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

The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will finally get underway in Cameroon as of 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 F which comprises DR Congo, Morocco, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Group F fixtures;

Wednesday, 17 January 2024
Morocco vs Tanzania – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pédro (22:30)

Thursday, 18 January 2024
DR Congo vs Zambia – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pédro (01:30)

Sunday, 21 January 2024
Morocco vs DR Congo – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pédro (19:30)
Zambia vs Tanzania – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pédro (22:30)

Thursday, 25 January 2024
Tanzania vs DR Congo – Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo (01:30)
Zambia vs Morocco – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pédro (01:30).

Read Also: AFCON 2023 guide: Know the nicknames of all participating teams

Know the teams: DR Congo: The Leopards is one of the major participants in the tournament, having participated in nineteen editions of all AFCON tournaments. They are also one of the most successful teams in Africa, having won the titles twice in 1968 as Congo-Kinshasa and 1974 as Zaire.

However, since then, successes have been elusively fading for the national side of DR Congo, despite their frequent participation in the tournament aftermath. Their best result since 1974 was third place in 1998 and 2015.

Morocco: The Atlas Lions are one of Africa’s major forces in the AFCON. Historically, Morocco participated in the AFCON much later than other North African states. However, once Morocco made their debut in 1972, it emerged and became a fearsome power in the tournament, becoming the second North African side to win the AFCON in 1976.

However, ever since the win, Morocco’s best performance was only runners-up in 2004. Morocco, therefore, became the underachiever in the AFCON, despite their rich, prestigious records. Morocco was initially scheduled to host the AFCON but was later ruled out after the fear of the Ebola outbreak controversy.

Tanzania: The Taifa Stars have only played in two AFCONs, in 1980 and 2019. They qualified for a third tournament in 2023. Tanzania is one of Africa’s weaker sides and often doesn’t achieve much international honor. This resulted in Tanzania often struggling in qualifying campaigns, and outside the first 1980 edition debut, Tanzania had to wait for 39 years before qualifying for another AFCON.

The national team’s records in the tournament are also not impressive, with five defeats and one lone draw dated from their 1980 debut edition, a 1-1 draw to Ivory Coast. The 2019 successful qualification was only the second time Tanzania managed to qualify on their own, although it was mostly helped by luck after Cape Verde and Lesotho failed to win.

Zambia: During the 2008 AFCON, Zambia the Copper Bullets finished third in the group with a 3-0 victory against Sudan (goals by James Chamanga, Jacob Mulenga, and Felix Katongo), a draw (1-1 against Egypt, goal from Chris Katongo) and loss (1-5 against Cameroon, goal from Chris Katongo).

In 2010, Zambia finished first in her group and faced Nigeria in the quarter-finals where she lost on penalties. Jacob Mulenga and Emmanuel Mbola were included in the tournament’s Best XI. In 2012, the best AFCON in Zambia’s history happened.

During the tournament’s group stage, they defeated Senegal(2-1), drew with Libya (2-2), and defeated Equatorial Guinea (1-0), and qualified top of their group. During the knockout stage, Zambia defeated Sudan (3-0) in the quarters, beat Ghana in the semi-finals (1-0), and went up against Ivory Coast in the final, where they won their first title, after defeating them in a dramatic penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw after extra time.

Full squads for Group F teams:

DR Congo; Goalkeepers: Dimitry Bertaud (Montpellier, France), Lionel Mpasi (Rodez, France), Baggio Siadi (TP Mazembe, DR Congo).

Defenders: Dylan Batubinsika (Saint Etienne, France), Brian Bayeye (Ascoli, Italy), Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian, Scotland), Henock Inonga (Simba, Tanzania), Gedeon Kalulu (Lorient, France), Joris Kayembe (Genk, Belgium), Arthur Masuaku (Besiktas, Turkey), Chancel Mbemba (Marseille, France).

Midfielders: Theo Bongonda (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion, England), Gael Kakuta (Amiens, France), Edo Kayembe (Watford, England), Samuel Moutoussamy (Nantes, France), Charles Pickel (Cremonese, Italy), Aaron Tshibola (Al Hatta, UAE).

Forwards: Simon Banza (Braga, Portugal), Cedric Bakambu (Galatasaray, Turkey), Meschack Elia (Young Boys, Switzerland), Silas (Stuttgart, Germany), Fiston Mayele (Pyramids, Egypt), Yoane Wissa (Brentford, England).

Morocco; Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Munir Mohamedi (Al Wehda, Saudi Arabia), Mehdi Benabid (AS FAR, Morocco).

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi (Paris St-Germain, France), Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich, Germany), Yahya Attiat Allah (Wydad Casablanca, Morocco), Nayef Aguerd (West Ham, England), Romain Saiss (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Yunis Abdelhamid (Reims, France), Chadi Riad (Real Betis, Spain), Abdel Abqar (Alaves, Spain), Mohamed Chibi (Pyramids, Egypt).

Midfielders: Amir Richardson (Reims, France), Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United, England), Oussama El Azzouzi (Bologna, Italy), Selim Amallah (Valencia, Spain), Bilal El Khannouss (Genk, Belgium), Azzedine Ounahi (Marseille, France), Ismael Saibari (PSV, Netherlands), Amine Harit (Marseille, France).

Forwards: Hakim Ziyech (Galatasaray, Turkey), Amine Adli (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Abde Ezzalzouli (Real Betis, Spain), Sofiane Boufal (Al Rayyan, Qatar), Tarik Tissoudali (Gent, Belgium), Youssef En-Nesyri (Seville, Spain), Ayoub El Kaabi (Olympiacos, Greece).

Tanzania; Goalkeepers;, Aishi Manula – Simba, Beno David Kakolanya – Singida United, Kwesi Kawawa – Karlslunds.

Defenders; Mohamed Hussein – Simba SC, Bakari Mwamnyeto – Young Africans, Dickson Job – Young Africans, Nickson Kibabage – Young Africans, Israel Mwenda – Simba, Lusajo Mwaikenda –Azam FC, Adam Kasa – IFK Haninge, Zion Chebe Nditi – Aldershot Town, Miano Danilo – Van den Bos Villena, John-Mark – Offeh Kingston.

Midfielders; Mzamiru Yassin – Simba, Sospeter Bajana – Azam, Yusuph Kagoma – Geita Gold, Adolf Bitegeko – Völsungur, Tarryn Allarakhia – Wealdstone, Roberto Nditi – Forfar Athletic, Ladaki Chasambi – Mtibwa Sugar.

Forwards; Simon Msuva (captain) – JS Kabylie, Kibu Denis – Simba, Abdul Hamisi Suleiman – Azam, Said Khamis – Jedinstvo Ub, Edwin Balua – Tanzania Prisons.

Zambia; Goalkeepers: Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Francis Mwansa (Green Buffaloes, Zambia), Toaster Nsabata (Zesco United, Zambia).

Defenders: Dominic Chanda (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Benedict Chepeshi (Red Arrows, Zambia), Rodrick Kabwe (Zakho, Iraq), Gift Mphande (Hapoel Rishon LeZion, Israel), Frankie Musonda (Ayr United, Scotland), Tandi Mwape (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Zephaniah Phiri (Prison Leopards, Zambia), Stoppila Sunzu (Jinan Xingzhou, China).

Midfielders: Emmanuel Banda (HNK Rijeka, Croatia), Rally Bwalya (Sekhukhune United, South Africa), Miguel Chaiwa (Young Boys, Switzerland), Clatous Chama (Simba, Tanzania), Edward Chilufya (Hacken, Sweden), Kings Kangwa (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Kelvin Kapumbu (Zesco United, Zambia), Golden Mafwenta (MFK Vyskov, Czech Republic), Kelvin Kampamba (Zesco United, Zambia), Fredrick Mulambia (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Lubambo Musonda (Silkeborg, Denmark), Benson Sakala (Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic).

Forwards: Lameck Banda (Lecce, Italy), Patson Daka (Leicester City, England), Kennedy Musonda (Young Africans, Tanzania), Fashion Sakala (Al Fayha, Saudi Arabia).

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

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