Egypt handed tough draw in All-Africa Games
AFP, Thursday 9 Jul 2015


A blockbuster group including Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal came out of the 2015 All-Africa Games football tournament draw made in Cairo Thursday.

The other mini-league for the September 3-18 event comprises hosts Congo Brazzaville, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.

Staged every four years, the All-Africa Games are called the 'African Olympics' with football, athletics and swimming usually the chief attractions.

Originally open to all footballers, the tournament has been restricted to under-23 stars for some time.

Ghana are the defending champions after edging South Africa in a penalty shootout after a draw in the 2011 final in Mozambique.

Egypt have been crowned All-Africa Games champions twice and Nigeria once and both appear capable of top-two finishes and semi-final places.

Ghana pipped Mozambique to qualify for Brazzaville, Nigeria overcame Gabon comfortably and Zambia narrowly, and Egypt were far too good for Kenya and Burundi.

Senegal edged Mali on away goals to secure their place.

Congo boast a powerful squad coached by legendary Frenchman Claude le Roy and seem the strongest Group A outfit.

As hosts, a Congolese team containing several senior national team stars did not have to qualify.

Congo hosted the first All-Africa Games in 1965 and won the football competition in novel fashion, defeating Mali 7-1 on a corner count after a goalless draw.

Sudan eliminated Ethiopia and South Africa to qualify, Zimbabwe upset Cameroon and Burkina Faso surprised Ivory Coast.

Draw

Group A: Congo Brazzaville (hosts), Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso

Group B: Ghana (holders), Senegal, Egypt, Nigeria

Note: Tournament to be played between September 3 and 18 in Brazzaville

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