Harare – Two of the three national teams from Southern Africa that qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations – Malawi and Zimbabwe – will face each other in the soccer showpiece after they were drawn in the same group.
The two were placed in Group B along with West African giants Senegal, and Guinea, at the draw held in Yaoundé, Cameroon Tuesday evening.
Comoros, the only other team from the region to seal a place at the biennial fiesta, are in Group C along with former winners Ghana and Morocco. The fourth team in Group C is Gabon.
The 24-team Afcon tournament, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be staged in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
The duel between Malawi and Zimbabwe is expected to produce fireworks, at least for football lovers from Southern Africa; while Comoros have a mountain to climb in a group featuring two genuine continental heavyweights.
Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarusic described the draw as “fair” for his Warriors, but acknowledged the threat posed by the other teams, including the Malawi Flames.
“The draw is fair. We stand a good chance of progressing to the next stage but we are aware of the threat posed by all the teams,” he said.
Two teams will advance to the round of 16 together with four best placed third-placed teams from all the six groups.
Full Afcon Draw
Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cabo Verde
Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi
Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon
Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau
Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire
Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia