AFCON 2023Q

Super Eagles to face Sierra Leone again, reignites battle with Guinea Bissau

The qualifying matches will take place between June 2022 and March 2023.

Umar Sadiq opened the scoring for Nigeria against Guinea-Bissau at the last AFCON (Photo by Imago/Shengolpixs/Tobi Adepoju)

The draw for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series was conducted on Tuesday evening, with three-time African champions, Nigeria, drawn in Group A with Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and either Sao Tome & Principe or Mauritius.

The draws were conducted at the SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, by CAF Director of Competitions Samson Adamu and assisted by African football legends Lucas Radebe of South Africa and Ivorian Solomon Kalou.

It saw current AFCON holders Senegal get drawn into Group L with Benin Republic, Mozambique and Rwanda.

For Nigeria who failed to get past the round of 16 of the last edition of the AFCON in Cameroon earlier this year, a new challenge presents itself.

Between June 2022 and March 2023, the Super Eagles will race toward qualification but must first see off the trio of Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and Sao Tome & Principe or Mauritius in a round-robin format.

Asides from failing to live up to expectations in their last outing at the AFCON tournament in Cameroon, the Super Eagles also failed to make it to the World Cup in Qatar.

The last time Nigeria failed to qualify for the AFCON tournament was in 2017 having also failed to qualify for the 2015 edition.

The Super Eagles have won the AFCON title on three different occasions while they have settled for the runners-up position on four different occasions. They are Africa's best third-place finishers, having won the loser’s final an unprecedented eight times.

Group A

Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome & Principe/Mauritius

Group B

Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini

Group C

Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi

Group D

Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia

Group E

Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic

Group F

Algeria, Uganda, Niger Republic, Tanzania

Group G

Mali, Congo, The Gambia, South Sudan

Group H

Cote d'Ivoire, Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho

Group I

DR Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan

Group J

Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana

Group K

Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia

Group L

Senegal, Benin Republic, Mozambique, Rwanda

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