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Mambas looking to go beyond group stages for the first time in Cote d’Ivoire

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  • The Mambas are in Group B with Ghana, Egypt and Cape Verde
  • After a fourteen-year absence, Mozambique are back in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations
  • Chiquinho Condé’s men hope to qualify for knockout stages for the first time

Mozambique is back in the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations after a 14-year absence.

The Mambas, who have been on an exciting rebuilding phase will be hoping to build from the momentum that saw them reach the quarter-finals of the  African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria earlier this year.

The Southern African nation is pitted in a tough Group B consisting of two former champions, Ghana and Egypt along with the unpredictable Cape Verde.

They will be hoping to go beyond the group stages of the competition for the first time against their more fancied opponents when they meet in Cote d’Ivoire next month.

Mozambique’s matches in Group B

  • 14 January: Egypt – Mozambique: 17h00 GMT | Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan
  • 19 January: Cape Verde – Mozambique: 14h00 GMT |  Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan
  • January 22, 2024: Mozambique – Ghana 20h00GMT |  Stade Alassane-Ouattara, Abidjan

How they qualified:

The Mambas finished second in Group I behind Senegal after doing well to beat Benin 3-2 in a dramatic final round.

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Key Player: Geny Catamo

Left-footed and versatile, Geny Catamo is capable of occupying all positions in attack, although he is most often used as a right winger or supporting striker.

His liveliness and dribbling make him one of the Mambas’ main weapons. However, Catamo’s originality lies in his ability to go beyond his wing role and evolve into a playmaker, both on the wing and in the centre. He also confuses his markers by sometimes allowing his full-back to advance ahead of him for him to then cut in and invert.

The coach: Chiquinho Condé

A hard working who demands the best from his charges, Francisco Queriol Conde Júnior known as Chiquinho Condé is a tactician that lives for the game.

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A fan of the classic 4-4-2 system with a lot of hard-running, Mozambique will certainly not be an easy team to beat this season under the tutelage of Conde. Since taking over, his team is well known for high pressing and quickly recovering the ball.

The former Mambas captain also believes in a good defense and has used this in the past to frustrate his opponents, before catching them on the break.

 

Previous  AFCON performances:

  • 1986: 1st round
  • 1996: 1st round
  • 1998:1st round
  • 2010: 1st round

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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