The AFCON qualifiers draw has pitted Zebras against Burkina Faso once again. The two teams played together in AFCON qualifiers in 2015. The draw, which was conducted in Gabon on Thursday night, placed Zebras in Group I together with Burkina Faso, Angola and Mauritania. Even though some can take it that it will be an easy ride for Zebras, local football pundits think otherwise. They believe that it is a challenging group. While only Mauritania is deemed as a potential easy fit for Zebras, it might actually be tougher than it looks. Looking the latest FIFA rankings Mauritania and Botswana are both placed at position 113 in the world. However the rankings clearly indicate that Mauritania has been ahead of Botswana, having fallen five steps from position 98 in the last rankings. This shows that the team is indeed a tough competition for the Zebras.
However, on a good day the Zebras have caused upsets and it is hoped that the team will recreate the 2011 performance when it qualified for the AFCON for the first time in history under the leadership of Stanley Tshosane. In 2015 Zebras also defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the first leg of the AFCON qualifiers at the Francistown stadium. Nonetheless analysts have called for the Zebras not to take the draw lightly if they want to qualify for Cameroon 2019 AFOCN finals. Looking at other teams, by far Burkina Faso is a better team than Zebras. Angola also has always achieved more than The Zebras even though they are currently placed 12 steps under the latter. Angola has a great pool of some strong players with a good number of them plying their trades in Europe. The team has also shown that they have character by qualifying for the 2006 Germany World Cup which is but a dream to the Zebras. The two legged qualifier games are expected to start in June 2017 and conclude in November 2018.
Draw in full
Central African Republic