COSAFA side Zimbabwe have been drawn in the ‘Group of Death’ at the 2017 African Nations Cup finals after being placed in a pool with Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal.
It will be a huge hurdle for the Warriors against some of the continent’s heavyweights as they battle on as the lone COSAFA representatives at the finals in Gabon.
The draw for the finals has thrown up some other intriguing ties, not least a reunion for Ivory Coast with their former coach Herve Renard.
Renard led the Ivorians to the title in 2015, having done likewise with Zambia three years earlier, but is now in charge of Morocco and will be plotting their downfall.
The pair are in Group C alongside DR Congo and Togo and despite the threat of the former, will be favourites to advance.
Hosts Gabon have received a gentle draw and will take on minnows Guinea-Bissau, who make their debut in the tournament, as well as Burkina Faso and Cameroon in Group A.
Egypt are returning to the tournament for the first time since they won in 2010 and have been drawn in Group D alongside Ghana, Mali and Uganda.
The Nations Cup finals will be played from Jan. 14 to Feb. 5 in Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil.
Group A: Gabon (seeded), Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau
Group B: Algeria (seeded), Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Group C: Ivory Coast (seeded), Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Togo
Group D: Ghana (seeded), Mali, Egypt, Uganda