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SA SOCCER NEWS
365's Group D Analysis 24/09/03
Bafana Bafana have been drawn in an extremely tough group for the up-coming African Nations Cup in Tunisia next year, so much so that many people are labelling Group D as "the group of death".

SASoccer365's Shahied Joseph takes a look at the opposition Bafana will have to overcome to advance to the knockout stages of the Cup...

Super Eagles Flying Low
Nigeria seem to be plummeting since the last African Cup of Nations (ACN) in 2000. They have the pedigree and experience to progress, but are a team in limbo as coach Christian Chukwu could be out of the hot seat come January.

Uncongenial wins over Malawi and Angola and humiliating defeats to Japan (3-0) and Brazil (3-0), coupled with the fact that they had an early exit at the World Cup in Korea/Japan 2002 do suggest that the West Africans are not the force they were or can be.

South Africa, 1996 ACN champions, have been giants in Southern African football since the early 1990's. In the Mali 2000 ACN the former champions had an early exit and the same result followed them to the 2002 World Cup. This form suggests that they too are a team who could struggle to become African champions again.

The Nigeria-South Africa game will be a rematch of the 2000 semi-final where the Super Eagles demolished Bafana Bafana 2-0. Bafana will rely heavily on international defenders Mbulelo Mabizela, Jacob Lekgetho, Nasief Morris and Aaron Mokoena to snuff out the potentially potent Super Eagles attack, especially Obafemi Martins, the exciting Inter Milan striker who looks set to soon become a world superstar.

Morocco, also a formidable force in African Football, reached the ACN comfortably by winning five games and one draw, they did not make it for the 2002 World Cup though as Senegal had the better goal difference.

Badou Zaki, the former goalkeeper turned coach, is confident his team can make a big impact in Tunisia 2004.

Benin, also known as The Squirrels, are the underdogs in this group as it is their first ever ACN. Coach Cecil Jones Atturquayefio's side saw off the likes of Zambia in qualifying, and their five goals from striker Oumar Tchomogo should make them a formidable foe to Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

African minnows have been known to cause upsets, and like Bafana Bafana in their first ACN, they will be out to prove a point to their illustrious opponents.

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