Liberia In Tough Group K Pairing With South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe
Monrovia – The Lone Star got what appears to be the toughest pairings at the 2023 African Cup of Nations draw on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
Liberia was drawn alongside Morocco, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers for the tournament taking place in the Ivory Coast in May and June next year.
On paper, the penultimate qualifiers for Ivory Coast 2023 ought to be a difficult zone for Liberia but given the strides otherwise, minnows have made in the beautify games, it may turn out a tricky one for Morocco and South Africa.
South Africa was seeded in pot 2 during the draw conducted in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening by Bafana legend Lucas Radebe and former Ivory Coast and Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou.
Peter Butler’s men were pooled in Group K with the tournament starting on 30 May.
The Lone Star has failed to reach the Afcon since 2002. and will be hoping to qualify the biggest competition in Africa.
Liberia first appearance at the Nations cup came in 1996 when South Africa hosted the tournament and made their second showing in Mali 2002.
South Africa who failed to qualify for the 2022 Afcon in Cameroon, won by Senegal, recently faced Zimbabwe during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which Bafana Bafana won 1-0 at home and drew 0-0 away.
Zimbabwe, however, have recently been suspended by FIFA but still formed part of the draw.
Morocco’s only Afcon title came in 1976 and their best finish since was second in 2004.
Liberians are hoping their national team will make it to the finals of the tournament that will take place next door Ivory Coast.
The top two finishers in the group qualify for the 24-team tournament.
Below is Liberia’s head-to-head records vs their opponents for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.
Liberia and Morocco have met three times. Liberia lost two and won one. Liberia scored three goals and conceded nine.
1981- Morocco 3-1 Liberia
1981 – Liberia 0-5 Morocco
1987 – Liberia 2-1 Morocco
Liberia and Zimbabwe have met four times. Liberia won one, lost two and drew one. Liberia scored two and conceded seven.
2010 – Liberia 1-1 Zimbabwe
2011 – Zimbabwe 3-0 Liberia
2017 – Zimbabwe 3-0 Liberia
2019 – Liberia 1-0 Zimbabwe
Liberia and South Africa have met twice. Liberia lost one and drew one. Liberia scored two and conceded three.
2000- South Africa 2-1 Liberia
2001- Liberia 1-1 South Africa Africa
Below is the full draw.
Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe or 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, Tanzania
Group G: Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan
Group H: Ivory Coast (hosts), Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho
Group I: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan
Group J: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana
Group K: Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia
Group L: Senegal (holders), Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda