By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Warriors’ defender Teenage Hadebe says they have unfinished business with Tunisia and Senegal at the Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Speaking from his base in South Africa ahead of the 2019 Afcon finals draw today, the lanky former Chicken Inn and Highlanders’ defender said they still have vivid memories of what happened in the last tournament in Gabon and would be more than eager to exact revenge.
The Warriors suffered a 0-2 loss to a Sadio Mane-led Senegal in their Group B match at the Stade de Franceville before going down 2-4 to the Tunisians a few days later at Stade d’Angonde to bow out of the tournament.
“While we don’t have the luxury of choosing who we play against, I believe to be the best you have to play against the best and we would really like to meet either Tunisia or Senegal because we all know and remember what happened in Gabon,” said Hadebe, who nearly suffered a terrible injury on Saturday while on club duty for Kaizer Chiefs against Baroka United.
He suffered a concussion after a collision with the upright in an attempt to score for his side.
The Warriors will be making their fourth appearance at the tournament and hoping to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in their history.
It will also be their second appearance at the Nations Cup finals in Egypt after featuring at the 2006 showcase in the same country.
Hosts Egypt, the record winners with seven titles, have already met the Warriors at the Nations Cup finals
The Pharaohs were the first opponents the Warriors battled in their first Afcon finals match in Tunisia in 2004. Egypt won that game 2-1.
They have met the Lions of Teranga twice at the finals, with their first meeting coming in Egypt in 2006, which the West Africans won 2-0, before the two sides clashed in Gabon two years ago.
The 24 teams which qualified for the finals will be drawn into six groups of four teams each.
The teams in each group will then play in a single round-robin format, and after the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third teams will advance to the round of 16.
While the previous finals saw the best two teams in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals, things have changed because of the size of the tournament which has been increased to 24 teams.
The new format will now see the top teams going through, but also the best four runners-up sailing through to the second round. The Chronicle