Good draw for us, says South Africa coach- Igesund
Coaches were satisfied Wednesday with the Africa Cup of Nations draw with hosts South Africa seeing Morocco as their toughest opponents and Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Algeria in a 'group of death'. "All the draws were tough and I think this is a fairly good draw for us," said South Africa coach Gordon Igesund. "It was touch and go because it was either going to be Nigeria or Angola," he said, relieved that of two remaining countries to be allocated, Angola fell in Group A with the hosts and Nigeria in Group C with Zambia at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre here.
Igesund remained wary of Morocco. "I think Morocco are the giants in Africa," he said.
Moroccan trainer Rachid Taoussi was happy his team missed some of the tournament's favourites, but would be careful of other contenders, he said. "It's a good group. It's hard, since South Africa is the host country and has home support."
Nigeria will tackle Burkina Faso in their first match. "They are a very good team. There is quality in every side that qualified so our task is to go home and strategise," said coach Stephen Keshi. "Of course, defending champions Zambia are very good and so are our other opponents, Ethiopia," he added. Ivory Coast will have to finish above Tunisia, Algeria and Togo to win its group. "It's undeniably the most difficult group," said coach Sabri Lamouchi.
But his confidence remained firm, though the team has only taken home the cup once before, in 1992. "Ivory Coast is the favourite. We were favourites before the draw, and still are after it. We will have to prove it on the field," said Lamouchi. Defending champions Zambia, who lifted the trophy against all odds this year, would prove their mettle once again, according to coach Herve Renard. "We are confident. We are here to make history. We did it in 2012. No one was able to say Zambia will win in 2012," he said. "We stayed a small team but we managed to go very far." Having travelled to South Africa often to train, the Zambians felt "at home" there, added Renard.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
REGULATIONS / PUBLICATIONSCAF Statutes