The 2019 African Cup of Nations will kick off in Egypt in 14 days time, www.kick442.com will give you an in-depth analysis of all the six groups and the 24 teams that constitute the groups on a daily basis while building up to the tournament. We continue today with an overview of Group C.
Group C is made up of Senegal, 1990 winners Algeria, Kenya, and Tanzania who return to the competition after a 39 years absence.
How they Qualified:
Senegal qualified as group winners of Group A with 16 points ahead of Madagascar with 10, Equatorial Guinea with 6 and Sudan with 3.
They won five games and drew one, scoring 12 goals and conceding 2. They sealed their place in the tournament on October 16, 2018.
30 goals were scored in the group after 12 matches with Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue, Madagascar’s Faneva Imà Andriatsima and Senegal’s Mbaye Niang topping the goal scorers table with three goals each.
Algeria qualified for the tournament on November 18, 2018 as Group D winners.
They topped the group with 11 points, one more than second placed Benin, five more than third placed Gambia and six more than Togo in fourth. They scored 9 goals and conceded 4.
A total of 24 goals were scored in the group after all 12 matches with Algeria’s Baghdad Bounedjah emerging as the group’s top goal getter with three goals.
Kenya qualified as Group F runners-up with 7 points behind Ghana with 9.
Ethiopia managed just a point while Sierra Leone played just two games before they were hammered by a FIFA sanction. The Kenyans scored just four goals but also conceded just one. They qualified for the competition on November 30, 2018.
There were 16 goals scored in the eight matches played in the group with Ghana’s Jordan Ayew and Raphael Dwamena and Kenya’s Michael Olunga all finishing as top scorers with two goals each.
Tanzania left it late, as the Taifa Stars only claimed a spot in the competition as Group L runners up on March 24, 2019.
They finished second with 8points behind Uganda with 13, while Lesotho with 6 and Cape Verde with 5 were third and fourth respectively.
They scored six goals and conceded five.
20 goals were scored in the 12 matches of the group with Uganda’s Farouk Miya scoring three. Simon Msuva and Mbwana Samatta of Tanzania scored two each just like Ricardo Gomes of Cape Verde and Emmanuel Okwi of Uganda.
Senegal will be making their 15th appearance in the tournament. They have never lifted the trophy. Their attempt was a runners-up place in 2002 when they lost the final to Cameroon in Mali.
Algeria hosted and lifted the trophy in 1990. They will be participating in the competition for the 18th time.
Kenya will be playing the Afcon for a 6th time in Egypt, after playing in the 1972, 1988, 1990, 1992 and 2004 tournaments which all ended in group stage eliminations.
Tanzania made their first and only other appearance in the tournament in 1980 in Nigeria and they were eliminated at the group stage.
Aliou Cissé (Senegal)
Former midfielder and captain of the Teranga Lions of Senegal Aliou Cissé will be the man who will try to lead Senegal to a first Afcon title in Egypt.
Born on March 24, 1976, in Ziguinchor, 43 year old Cissé had a relatively good playing career for Lille, PSG, Montpellier, Birmingham City, Portsmouth, Sedan and Nîmes. He also played for Senegal 35 times including captaining the team in the 2002 FIFA World in Korea and Japan.
He led Senegal to the 2018 World Cup in Russia where they made history as the first team to eliminated from a FIFA World Cup based on fair play tiebreaker rules. He has been in charge of the team since March 2015.
Djamel Belmadi ( Algeria)
Born in Champigny-sur-Marne in France on March 27, 1976, 43 years old Djamel Belmadi is the coach The Fennecs of Algeria.
The former Marseille, Cannes, Manchester City, Southampton, Valenciennes amongst others midfielder was appointed at coach of the Algerian national team on August 2, 2018. He also won 20 caps for Algeria scoring 5 goals. He was part of Algeria’s 2004 African Cup of Nations campaign.
He began his coaching career with Lekhwiya in Qatar in 2010 before taking over the Qatari national B team in 2013. A year later he was appointed as coach of Qatar’s senior national team and lasted just for a year in the job. He took over Al-Duhail and coached them between 2015-2018 before taking over his current position.
Belmadi notably won the Qatar Stars League title in the 2010-2011 season with Lekhwiya for the first time in the club’s history and he led them to the finals of the 2010 Sheikh Jassem Cup which they lost to Al Arabi.
Sébastien Migné (Kenya)
Born on November 30, 1972, in La Roche-sur-Yon, former French second tier and English lower league clubs player Sébastien Migné is the coach of the Harambee Stars of Kenya.
Migné played for La Roche-sur-Yon, FC Mougins, Stade Vallauris in France, then Hoxton FC, Boreham Wood and Leyton Orient in England between 1989 to 1998.
He began his coaching career with FC Mougins in 1998- 2000. He later on joint Jean Pierre Papin as his assistant at Strasbourg then Lens which they led to the French Ligue cup final in 2008. After the departure of his assistant Herve Renard, experienced French coach Claude LeRoy turned to Migné as a suitable replacement as together they managed the national teams of Oman then Syria. He was also the assistant of Claude LeRoy during his time at the helm of the Togolese national team until 2017. On March 6, 2017 he was appointed as head coach of the Congo Brazzaville national team. He did not last in the job and signed to become the head coach of Kenya on May 3, 2018.
His appointment came as a blessing as Kenyan football is at its best again. The Harambee star were nominated for the 2018 CAF Awards for the first time ever in the category of the Best Male National Team in the continent, and above all he succeeded to qualify them for the Afcon after a long fifteen years wait.
Emmanuel Amuneke (Tanzania)
48 year old Emmanuel Amuneke was born in Eziobodo in Nigeria on Christmas Day in 1970.
The former winger played for Concord, Julius Berger, Zamalek, Sporting Lisbon, FC Barcelona, Albacete, Busan I’Cons and Al Wehdat. He also represented Nigeria 27 times scoring 9 goals. He was an integral part of Nigeria’s 1994 Afcon winning team and their 1994 FIFA World Cup team.
As coach he has managed Julius Berger, Ocean Boys, Nigeria’s U-17 National team which he led to World Cup glory in 2015, then Al Khartoum SC before taking over the job as coach of Tanzania on August 6, 2018. He successfully led to back to the Afcon after a 39 years wait.
Senegal’s star Player is Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League winning forward Sadio Mané.
Though he failed to score in the qualifiers he is the main man for the Teranga Lions. With 22 English Premier League goals and 4 in the run to champions league glory 27 year old Mané is the man the Teranga Lions will be hoping on for inspiration in Egypt. He has good support in Rennes’s Mbaye Niang who scored three goals in the qualifiers as well as his Rennes teammate Ismaila Sarr who is in good form. Moussa Konate of Amiens is another potent goal threat.
Napoli’s Kalilou Koulibaly is arguably the world’s best defender now and he will lead the back line Idrissa Gana Gueye will be another key player. Stade Reims’s 27 year old goalkeeper Édouard Mendy has brought some more confidence in goal in place of the aging Khadim Ndiaye of Horoya of Guinea. It goes without saying that they among the red hot favorites for the ultimate accolade.
Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez is the key player for coach Djamel Belmadi’s team.
The 28 year old winger was not at his very best given that he had to settle for limited playing time in Pep Guardiola’s almost all conquering Manchester City team that won an unprecedented domestic treble in England but fell short in Europe. Mahrez played a part in 27 games scoring 7 goals and providing 4 assists in the league.
Other key players will be Al Sadd forward Baghdad Bounedjah who scored three goals in the qualifiers, Dijon midfielder Mehdi Abeid, 23 year old Nice full back Youcef Attal, Rennes defender Amir Selmane Remy Bensebaini and the ever green Yacine Brahimi from Porto will be their other key players.
Unfortunate UEFA Champions League finalist Victor Mugubi Wanyama is the captain and heart but of the team.
The 27 year old defensive midfielder from Tottenham will be Sébastien Migné main soldier in Egypt. 25 year old Kashiwa Reysol in Japan’s forward Michael Olunga will also have to up his game. He scored twice in the qualifiers. Other key players will be midfielder Eric Johanna Omondi of IF Brommapojkarna in Sweden, Johanna Omolo of Cercle Brugge and defender David Owino of ZESCO United.
26 year old Genk forward Mbwana Ally Samatta with 23 goals and 5 assists in 38 league matches is the star Player of the Taifa Stars.
Simba FC’s defender Erasto Nyoni and Azam defender 35 year old veteran Morris Aggrey Ambros, 34 year old defender Kelvin Yondani of Young Africans will be the leaders of the team. Shomari Kapombe and John Bosco of Simba FC, as well as Thomas Ulimwengu of JS Saoura in Algeria will be the other main players of the team.
Senegal and Algeria are overwhelming favorites to qualify from this group. However, Kenya will try to make it out of the group stage for the first time after five previous failed attempts, while Emmanuel Amuneke will try to make Tanzania leave a good impression in their second appearance in the tournament.