AFCON AFCON 2023 guide: All you need to know about Group E

The 33rd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will finally get underway in Cameroon on January 13, having been delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic.

With Senegal expected to defend the title they won in the last edition after defeating Egypt in the final, Africa Top Sports analyses Group E which comprises Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, and Namibia.

Group E Fixtures:

Day 1:16 January, 6 pm: Tunisia vs Namibia, Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, 16 January, 9 pm: Mali vs South Africa, Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.

Read Also: AFCON 2023: All You Need To Know About Group A

Day 2: 20 January, 9 pm: Tunisia vs Mali, Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, 21 January, 9 pm: South Africa vs Namibia, Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.

Day 3: 24 January, 6 pm: South Africa vs Tunisia, Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, and 24 January, 6 pm: Namibia vs Mali, Stade Laurent Pokou.

Know the teams: Tunisia – The Carthage Eagles have participated in the AFCON 21 times and hold the record for the number of consecutive participations with 16 between 1994 and 2021. First participation in 1962, it took third place by defeating Uganda with a score of 3-0, only four countries participated in this edition. In the 1965 edition, Tunisia were allowed to stage the competition and reached the final and lost the title to Ghana 2-3 after extra time.

The best participation in this tournament came after eight years when Tunisia in her country reached the final for the third time and won this time after defeating Morocco in the final 2-1, ]Francileudo Santos and Ziad Jaziri scored the goals. The last participation was in the 2021 edition in Cameroon, and the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Mali: The Les Aigles have a long and historical tradition of participating in the AFCON. Even though Mali’s participation in the AFCON before the 21st century was sporadic, they managed several notable achievements. In their debut at 1972 AFCON, Mali finished runners-up behind Congo, a great feat up to date.

Tunisia vs Mali

Before 2008, each time Mali qualified, they reached the knockout stage, having only qualified four times before then. Mali hosted the 2002 AFCON; it is the only time Mali have hosted the tournament thus far. In 2015, Mali was eliminated with controversy because of the drawing of lots to Guinea.

South Africa: Although Bafana Bafana participated in the AFCON much later than many African countries (the country was scheduled to participate in the inaugural 1957 AFCON but was excluded because of apartheid[, as they participated for the first time as host of the 1996 edition, South Africa has soon established itself as an emerging African power.

The first edition South Africa participated in was a complete success, with the team conquering their first, and only African trophy, on their debut. Since then, South Africa has continued to participate and remains a reckoned force, though success has been elusive since the 2000s. Outside the 1996 edition, South Africa also hosted the 2013 AFCON and managed to advance to the quarter-finals and reached the quarters yet again in the 2019 edition.

Namibia: They will be making their fourth appearance in the AFCON, having gone out in the first round in the last three competitions. In 1998, Namibia lost to Ivory Coast 4-3 and drew Angola 3-3 before losing to South Africa 4-1.

In 2008, Namibia lost to Morocco 5-1 and to Ghana 1-0 but drew Guinea 1-1 in their last match. In 2019, they lost all their group games scoring only a single goal. They lost to Morocco 1-0 and suffered the same loss to South Africa before losing to Ivory Coast 4-1.

Venues: All Group E matches will be played at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium expect one fixture for Nambia that will be staged at the Stade Laurent Pokou.

Full squads for Group E teams:

Tunisia squad; Goalkeepers: Mouez Hassen (Club Africain, Tunisia), Aymen Dahmen (Al Hazem, Saudi Arabia), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir, Tunisia).

Defenders: Hamza Jelassi (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Yassine Meriah (Esperance, Tunisia), Alaa Ghram (Sfaxien, Tunisia), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yan Valery (Angers, France), Ali Abdi (Caen, France), Montassar Talbi (Lorient, France), Wajdi Kechrida (Atromitos, Greece), Oussama Haddadi (Greuther Furth, Germany).

Midfielders: Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Ferencvaros, Hungary), Anis Ben Slimane (󠁧󠁢Sheffield United, England), Ellyes Skhiri (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Aissa Laidouni (Union Berlin, Germany), Houssem Tka (Esperance, Tunisia), Hadj Mahmoud (Lugano, Switzerland), Hamza Rafia (Leece, Italy).

Forwards: Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi, Qatar), Haythem Jouini (Stade Tunisien, Tunisia), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Kuwait SC, Kuwait), Sayfallah Ltaief (Winterthur, Switzerland), Bassem Srarfi (Club Africain, Tunisia), Naim Sliti (Al Ahli, Qatar), Elias Achouri (FC Copenhagen, Denmark), Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek, Egypt).
Seifeddine Jaziri replaced Mortadha Ben Ouanes on 3 January.

South Africa squad; Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu, South Africa), Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United, South Africa).

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United, South Africa), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Siyanda Xulu (SuperSport United, South Africa), Grant Kekana, Terrence Mashego, Aubrey Modiba, Mothobi Mvala, Khuliso Mudau (all Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa).

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Thapelo Maseko, Thapelo Morena (all Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Sphephelo Sithole (Tondela, Portugal), Jayden Adams (Stellenbosch, South Africa), Thabang Monare (Orlando Pirates, South Africa).

Forwards: Zakhele Lepasa, Evidence Makgopa (both Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City, South Africa), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt).

Mali squad; Goalkeepers: Aboubacar Doumbia (Afrique Football Elite, Mali), Djigui Diarra (Young Africans, Tanzania), Ismael Diawara (Malmo, Sweden).

Defenders: Amadou Dante (Sturm Graz, Austria), Moussa Diarra (Toulouse, France), Mamadou Fofana (Amiens, France), Boubacar Kiki Kouyate, Falaye Sacko (both Montpellier, Frnace), Sikou Niakate (Braga, Portugal), Hamari Traore (Real Sociedad, Spain).

Midfielders: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Mohamed Camara (Monaco, France), Lassana Coulibaly (Salernitana, Italy), Aliou Dieng (Al Ahly, Egypt), Kamory Doumbia (Brest, France), Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig, Germany), Diadie Samassekou (Hoffenheim, Germany), Adama ‘Noss’ Traore (Hull City, England), Boubacar Traore (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England).

Forwards: Fousseni Diabate (Lausanne Sport, Switzerland), Nene Dorgeles, Sekou Koita (both RB Salzburg, Austria), Sirine Doucoure (Lorient, France), Moussa Doumbia (Al Adalah, Saudi Arabia), Youssoufa Nikaite (Bani Yas, UAE), Lassine Sinayoko (Auxerre, France), Ibrahim Sissoko (Saint Etienne, France).
Namibia squad; Goalkeepers: Lloyd Kazapua (Chippa United, South Africa), Edward Maova (Pretoria Callies, South Africa), Kamaijanda Ndisiro (African Stars, Namibia).

Defenders: Lubeni Haukongo (Cape Town Spurs, South Africa), Ryan Nyambe (Derby County, England), Ivan Kamberipa (Orapa United, Botswana), Erasmus Ikeinge (Khomas Nampol, Namibia), Kennedy Amutenya (Gaborone United, Botswana), Ananias Gebhardt (Baroka, South Africa), Riaan Hanamub (AmaZulu, South Africa), Aprocius Petrus (Liria Prizren, Serbia), Denzil Haoseb (Khomas Nampol, Namibia), Charles Hambira (African Stars, Namibia).

Midfielders: Marcel Papama (Jwaneng Galaxy, Botswana), Ngero Katua (Unam, Namibia), Romeo Kasume (Matabele, Botswana), Prins Tjiueza (Liria Prizren, Serbia), Petrus Shitembi (Kuching City, Malaysia), Uetuuru Kambato (African Stars, Namibia), Edmar Kamatuka (Unam, Namibia).

Forwards: Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Deon Hotto (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Wendell Rudath (Jwaneng Galaxy, Botswana), Erastus Kulula (Blue Waters, Namibia), Bethuel Muzeu (Black Leopards, South Africa), Junior Petrus (Liria Prizren, Serbia), Joslin Kamatuka (Maritzburg United, South Africa), Absalom Iimbondi (Khomas Nampol, Namibia).


Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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