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AFCON 2023: Group B Preview

In the second of our six group previews ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Sports Gazette tells you what to expect from a blockbuster Group B featuring Egypt, Ghana, Mozambique, and Cape Verde.

AFCON 2023: Group A Preview

Egypt and Ghana boast 11 AFCON titles, while Mozambique and Cape Verde have featured in just eight editions of the tournament between them. Will we witness another underdog story in the Ivory Coast, or will Egypt and Ghana uphold their stature as two of the greatest AFCON nations in history?


Group Prediction: 1st

When Mohamed Salah leads Egypt into the Africa Cup of Nations next month, The Pharaohs will be aiming for their eighth continental trophy, with three of those seven titles secured consecutively during a historic four-year period between 2006 and 2010.

This time, Egypt headlines Group B, which also includes Ghana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique.The Pharaohs will kick off their campaign against Mozambique, who they also shared a group with during their most recent triumph in 2010.

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Egyptian players and coaching staff celebrate winning the AFCON in 2010 after beating Ghana

As well as this positive omen, Egypt enter the tournament amongst the favorites. They reached the last AFCON finals in 2022 under the management of Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, but lost on penalties to Senegal. Presently, the team is led by another Portuguese coach in Rui Vitória. The squad boasts several standout players, with Mohamed Salah, the leading goal-scorer for Liverpool in the English Premier League, being a notable presence. With support from Mostafa Mohamed who has managed to score 6 goals in 10 games for the French side Nantes as well as the impact of Al-Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, the Pharaohs should cruise into the knockout stages.

Cape Verde

Group Prediction: 2nd

The “Blue Sharks” will hope to replicate their achievement from 10 years ago in South Africa when they reached the quarter-finals, marking their best performance in AFCON. However, they were defeated by Ghana with a score of 2-0.

Coach Pedro Brito, or “Bobista” as he is known in Cape Verde, has been in charge of coaching the national team since January 2022. Brito, 53, has led the “Blue Sharks” in 32 international matches, securing 15 victories, drawing 8 matches, and facing 9 defeats. Under his leadership, the team has scored 40 goals while conceding 29.

Ryan Mendes, the striker for Fatih Karagümrük S.K. in Turkey, will be key to their AFCON hopes. He holds second place in Cape Verde’s all-time top scorers list with 15 goals and is also their most capped player with 69 matches. Adding further fire to their attack are Rayo Vallecano’s Bebé, Al-Ittihad’s Gary Rodriguez, and Al-Raed’s Julio Tavares.

Will the Blue Sharks succeed in reaching further than that covenant stage they secured in 2010 or will they crash out?

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Cape Verde’s coach Bubista with players as they leave the pitch.


Group Prediction: 3rd

The Black Stars have been in pursuit of the coveted AFCON title, since their last triumph in 1982. Despite being a football powerhouse on the continent, Ghana has fallen short in their efforts to reclaim the trophy they have won four times previously. They have already faced obstacles on their way to the tournament.

Ghana secured qualification for AFCON 2023 after coming from behind to defeat the visiting Central African Republic 2-1 at the “Baba Yara” stadium in Kumasi in the sixth and final round of the group stage of the qualifiers. In what could’ve been a disastrous result, the Black Stars seized their qualifications by narrow margins.

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Ghana’s players react during the penalty shootout in the 2015 African Cup of Nations final.

Ghana, much like several other teams participating in the upcoming Nations Cup, boasts a roster of players competing in some of Europe’s premier clubs. Notable figures such as Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus, and Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew will temporarily depart England to represent Ghana in the Ivory Coast. Despite their commitments to European clubs, manager Chris Hughton emphasizes that his players are entirely dedicated to representing their country on the international stage.

Ghana will be eagerly anticipating a revenge match against Egypt, after the Pharaohs qualified for the 2018 World Cup at the expense of Ghana. Egypt will also approach the fixture with a point to prove, after Ghana dealt Egypt a significant blow with a 6-1 defeat in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. This defeat stands as the largest in the history of encounters between the two teams.

As the teams prepare to face each other again, the anticipation is heightened, driven by the desire for revenge and the opportunity to reshape the historical narrative between Ghana and Egypt on the football field. This headline clash between the two favorites for Group B is not one to miss…

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Ghana team group.


Group Prediction: 4th

After a 13-year hiatus from the Africa Cup of Nations, the Mozambique national team is poised to make a comeback in the continental championship. This presents  another opportunity for Mozambique to overcome the challenges of the group stage, a milestone that the team is seeking to achieve for the first time in their history.

The Mambas will make their fifth appearance after previous participations in 1986, 1996, 1998 and 2010.

Mozambican Francisco Condé, 55, took over the coaching of his national team in October of 2021, succeeding the dismissed Portuguese coach Horácio Gonçalves. Condé, who used to play as a forward for the side he now manages, has no notable record in coaching. It is limited to managing a few local teams in his country.

Condé has acknowledged the strength of Group B, but will turn to players including… as he looks to meet the challenge.


  • Mohammad Joseph

    Mohammad, 23, is a trilingual Palestinian born and raised in Jerusalem, that always brags about being from the same “birthplace of the legendary Jesus Christ”. An aspiring sports journalist, previously having experience in the marketing world now looking to achieve his dreams of covering the sports he loves, from football to mixed martial arts. He is the co-social media editor for the Sports Gazette.