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Pharaohs get Super Eagles test in AFCON qualifying
Today’s draw at the 37th CAF Oridinary General Assembly unveiled the 13 qualifying groups for AFCON 2017, pitting Egypt and Nigeria against Tanzania and Chad.
Only the winner of each group – along with the two best second-place finishers – will qualify for the tournament, set to take place in Gabon.
The host nation will take part in qualifying, but its Group I matches will only count as friendlies. Only that group’s best finisher outside of Gabon will qualify for the tournament along with the hosts.
52 teams were divided into four pots based on a ranking system comprising AFCON and FIFA World Cup results, with Egypt nestled in the bottom half of Pot 2.
The Pharaohs and Super Eagles have butted heads seven times at AFCON, but never in the qualifying stages.
Egypt has won the tournament a record seven times, last lifting the trophy in 2010. Nigeria won the title just two years ago, its third ever.
Qualifying for the tournament is set to begin this June and conclude in September of next year.
Clash of the Group G titans comes next year
Egypt won’t be squaring off against Nigeria, largely considered Group G favorites, until early next year with both encounters slated for March.
The Pharaohs kick their campaign off at home against Tanzania June 12-14 before traveling to Chad September 4-6.
The Super Eagles then host Egypt March 23-26 before the two rematch March 26-29 in Cairo.
Egypt finishes its campaign with a road contest against Tanzania June 3-5 of next year before hosting Chad September 2-4.
GROUP A: Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti
GROUP B: Congo DR, Angola, Central African Republic, Madagascar
GROUP C: Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan
GROUP D: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros
GROUP E: Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau
GROUP F: Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome
GROUP G: Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad
GROUP H: Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritania
GROUP I: Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon
GROUP J: Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles
GROUP K: Senegal, Niger, Namibia, Burundi
GROUP L: Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland
GROUP M: Cameroon, South Africa, Gambia, Mauritius