Football: 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers | 09 October 2019
Seychelles face the Bright Stars in today’s qualifier
Our national selection will be in action today against the Bright Stars of South Sudan in the first leg qualifier for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations which will be hosted by Cameroon.
Today’s’ match will take place at the Al-Merrikh Stadium, also known as the Red Castle which is a multi-use stadium in Omdurman, South Sudan.
Winners of the two-leg clash will join Burkina Faso, Uganda and Malawi in group B of the qualifiers.
All eight teams from pot 5 were drawn into four ties and will play in home-and-away two-legged format.
The four winners will advance to the group stage to join the 44 teams who entered directly.
The Confédération Africaine de Football (Caf) new setting allows the low ranked teams to play each other in a two-legged tie with the winners joining the high ranked teams in the group stages of the qualifiers.
Other than Seychelles, the other teams contesting the preliminaries are Liberia, Mauritius, Gambia, South Sudan, Chad, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Djibouti.
Seychelles are playing the qualifiers under the instructions of Dutch coach Jan Mak.
According to South Sudan’s press, the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) made it clear that the preparations for the match kicked off immediately after draw.
The game will be another test for the Bright Stars to excel past the group stage of the continental showpiece after several futile attempts since becoming a full Fifa member in July 2012.
The east African country failed to qualify for this year's tournament in Egypt, losing all qualifier games in group C.
It’s the second time South Sudan play in the preliminary round, in 2017 the Bright Stars eliminated Djibouti with a 6-2 aggregate win.
South Sudan failed to make it to this year’s tournament finishing bottom of their group which contained eventual winners Burundi, Gabon and Mali.
The team only managed one point in the last qualifiers and managing one goal in the process.
South Sudan play Seychelles in a two-legged encounter with South Sudan hosting the first leg between October 7-9 and the return leg a week later.
South Sudan are under the guidance of coach Ashu Cyprian Besong, the former Cameroon U20 coach.
Draw in full
Liberia v Chad
South Sudan v Seychelles
Mauritius v Sao Tome e Principe
Djibouti v Gambia
A: Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/Chad
B: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles
C: Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome
D: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti/Gambia
E: Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi
F: Cameroon (hosts), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda
G: Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros
H: Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana
I: Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)
J: Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea
K: Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia
L: Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho
Did not enter: Eritrea and Somalia