Your trusted place for Sierra Leone and global news
HomeSportsBotswana eyeing 2012 Africa Cup of Nations slot

Botswana eyeing 2012 Africa Cup of Nations slot

Botswana eyeing 2012 Africa Cup of Nations slot

Minnows Botswana will become the first country to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations if they win in today.

The Zebras have won four matches and drawn another to enjoy a six-point mini-league advantage in a tough Group K.

The southern Africans were seeded only fourth behind Tunisia, Togo and Malawi but will steal the march on the powerhouses if they get the desired result in N’Djamena.

South Africa host holders Egypt in a Group G clash also on Saturday the visitors dare not lose in Johannesburg.

Resurgent Senegal can go five points clear in Group E by defeating troubled Samuel Eto’o-led Cameroon.

A day later out-of-tune Algeria find themselves in a win-or-bust situation when they play at home against neighbours Morocco in a Maghreb derby the faint hearted would do well to avoid.

There are 11 games on Saturday and 10 on Sunday as teams like Guinea and Ivory Coast seek to consolidate perfect records.

Others like Kenya must take maximum points to have any hope of featuring at the 16-nation tournament.

Group A

Zimbabwe will be seeking their first win in the group when they take on Mali on Saturday.

The Warriors are without several players in striker Knowledge Musona of Kaizer Chiefs and England-based defender Onismor Bhasera because of injuries.

Zimbabwe will find the star-studded Eagles tough in Bamako.

Interim Liberia coach Roberto Landi will be seeking to upstage group leaders Cape Verde in Praia.

A good result for the visitors will enhance the Lone Star of qualifying for the tournament.

Cape Verde will be seeking to consolidate their place at the top of the group.

Group B

Nigeria hopes to continue its revival under new coach Samson Siasia when the Super Eagles play Ethiopia at home in Abuja on Sunday having won a friendly over Sierra Leone in February in Siasia’s first game in charge.

Siasia has recalled striker Ikechukwu Uche, who has not played for Nigeria since two serious knee injuries put him out of action for his country for over a year.

Key players Obafemi Martins and Osaze Odemwingie are out injured.

Group leaders Guinea travel to Madagascar with captain Pascal Feindouno back in the Sylli Nationale squad.

Group C

Libya will maintain their big hopes of qualifying if they beat Comoros as they equal on four points with group leaders Mozambique.

The Greens’ game against Comoros has been moved from Tripoli to the Mali capital, Bamako, because of the escalating conflict in the north African nation.

It has been rescheduled for Monday.

Zambia will travel to face Mozambique in the group’s other match.

Group D

Algeria find themselves in a win-or-bust situation when they play at home against neighbours Morocco in a Maghreb derby the faint hearted would do well to avoid.

Algeria, who were impressive at the World Cup, were hold to a draw at home to Tanzania which led to coach Rabah Saadane quitting the side

His successor Abdelhak Benchikha could not prevent a drubbing in the Central African Republic.

The Desert Foxes prop up the table with a solitary point while Morocco impressed when grinding out a 1-0 win away to Tanzania before the arrival of new Belgian coach Eric Gerets from the Middle East.

Tanzania will face Central African Republic in the group’s other game.

Group E

Cameroon great Roger Milla has slammed coach Javier Clemente over his squad selection for the Dakar duel with table toppers Senegal on Saturday, labelling the Spaniard an “enemy” of the Indomitable Lions.

“Those who drew up the list do not like Cameroon. You cannot ignore some players and claim to have the best squad,” he said referring to the omission of midfielders Alex Song of Arsenal and Achille Emana of Real Betis.

The duo have not played for the national team since a disastrous World Cup with factions headed by Inter Milan ‘goal machine’ Eto’o and Enama reportedly contributing to three group losses on the trot.

Senegal coach Amara Traore must be the envy of almost every Cup of Nations coach as he can choose his strike force from Niang of Fenerbahce, Papiss Cisse of Fribourg, Demba Ba of West Ham and Moussa Sow of Lille.

DR Congo will play Mauritius in the group’s other game.

Group F

Namibia will be seeking their first points as they travel to face Burkina Faso in the group’s only game.

The Brave Warriors will be counting on the Europe-based quartet of captain, Collin Benjamin, Oliver Risser, Wilko Risser and Razundara Tjikuzu to give them victory.

But they will face the tough Burkinabe side boosted by the presence of Jonathan Pitriopa and strikers Moumouni Dagano and Winfred Sanou.

The group has been reduced to three teams after the withdrawal of Mauritania.

Group G

Holders Egypt face South Africa, with the Pharaohs’ preparedness under scrutiny after its domestic league was suspended as protests swept long-serving leader Hosni Mubarak from power.

Egypt have just one point from two group outings with a home draw against Sierra Leone following by a stunning loss away to equally modest Niger.

The holders are under pressure after taking just one point from two qualifying games to lie bottom of the group.

For South Africa, it’s a chance to increase their lead to four points ahead of second-placed Niger’s hosting of Sierra Leone in the group’s other fixture on Sunday.

Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane also dropped long-serving captain Aaron Mokoena from his squad for the tie, suggesting the end of the 30-year-old defender’s international career.

Tottenham midfielder Steven Pienaar was named captain.

Group H

Group leaders Ivory coast are without brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure for their Sunday’s game against Benin.

The Elephants have been ordered to play Saturday’s game against the Squirrels in Accra and not Abidjan due to the political violence in the country.

Captain Didier Drogba is available for the Ivorians while Benin will be counting to striker Razak Omotoyossi and midfielder Stephane Sessegnon to stop the group leaders.

Bottom side Rwanda will have to avoid defeat at home to Burundi to on Sunday manitain their slim hopes of qualifying.

Group I

Ghana have been boosted by the return return to fitness of midfielder Sulley Muntari ahead of Sunday’s Group I match in Congo.

The Sunderland player has recovered from the calf problem to fit for the game in Brazzaville.

But the Black Stars are without AC Milan’s Kevin Prince-Boateng because of an ankle problem while Chelsea’s Michael Essien is still missing as he continues an extended break from international football.

Ghana and Sudan are tied on four points at the top of Group I.

Sudan plays bottom team Swaziland.

Group J

Uganda will be seeking to maintain their place at the top of the group when they travel to face Guinea Bissau.

The Cranes have been impressive under Scottish coach Bobby Williamson.

Uganda must be wary of the home side who have called up many Portugal-born youngsters to boost their squad.

Kenya must defeat 2006 World Cup finalists Angola to maintain hopes qualifying for the tournament.

Group K

In the five-team group, surprise package Botswana will be the first team after co-hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to qualify for next year’s tournament if it beats Chad on Sunday.

Botswana has never reached the finals of the African Cup of Nations.

Togo travel to play Malawi needing a win.

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2011, https:. All rights reserved.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Leave A Comment