Egypt group in Africa Cup of Nations not easy, says coach Cuper

Cuper reacts to the Africa Cup of Nations draw, saying he is focused on next month's Ghana clash in World Cup qualifiers

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Oct 2016,
Hector Cuper
Hector Cuper (AP)

Egyptian national team manager Hector Cuper said it's not easy to be in Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations, alongside Ghana, Uganda and Mali.

"The draw results are positive, especially because we're playing on 17 January in one city in good weather and excellent stadiums. But it's not east to be in group D with Ghana, Uganda and Mali," reads a reaction from the Argentina manager on the draw published by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Wednesday.

Egypt's last Nations Cup participation in 2010 saw them secure an unprecedented third successive triumph, beating Ghana 1-0 in the final.

Yet the record holders of seven trophies haven't qualified for the last three editions of the continent's most prestigious tournament.

"It's understood the champions must beat all their opponents, but now all my focus is on the13 November game against Ghana in the World Cup qualifiers. I play each game as if it's separate tournament," he added.

In the World Cup qualifiers Group E, Egypt lead their group with three points after defeating Congo, two ahead of Ghana and Uganda who played out a 0-0 draw in Tamale on Friday.

In 2013, Egypt suffered a stunning 7-3 aggregate defeat by Ghana in a World Cup qualifying playoff, including a 6-1 first-leg embarrassment in Kumasi.

The Nations Cup will run 14 January to 5 February in Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil. 

The full draw:                                                       
Group A:
Gabon, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau
Group B: Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Group C: Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Morocco, Togo
Group D: Ghana, Mali, Egypt, Uganda

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Group A W D L P
2 1 0 7
Burkina Faso
1 1 1 4
Cape Verde
1 1 1 4
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
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1 1 1 4
1 0 2 3
Group C W D L P
2 1 0 7
1 2 0 5
1 0 2 3
0 1 2 1
Group D W D L P
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2 1 0 7
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2 0 1 6
Sierra Leone
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0 1 2 1
Group F W D L P
2 1 0 7
2 1 0 7
1 0 2 3
0 0 3 0