Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP |
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw made in Libreville Thursday pitted Uganda against traditional rivals Tanzania, and two teams that have stood in their way in recent continental and world ambitions – Cape Verde and Lesotho.
South African opponents Lesotho particularly bring back bad memories of previous frustrating Uganda Cranes campaigns to reach the Nations Cup finals. Cape Verde have been stumbling blocks in the World Cup qualifiers.
Another interesting group will see Nigeria face South Africa in one of the 12 groups and Tunisia against Egypt in another. The group stages starts in June.
Nigeria and South Africa are in Group E with Libya and the Seychelles while Tunisia and Egypt are in Group J with Niger and Swaziland.
Both Nigeria and South Africa failed to reach the 2017 Cup of Nations tournament, which kicks off in Gabon Saturday with a fixture between the host country and Guinea-Bissau.
Nigeria lost out to Egypt after taking only one point from the two matches between countries who have won 10 of the previous 30 competitions.
South Africa held eventual group winners Cameroon twice, but finished an embarrassing third after losing and drawing against minnows Mauritania.
Both blockbuster pairings are repeats of 2015 qualifiers with Nigeria and South Africa drawing twice and Tunisia defeating Egypt home and away.
Ghana and Kenya are in Group F with Ethiopia and Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville share Group G with Zimbabwe and Liberia.
Group L comprises decades-old east African rivals Uganda and Tanzania plus Cape Verde and Lesotho.
There will be three two-leg preliminary ties during March involving the six lowest ranked sides with the overall winners securing places in the group phase.
One round of mini-league fixtures are scheduled for 2017 and five for next year with the 12 group winners and the best three runners-up joining hosts Cameroon in the finals.
Sao Tome e Principe v Madagascar
Comoros v Mauritius
Djibouti v South Sudan
Note: home and away matches to be played between Mar 20-28 and overall winners qualify for group phase
Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Sao Tome or Madagascar
Cameroon, Morocco, Malawi, Comoros or Mauritius
Mali, Gabon, Burundi, Djibouti or South Sudan
Algeria, Togo, Benin, Gambia
Nigeria, South Africa, Libya, Seychelles
Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone
Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Zimbabwe, Liberia
Ivory Coast, Guinea, Central African Republic, Rwanda
Burkina Faso, Angola, Botswana, Mauritania
Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Swaziland
Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia
Cape Verde, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho
— Group winners and best three runners-up qualify for tournament with hosts Cameroon
— Cameroon will compete in Group B and points awarded in their matches. If Cameroon win group, the runners-up will qualify; if they finish runners-up, the winners will qualify; if they finish third or fourth, the winners will qualify and the runners-up will compete for one of the three additional places
Mar 19-27, Sept 3-11 (two), Oct 8-16, Nov 5-13