Group D will host a mouth-watering encounter between Ivory Coast and South Africa at the Al Salam Stadium with the two teams hoping to begin on a winning note.
After winning the Nations Cup in 2015, Ivory Coast seemed to have had a drastic dip in their performances, getting knocked out in the group stages of the 2017 AFCON, while the Elephants also failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
With plenty of young talent coming through the ranks for the two-time African champions such as Nicolas Pepe, who stands out as the hottest property for Ivory Coast with the 24-year-old Lille winger attracting interest from Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, to name a few clubs.
South Africa have had a peculiar African Nations Cup record since being readmitted into the competition in 1996. They won that year and were runners-up two years later, although they went out at the group stage in 2015 and failed to qualify in 2017.
Stuart Baxter’s team went through qualifying unbeaten and finished just a point behind Nigeria, with the South Africans winning away to the Super Eagles and they’ve got a sharpshooter in the form of Percy Tau who has scored nine goals in eighteen appearances.
Striker Percy Tau believes South Africa can put recent Africa Cup of Nations failures to one side as they seek a big impact in Egypt.
“We see a bigger picture and everything is possible if we are able to pass the group stage,” said Tau.
“We want to do better than at the previous Africa Cup of Nations. We think and believe big of ourselves as a nation.”
Ivory Coast vs South Africa AFCON 2019 Match Info
Venue: Al Salam Stadium
Kick off time: 3:30 PM (WAT)
Where to watch: SuperSport