African giants press reset button following Afcon disappointment

African giants press reset button following Afcon disappointment
Nicolas Pepe of Ivory

by Staff Reporter

Friday Sep 06, 2019. 13:00

Three of Africa’s top ranked nations will be in action on Friday evening.

Morocco, Ivory Coast and Tunisia will all be involved in pre-2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying action against Burkina Faso, Benin and Mauritania respectively.

The first round of qualifying is already underway, but neither of the above mentioned nations are ranked outside the top 26 on the continent, meaning they were handed a bye straight into the second round.

Vahid Halilhodzic will be in charge of his first match as Morocco head coach this weekend. The former Yugoslavia international replaced Herve Renard as the helm following the Atlas Lions premature exit from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 67-year-old has previously helped Algeria, Ivory Coast and Japan to World Cup tournaments; notably leading the Dessert Foxes to the last-16 in Brazil five years. ago.

Ivory Coast will also return to action on Friday for the first time since losing at the quarter-final stage in Egypt last month.

Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-back Willy Boly could make his international debut for the Elephants after making Ibrahim Kamara’s 26-man provisional squad. Fellow English Premier League stars Wilfried Zaha, Nicolas Pepe and Serge Aurier were also included in the squad to face Benin.

Elsewhere, Tunisia – who are ranked second on the continent – will take on a Mauritania side who will be without star forward Adama Ba who recently joined Morocco’s Renaissance Berkane.

Full List of Friendly Fixtures:

Ivory Coast vs Benin – 19h00

Tunisia vs Mauritania – 20h15

Morocco vs Burkina Faso – 21h00

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