Sunday Jan 09, 2022. 13:00
Two former champions in Morocco and Ghana begin their quest for Africa Cup of Nations
glory at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde on Monday, January 10.
Kick-off is at 6pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)
The Atlas Lions won Africa’s most coveted trophy in 1976 and were runners-up in 2004, while they reached the round of 16 in Egypt last time out.
Vahid Halilhodzic has a strong squad at his disposal despite the omission of Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech, with 24 players plying their trade in Europe.
The only home-based players in the 28-man party are Wydad Casablanca goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti and AS FAR defender Mohamed Chibi.
The North Africans qualified for the tournament in Cameroon as winners of their group and were undefeated in their six matches.
Halilhodzic’s side warmed up for AFCON 2021
by competing in the Arab Cup, where they were knocked out by eventual champions Algeria in the quarter-finals.
The Black Stars have been crowned champions of Africa four times, with their last success coming in 1982. They were runners-up on five occasions.
Milovan Rajevac’s men topped their group in the qualifiers with a record of four victories, one draw and one defeat.
Rajevac has plenty of experience to call upon in his squad which contains the likes of Andre and Jordan Ayew, Thomas Partey, Jonathan Mensah, Baba Rahman and Daniel Amartey.
The West African giants lost 3-0 to the Fennec Foxes on January 5 in their final warm-up game ahead of AFCON 2021