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Sudan are one of the original teams that participated in the inaugural Africa Nations Cup back in 1957, but now they are regarded as a minnow of African football.
They experienced a 28 year absent at the tournament before they reappeared in the 2008 event.
The East African nation started the 2012 tournament by suffering defeat by an odd goal to the Ivory Coast in their opening encounter.
When they seemed to be destined for an early exit in their next fixture against Angola they showed true character and determination by twice coming from behind to level draw with the Angolans.
In what was their best performance of the tournament, they outclassed a credible Burkina Faso side 2-1 to earn themselves a last eight spot where people had least expected.
Then Sudan were walloped 3-0 by eventual champions Zambia.
Mudather El Tahir and Mohammed Ahmed Bashir were Sudans best performers in the tournament, both netting braces in the last two group games.
Sudan will be making their eighth appearance at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, seeking to improve their performance from the last time they played in the continent's flagship tournament.
Their reappearance at the 2008 finals in Ghana was a welcome sight following 32 years in the wilderness but they failed to make an impact in the competition.
They were eliminated in the first round having lost all their matches without scoring a goal.
They return to the tournament with a bigger determination to succeed as coach Abdalllah Mazda has hinted that he will boost the squad with the inclusion of younger players.
With an average age of 28 most of the players in the Sudan squad have been playing together for more than eight years now.
But their lack of experience at the highest level of world football means they must find fresh legs to take them to the second round of the tournament.
As such the local coach will cast his net beyond the two biggest clubs in the country Al Hilal and Al Merreikh who have provided most of the players for the national team.
The Al Hilal quartet of goalkeeper Moez Mahjoub, midfielders Muhannad Taher Bashh and Khalif as well as striker Careca will be key at the tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea given their recent performances for both club and country.
But coach Mazda must try toget some of the players from the smaller clubs who have provided most of the players for the country's U23 squad that beat Ghana in the 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers.
While their performance in Kumasi showed that they were ready to take on some of the continents best players their 2-0 home defeat to the Black Stars shows that they are not ready to win the title.
The Nile Crocodiles showed promise in the qualifiers after getting victories over Swaziland and Congo in both legs of the two matches and impressively held Ghana in Kumasi.
But the possibility of them capitulating when it matters struck as they lost 2-0 to the Black Stars who consequently took Group I's automatic ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Sudan qualified after taking the remaining best-placed runners-up spot, for their performance finishing behind Ghana in Group I of the qualifiers.
Group D runners-up Central Africa Republic did not have enough points to overtake Sudan.
|2012 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS TEAM RECORD|
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