Sat, Jul 07, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Ivory Coast, Senegal get tough qualifying draw

AP, JOHANNESBURG

One of Ivory Coast or Senegal will not make next year’s Africa Cup of Nations after they were drawn on Thursday to face each other in the final round of qualifiers.

The West African giants will meet over two legs in September and October, to be among 15 qualifiers and hosts South Africa at the tournament early next year.

Top-ranked African team Ivory Coast lost to Zambia in this year’s final.

Libya will try and reach their second successive Cup of Nations finals against Algeria, while minnows Central African Republic will face Burkina Faso for a place in their first major tournament, having surprisingly eliminated seven-time champions Egypt in the last round.

In other fixtures drawn in Johannesburg — which will host the final next year — it was defending champions Zambia versus Uganda, 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana versus Malawi and four-time Cup winners Cameroon against Cape Verde.

Two-time champions Nigeria were drawn to play Liberia.

Cameroon and Nigeria both failed to make this year’s Cup tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, as did struggling Egypt and South Africa.

Africa’s next continental championship was brought forward so it does not clash with the 2014 World Cup, meaning the tournament will be played in successive years.

The Africa Cup of Nations is played every two years, with this version awarded to South Africa after original hosts Libya could not stage it because of political problems.

Mali, semi-finalists in this year’s tournament, will hope to progress against Botswana, Morocco must get past Mozambique and Tunisia are scheduled to tackle Sierra Leone.

The other ties were Zimbabwe versus Angola, Guinea versus Niger, Sudan versus Ethiopia, Congo versus Equatorial Guinea and Gabon versus Togo.

The final draw for the 16-team tournament is scheduled for late October in South Africa.

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