The outcome of the group stage in the African Nations .. A shocking exclusion of Algeria and a poor appearance for the Arabs

Yesterday, Thursday, the curtain came down on the group stage of the African Nations Cup, currently being held in Cameroon, as it resulted in several surprises, most notably the exit of Algeria (the title holders) and Ghana from the first round, and the qualification of Comoros and Gambia to the playoffs in their first participation in the competition.

After the tournament witnessed a record participation of Arab football, where it was represented by 7 teams in the group stage, it reserved only 4 seats in the round of 16, and it comes to the teams of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Comoros, while Algeria, Mauritania and Sudan called the competition from the group stage.

The Moroccan team topped Group C with 7 points, two points ahead of its closest rivals, Gabon, while Comoros achieved a historic qualification for the next round, thanks to a 3-2 victory over Ghana, at the end of their group matches.

The Comoros team ranked third with 3 points, to become one of the best 4 thirds in the six groups in the first round, leaving Ghana, which has 4 titles in the competition, at the bottom of the standings with one point, to be eliminated from the group stage in the tournament for the first time since the year’s edition. 2006 in Egypt in a resounding surprise, so that the “Black Stars” team continued to decline its results in the last editions of the competition.

In the fourth group, the Egyptian team, which has the record number of wins in the championship with 7 titles, climbed to the next round, after it ranked second in the groupโ€™s standings with 6 points, 3 points behind Nigeria, while Sudan ranked third with a point One, but he was unable to appear among the best thirds, to fail to complete his career in the championship that he crowned in 1970 on his own stadiums.

The great shock to Arab football came from the Algerian team, which is bottom of Group E with one point, after its goalless draw with Sierra Leone and its loss with a clean goal against Equatorial Guinea and 1-3 against Cรดte d’Ivoire, becoming the first title holder to lose two matches in the group stage since the Cameroon team in the competition version. 1990 hosted by Algeria.

Thus, the Algerian national team repeated the scenario of the 1992 tournament in Senegal, when it came out of the first round without achieving any victory, losing 3-0 to Ivory Coast and drawing 1-1 with Congo, where the group included only 3 teams at the time, to fail to maintain the title that he had achieved. In the previous version in 1990.

As for the Tunisian team, which won the tournament in 2004, it faced great misfortune during the tournament, starting with its controversial loss with a clean goal against its Malian counterpart in the first round of Group F, which was followed by the Corona virus chasing many of its basic elements, to come to qualify for the round of 16 hard, after its presence. Among the top 4 thirds.

Tunisia ranked third in the group with 3 points, 4 points behind Mali and Gambia, who ranked first and second, respectively, while Mauritania bottomed without a score of points, after losing in all its matches.

And 3 of the representatives of Arab football will be in the play-offs before severe tests in the round of 16, where the Egyptian team will clash with Ivory Coast, the leader of Group E, who won the title in 1992 and 2015, and the confrontation will be like an early final in the tournament.

On the other hand, the Moroccan team will be in a much easier confrontation in the next round against Malawi, who passed the group stage in the tournament for the first time, after qualifying in the best thirds, as they ranked third in Group B with 3 points, behind Senegal and Guinea.

In the event that the Egyptian and Moroccan teams pass the obstacle of the round of 16, it is expected that the quarter-finals will witness an expected Arab confrontation between them, to be the first between them, after they had previously met in the same round in the 2017 edition in Gabon, when the (Pharaohs) team decided the confrontation in his favour, with a clean goal.

Tunisia will have to play a very difficult final match against Nigeria, the leaders of Group D, on Sunday.

Nigeria, which won the title in 1980, 1994 and 2013, is the only one among the 24 teams that participated in the group stage, which achieved the full mark, by winning all three of its matches in the first round.

As for the Comoros team, it will be on a date with the Cameroon team, supported by the ground workers and the public, in the round of 16, where it dreams of continuing its surprises against the โ€œUntamed Lionsโ€, the leader of Group A with 7 points, which won the title 5 times, the last of which was in a copy Contest in 2017.

The round of 16 will also witness a relatively easy confrontation for Senegal, the leader of Group Two, who is still searching for its first title in the tournament, where it will meet with Cape Verde (Cap Verde), third in Group A.

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