The 2019 African Cup of Nations will kickoff in Egypt in 9 days time, www.kick442.com will give you an in-depth analysis of all the six groups and the 24 teams that constitute them on a daily basis while building up to the tournament. We continue today with Group E.
Group E is made up of 2004 winners Tunisia, 1972 runners up Mali, Anglola and new comers Mauritania.
How they Qualified:
Tunisia were Group J Winners with 15 points ahead of Egypt with 13. Niger with 5 points and Eswatini with one completed the Group.
Tunisia scored 12 goals in the qualifiers and conceded 4.
34 goals were scored in the Group from all 12 matches played with Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Tunisia’s Naïm Sliti both scoring four goals each to finish as the Group’s top scorers.
They sealed their qualification for the competition on October 16, 2018.
The Eagles of Mali qualified as Group C winners with 14 points ahead of Burundi with 10, Gabon with 8 and South Sudan with no point.
The Malians scored 10 goals and conceded 2.
30 goals were scored in the Group in all 12 games. Burundi’s Fiston Abdul Razak was the Group’s top scorer with 6 goals. The highest scoring Malians were Adama Traoré and Kalifa Coulibaly with two goals each.
They qualified for the competition on November 17, 2018.
The Lions of Chinguetti of Mauritania were Group I runners-up. They finished on 12 points just like Group winners Angola. 2017 third placed team in the Afcon in Gabon, Burkina Faso finished third in the Group with 10 points while Botswana registered just a draw in six games.
Mauritania scored 7 goals in the qualifiers and conceded 6.
25 goals where scored in the group with Angola’s Mateus topping the goal scorers’ chart with 4 goals. The top scoring Mauritanian was Ismaël Diakité with three goals.
They qualified for the competition on November 18, 2018.
Angola and Mauritania were in the same Group in the qualifiers, that is Group I with Angola winning the Group though on 12 points too like Mauritania.
Angola scored 9 goals and conceded 6.
Angola qualified for the tournament on March 22, 2019.
Tunisia will be making their 19th appearance in the tournament and they lifted the trophy in 2004 when they hosted the tournament and defeated Morocco in the final.
Mali will be playing the Afcon for the 11th time and their best performance was in 1972 when Cameroon hosted the tournament. They lost the final to Congo Brazzaville.
Mauritania will be participating in the tournament for the very first time ever in their football history.
Angola’s best performances were in 2008 and 2010 when they reached the quarterfinals. They have made seven previous appearances in tournament.
Alain Jean Giresse ( Tunisia)
Alain Giresse was born on August 2, 1952 in Langoiran in France.
The 66 year old was a great midfielder during his playing days, making 676 appearances for Bordeaux especially and Marseille scoring 189 goals.
He also played for the French national team 47 time scoring 6 goals. He was part of the French team that won the European Cup of Nations in 1984, and was part of the team’s legendary “Carré Magique” ( Magic Square) alongside Michel Platini, Luis Fernández and Jean Tigana.
He played in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups.
He began his coaching career in 1995 with Toulouse and has had spells with PSG and FAR Rabat. He has spent most of his coaching career at the helm of national teams. From 2004 till date he has coached six national teams, one in Europe and five in African ( Georgia, Gabon, Mali, Senegal and Tunisia). He led Mali to a third place finish in the Afcon in 2012.
He took over the Tunisian national team on December 13, 2018.
Mohamed Magassouba ( Mali)
Born on February 12, 1958 in Nara, in the region of Koulikoro, in Mali, Mohamed Magassouba has a coaching experience of close to four decades
His coaching career began with L’Association Sportive de l’Hippodrome in 1980.
In 1994 he led Daring Club Motema Pembé of the DRC to victory in the defunct CAF Cup Winners Cup. He also managed Style Star, Saint Eloi Lupopo and AS Vita Club before becoming coach of the national team of the DRC in 1996, then known as Zaïre. He led them undefeated through the qualifiers for the 1998 Afcon in Burkina Faso. He came back for a second spell and qualified the DRC for the 2002 Afcon in Mali.
He has also had a coaching experience in Gabon at the helm of Télé Star before returning to Mali to take charge of Stade Malien in 2006. He moved to Senegal to Jeanne d’Arc in 2010. Prior to his nomination he was working with the Malian Football Fédération.
He took over from Alain Giresse.
Corentin da Silva Martins ( Mauritania)
49 year old Corentin Martins was born on July 11, 1969 in Brest France.
The former attacking midfielder played 520 games scoring 80 goals for six clubs ( Brest, Auxerre, Deportivo La Coruna, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Clermont). He also won 14 caps for France and scored a goal. Before his appointment as head coach of the Mauritanian national team on October 4, 2014, he had been the coach of Quimpérois and caretaker and assistant coach at Brest between 2008 to 2013.
Srdan Vasiljević ( Angola)
46 year old former Serbian defender Srdan Vasiljević was appointed in December 2017 as manager of the Palancras Negras of Angola.
As player, he played for Radnički Beograd, Borac Čačak, Obilić, Rad, Sartid Smederevo, Dinamo Bucharest and Kairat from 1991 to 2002.
He began his coaching career in 2006 with Javor Ivanjica, then moved to Čukarički, BSK Borča, then assistant coach of the Serbian national team under Vladimir Petrović and Radovan Ćurčić then he returned to Javor Ivanjica again before landing the Angolan job.
26 year old attacking midfielder Naïm Sliti who plays his club football for Dijon in France is the man the Carthage Eagles are banking on to deliver in Egypt. He scored 4 goals in the qualifiers but this season he has struggled for goals in the French top flight, with just 3 goals in 35 matches and 4 assists. He also scored twice in the relegation playoffs.
Tunisia’s in form player is Saint-Etienne’s 28 year old forward Wahbi Khazri who scored 13goals and provided 6 assists in 32 league games.
It is difficult to pick out a star player amongst these group of very young Malian players whose strength has been more of the collect team effort than any individual genius. However, Captain Abdoulay Diaby of Sporting Lisbon, Moussa Djenepo of Standard Liège, Kalifa Coulibaly of FC Nantes, Diadie Samassékou of Red Bull Salzburg, Youssouf Kobe of Lille, Molla Wagué of Nottingham Forest and Adama Traoré of Cercle Brugge have to be the pace setters.
27 year old Ismaël Diakité who plays his club football in Mauritania for ASAC Concorde was their top scorer in the qualifiers with three goals out of the seven they scored. Automatically, they will expect him to lead the line in Egypt.
However, they will also rely on the experience and goal poaching abilities of 31 years AS Gabès striker Moulaye Ahmed Khalil, midfielders Hacen El Ide of Real Valladolid, Sileye Gaye of Nouadhibou, Khassa Camara of Xanthi, defenders Aly Abeid of AD Alcorcon, Abdoul Ba of Auxerre, Moustapha Diaw of Tevragh-Zeïna and goalkeeper Brahim Souleymane of ACS Ksar to make them proud in their first participation in Africa’s greatest football tournament.
Angolan hopes will be with forward Mateus Galiano da Costa from Boavista Porto who scored 4 goals in the qualifiers. Though 34, he has shown that he has not yet lost his goal scoring touch.
On loan to Rio Ave from Sporting Lisbon, 22 year old Gelson Dala is another dependable source for goals the Palancras Negras. He scored three in the race to Egypt.
Tunisia and Mali should win this Group if we judge from their experience in the competition and current group of players.
However Angola and little known Mauritania might have a surprise or two in their lockers.