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Morocco’s Cup of Nations calamity contrasts with World Cup heroics

Morocco’s Cup of Nations calamity contrasts with World Cup heroics

ANOTHER African Cup of Nations calamity for Morocco keeps up a consistent sequence of failures in the tournament that contrasts starkly with their performance at the last World Cup. Morocco became the first African side to reach the World Cup semi-finals some 14 months ago and went into the Cup of Nations finals as favourites. Before the tournament, they had one loss in 12 games and invested heavily in their preparations, including arriving a week before kick-off in the Ivory Coast to adjust to the severe heat and suffocating humidity. But their hopes ended on Tuesday with elimination in the…
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Salah leads Egypt at African Cup of Nations

Salah leads Egypt at African Cup of Nations

MOHAMED Salah will lead Egypt at the African Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast, skippering a 27-man squad named by coach Rui Vitoria. The group includes all but two of the starting line-up for the last Cup of Nations final two years ago when Egypt lost on penalties to Senegal in Yaounde. But there is a first call-up for 22-year-old Ahmed Nabil Kouka, who in June helped Egypt’s under-23 side qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics and also played for Cairo giants Al Ahly at this month’s Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia. Egypt competes in Group B at…
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Tunisia’s Man Utd midfielder Mejbri opts not to play at AFCON

Tunisia’s Man Utd midfielder Mejbri opts not to play at AFCON

TUNISIA will be without Manchester United's Hannibal Mejbri at the African Cup of Nations as the midfielder decided he was not ready to be in the squad, manager Jalel Kadri said. The 20-year-old Mejbri decided to skip next month's tournament amid media speculation that he is close to securing a loan move away from Old Trafford. "Hannibal told me that he did not feel ready for the African Cup of Nations because he is going through an important situation at his club," Kadri told a press conference. Experienced midfielder Ferjani Sassi has been excluded from the final 27-man squad along…
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Veteran winger Dominquez to lead Mozambique at Cup of Nations finals

Veteran winger Dominquez to lead Mozambique at Cup of Nations finals

MOZAMBIQUE have named 40-year-old winger Dominguez to captain their 23-man squad at next month's African Cup of Nations finals in the Ivory Coast and also handed a first call-up to former German under-20 international Alfons Amade. Dominguez competed for Mozambique when they last appeared at the finals in 2010 and is likely to be the oldest player at the tournament, which kicks off on January 13. Defensive midfielder Amade played for Germany at the under-20 level but has switched his international allegiance although has yet to make his debut for Mozambique, who compete in Group B in the final and…
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Guinea-Bissau skipper Mendes to make fourth Cup of Nations appearance, Mendy turns down call-up

Guinea-Bissau skipper Mendes to make fourth Cup of Nations appearance, Mendy turns down call-up

GUINEA-BISSAU captain Jonas Mendes will participate in a fourth successive African Cup of Nations finals after being named in their 25-man squad for next month's tournament in Ivory Coast, officials said. However, leading Ligue 2 striker Alexandre Mendy has turned down a call-up even though he played in a World Cup qualifier last month. Mendy's 12 goals for Caen make him the leading marksman in the French second division. Mendes, 34, has kept goal in all but two of the nine matches the small West African country has played at the finals following their debut in 2017. Mendy is the…
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Holders Senegal through to Cup of Nations finals

Holders Senegal through to Cup of Nations finals

MARK GLEESON DEFENDING champions Senegal, Burkina Faso, South Africa and Tunisia added their names to the list of qualified teams for next year’s African Cup of Nations finals after away successes in Tuesday’s qualifiers. Senegal, who won the tournament in Cameroon some 14 months ago, beat Mozambique 1-0 away to keep up their 100% record and secure the top spot in Group L while a point away from Burkina Faso at Togo in a 1-1 draw was enough for them to progress from Group B. South Africa scrambled a 2-1 away win over Liberia to join Morocco, who qualified without…
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