – a 2-0 home win in Praia proving fatal for the four-time winners. It is now the minnows of the Atlantic who take the place of Eto’o, Song and Co. at Africa’s high table.

 

Soccer-Laduma’s prediction

Despite their poor form over 2012, Gordon Igesund’s bullish optimism, a defiant resilience within the camp, and the buoyancy of home support could well see a young but beleaguered South Africa top the group. 

 

Morocco may well miss the flair and creativity of Adel Taarabt, whilst it will take a gargantuan effort by Cape Verde to seal qualification for the next round. 

 

Still, The Sharks will not be content to merely make up the numbers, and Angola, at least, could succumb to their bite.

Comments


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tiyiselani_thaba Level 1
Hope we win our first,that's how we gonna qualify

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vusik Level 1
sit back and relax and watch spider kind doing thing.

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Somandla Level 2
esh....saturday! BB plz do it for us. Phela C.verde is the highest ranked in our group

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Kaizer_ManCHIEFSter Level 5
Wil win de group

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Kaizer_ManCHIEFSter Level 5
Bafana wil de group & Angola wil cum 2nd. Datz it Ξin GORDON & Bafana i believΞ

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Gizaretti Level 1
I smell some blood here - this is going to be tougher than any Rat could think! Just smell the blood of a Rat. Having said that, rise Bafana Bafana rise - fall our Rats-encompassing enemies fall! A true South African will dance in the spirit of happiness come Saturday, and not like a Rat. 'God hear our prayers. Amen'.

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Khosihlobza Level 1
dis wl b a tight group n no wan wl lay down n play dead mayb our bafana

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X-terro Level 1
editor u cn du beta dan ds gv us real groupA preview nt dis xit

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Ezimnyama_madoda Level 5
the reason I cant wait for AFCON is so that I can finally take out my H.D T.V and sit in the couch drinking beer and having an excuse to ma mother,wife and my business partnerz/associates. AFCON Fever here we come

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Moriri2 Level 1
If w cn qualify w r going strght to semis.

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De-C-roba Level 1
Kill dem morocco,we r bhind ol de way

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Kaelo-k Level 1
Miss Editor, we are still busy with Chips not having money to fly to Manchester downstairs tuu!! Don't trying to avert attention maan!!! I thank you

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Lungzela Level 1
INTERN COWditor aka UKWAA aka Peacemagents is trying too hard now...!!! What is this mara, take it easy UKWAA, it seems like u r trying too hard now...!!!

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Stividoo Level 1
Bafana bafana kaofela..jst cnt wait 4 the afcon to kick start...i blv bafana bafana wil do it...the class of 2013

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Velile99 Level 1
Viva bafana bafana

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Jay-Tee Level 2
Let da games begin, show us the African flair

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