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AFCON 2023 Draw: Bafana Bafana Will Believe in Progressing From Favourable Group E

Jarryd Westerdale

October 12, 2023 at 8:37 PM

  • South Africa have been drawn in Group E alongside Mali, Namibia and Tunisia
  • Hugo Broos’s men will kick their tournament off against Mali in Korhogo
  • The Group of Death is made up of Senegal, Ghana, Guinea and The Gambia

Hugo Broos now has the map he needs to navigate toward glory.

South Africa have been drawn with Mali, Namibia and Tunisia in the African Cup of Nations, giving them a fighting chance at making the knockout phase.

The rescheduled 2023 African Cup of Nations will begin on January 13, featuring 24 teams fighting for an eventual spot in the final on February 11.

Bafana Bafana, Afcon, Congo, Hugo Broos.
The South African team that lined up against the DRC in a friendly at Orlando Stadium in September. Photo: @bafanabafana.
Source: Twitter

The draw was conducted in one of the five host cities, Abidjan.

The teams were split into six groups of four teams each, with the top two teams progressing automatically to the Last 16.

Four of the best placed third placed teams from each group will also receive passage to the knockout phase.

The balls were plucked from their pots by former Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, Morocco’s Ashraf Hakimi, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Ivorian legend, Didier Drogba.

As the names were pulled from the pots, the picture began to materialise step by step. Namibia were the first booked for Group E before the rest discovered their fate.

In Namibia, South Africa will be aware of the danger man. Orlando Pirates’ Deon Hotto helped Namibia win the COSAFA Cup in 2015 and will relish the opportunity to play against his nation of employment.

Bafana Bafana have faced Mali three times and are yet to lose, having won one and drawn two. The West African nation are currently ranked 49th by FIFA.

The toughest game of the group with undoubtedly be against Tunisia. Ranked 29th in the world, The Carthage Eagles are perennial tournament participants with a wealth of talent.

The formalities are over and fans now await the opening of the tournament, which starts with hosts Ivory Coast up against Guinea-Bissau.

Hugo Broos begins preparing now

Sports Brief reported earlier on South Africa’s first of two friendlies this international window.

Bafana Bafana will play Eswatini at the FNB Stadium, aiming to test their tactics before flying off Ivory Coast.

South Africa have never lost to Eswatini and Hugo Broos will not accept anything but victory, and may even appreciate a little shine on the scoreline.