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Micho reacts to 2023 AFCON group stage qualification draw

David GOMBE

Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic Micho has reacted to the Africa Cup of Nations group stage qualification draw that was held on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Micho’s Cranes was drawn in group F alongside Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria, Niger and neighbors Tanzania.

The serbian tactician says Uganda was drawn in a competitive group and believes anyone in the group can make it since the gap in African Football among teams has reduced

“I personally believe we are in a competitive group and one of the strongest groups. Both Niger and Tanzania have had representatives in the group stages of the CAF Club competitions this season while Algeria were winners of Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and recent winners of the FIFA Arab Cup.”

“Someone would look at Algeria as group favorites but in modern football there are no small teams because gaps in African football have been reduced.”

On the task ahead for the Cranes who failed to make it to the previous edition

“We are facing teams with different approaches including two Francophone countries in Algeria and Niger then CECAFA opponent in Tanzania. Algeria have had disappointments recently not making it out of the group stage at the last Africa Cup of Nations and conceding a late goal to miss out on qualifying for the World Cup. So these Qualifiers will be a chance to redeem themselves.”

“Niger is a team with so many players abroad and very competitive. They have been to three of the last five Africa Cup of Nations editions. So many Ugandans would welcome the chance of playing Tanzania but it is a tricky opponent. They will have two teams in CAF Champions League next season, Simba FC is still doing well in CAF Confederation Cup and they have good players abroad. In the 2019 Qualifiers, we only got one point from Tanzania and therefore we need to respect them.”

The opening games of the qualification phase will be played between 30th May – 14 June. The top two in each group will progress to next year’s AFCON showpiece in Ivory Coast.

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