The 2019 African Cup of Nations will kickoff in Egypt in 6 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 F.
Group F is made up five time winners and defending champions Cameroon, four time winners Ghana, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
How they Qualified:
Cameroon qualified as Group B runners-up after they were stripped off the hosting rights of the tournament with Egypt designated as the new hosts.
They qualified with 11 points just like Group winners Morocco. Malawi in third and fourth placed Comoros both had five points.
Cameroon scored six goals and conceded 3.
21 goals were scored in the 12 games played in the Group with Comoros forward El Fardou Ben Nabouhane scoring 4 as the Group’s top goal getter.
The highest scoring Cameroonian was Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting with two goals.
They qualified for the tournament on March 23, 2019.
Ghana were Group F winners with 9 points ahead of Kenya with 7, Ethiopia with 1 and Sierra Leone with no point after they were forced out of the qualifiers by a FIFA ban.
Ghana scored 8 goals and conceded 1.
16 goals were scored in the 8 matches played in the Group with Ghana’s Jordan Ayew, Raphael Dwamena and Kenya’s Micheal Olunga all with two goals leading the Group’s goal scorers list.
Ghana sealed their place in the tournament on November 30, 2018.
Benin were Group D runner-up with 10 points behind Algeria with 11. Gambia finished third with six points while Togo tailed the Group with 5 points.
Benin scored 5 goals and conceded 6.
There were 24 goals scored in the 12 games played in the Group. Algerian forward Baghdad Bounedjah was the Group’s top scorer with 3 goals and the highest scoring player from Benin was Steve Mounié with 2 goals to his name.
They booked their place in the tournament on March 24, 2019.
Guinea-Bissau were winners of Group K of the qualifiers with 9 points ahead of Namibia and Mozambique with 8 points each while 2012 champions Zambia finished a disappointing fourth with 7 points.
Guinea-Bissau scored 8 goals and conceded 7.
A total of 28 goals were scored in the 12 games played in the Group. The Group’s top scorer was Guinea-Bissau’s Frederic Mendy and Kenya’s Justin Shonga with three goals each.
They claimed a place for the competition on March 23, 2019.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will be in their 19th participation in the tournament and they lifted the trophy in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017.
The Black Stars of Ghana are going for their 22nd participation in the event and have walked away with the ultimate accolade on four occasions ( 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982).
The Squirrels of Benin have played the tournament in three previous occasions, 2004, 2008 and 2010. They have never gone pass the group stage.
Guinea-Bissau’s Djurtus will be playing the competition only for the second time. Their first participation was in 2017 in Gabon and they were eliminated at the group stage.
Clarence Clyde Seedorf ( Cameroon)
Clarence Seedorf was born on April 1, 1976 in Paramaribo in Suriname.
The 43 year old coach was an illustrious attacking midfielder who played for Holland 87 times including in World cups and Euros scoring 11 goals.
In his club football playing career he played for Ajax of Amsterdam, Sampdoria, Real Madrid, Internazionale of Milan, Milan AC and Botafogo of Brazil from 1992-2014, winning league titles but more notably the UEFA champions league with three different clubs which till date is an unprecedented feat.
Seedorf began his coaching career with AC Milan in 2014, then moved to China to coach Shenzhen, then Deportivo La Coruna in Spain prior to his appointment as coach of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions in August 2018 with his former Ajax and international teammates Patrick Kluivert as his assistant.
James Kwesi Appiah ( Ghana)
James Kwesi Appiah was born on June 30, 1960 in Kumasi Ghana.
The former left back played his club football for Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko from 1983 to 1993.
He was also a Ghanaian international from 1987 to 1992 and even had the privilege to captain the team.
The former student of Opuku Ware School in Kumasi has received technical training from English Club’s Manchester City and Liverpool.
He was appointed assistant coach of the Black Stars in 2007 and he held the position till 2012.
He led Ghana’s U-23s to victory in the 2011 All-African Games.
His first spell as coach of Ghana was from 2012-2014 and led them to a Group stage exit in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
He moved on to manage Sudanese club Al Khartoum in December 2014 and stayed with them until April 2017 that he was re-appointed to replace former Chelsea manager, Israeli coach Avram Grant.
Michel Dussuyer ( Benin)
Michel Dussuyer was born on May 28, 1959 in Cannes France.
The 60 year old former goalkeeper played for Cannes in two spells Nice and Alès from 1978 to 1996.
His coaching career began in 2002 as coach of Guinea. Two years after he left Guinea to coach Cannes for year before returning to international coaching in 2008 with Benin. He left Benin and returned to Guinea from 2010-2013 then 2014-2015 before moving on to the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire from 2015-2017. He had previously worked as the assistant coach of Côte d’Ivoire when he was appointed as the assistant of Henri Micheal in the 2006 AFCON.
He resigned as manager of Côte d’Ivoire when they failed to reach the quarterfinals of the 2017 tournament in Gabon.
In August 2018 he was appointed coach of the Benin national team for a second time.
Baciro Candé ( Guinea-Bissau)
He was born in Catió, Guinea-Bissau on April 6, 1967.
The former defender played notably for Estrela da Amadora and Amora in Portugal and Guinea-Bissau national football team.
After his playing career he has coached local teams in Guinea-Bissau notably Desprtivo de Farim, Uniao Desportivo Internacional, Bula Futebol Clube, Estrela Negra de Bissau and Ajuda Sport Clube. He won nine league titles with Sporting Clube de Bissau and the Taça Nacional da Guiné Bissau with Desprtivo de Farim in the 1988-89 season.
He took over the national team for a first spell from 2003 to 2010, he was reappointed in March 2016 and has succeeded to qualify them back-to-back to the Afcon for the first time ever in their history.
Cameroon’s star Player is Paris Saint-Germaine forward Eric Choup-Moting with two goal in the qualifiers.
They count more on team work than individual brilliance. Karl Toko Ekambi of Villarreal , Jean Pierre Nsame and Moumi Ngamaleu of Young Boys of Berne and Stephane Bahoken of Angers were their most prolific attacking players in Europe but they did not all make the 23 man squad to Egypt. The spine of the team will be goalkeeper Andre Onana of Ajax, defenders Micheal Ngadeu-Ngadjui of Slavia Prague and Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo of Montpellier, midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa of Fulham and forwards Choupo-Moting and 2017 player of the tournament Henan Jiaye’s Christian Bassagog.
Ghana’s star man will be captain Andre Morgan Rami Ayew of Fenerbahçe.
The 29 year old winger has won 81 caps with 14 goals for his country.
Though all times scorer with 51 goals and most capped player with 106 caps, Asamoah Gyan is still part of the team the Ghanaian expectations and hopes will be on Andre Ayew and his brother Jordan Ayew who plays his club football for Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.
Gençlerbirligi midfielder Stéphane Sessègnon is 35 years already but he still remains the heart beat of his national team.
With 70 caps and 21 goals he is expected to lead by example in Egypt. Huddersfield Town forward Steve Mounié is another player from whom much is expected.
24 year old winger Carlos Apna Embaló who is on loan to Cosenza from Palermo in Italy will be a player to watch in this Guinea-Bissau team.
But their star man is without doubts 30 year old Vitória Setúbal forward Frédéric Mendy. He scored three goals in the qualifiers Mozambique home and away and against Zambia in Zambia.
If logic and football hierarchy are respected, Cameroon and Ghana with 9 Afcon trophies between them are expected to outclass Benin and Guinea-Bissau, unfortunately or fortunately gone are those days. Any complacency from the Indomitable Lions or Black Stars will lead to a correction from the so-called minors.