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21.10.2005 Football News

Black Stars to rekindle rivalry with Nigeria

By GNA
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Accra, Oct 21, GNA - Ghana's Black Stars have been handed another reason to rekindle its rivalry with the Super Eagles of Nigeria as they clash in a group opener in the next African Nations Cup slated for Egypt.

The Ghanaians were on Thursday housed alongside Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Senegal in Group D in a draw in Cairo.

The group classified as the second toughest side have three West Africans and a Southern African.

The last time Ghana and Nigeria meet at a similar event was at the Mali 2002 event where a second half long drive by Garba Lawal sent the Stars packing never to return in the next tourney in Tunisia. The Nigerians however enters this competition as runners up in the Tunisia tournament where they sold out a classy performance. Whilst the Stars who made history earlier in the month by qualifying to their maiden World Cup appearance would be on a revenge mission, the Nigerians would be aiming at making impression at the competition after failing to make it to the Germany event.

The Stars like the two other West Africans are considered as tough customers with Zimbabwe seen as the weakest in the pool. Among the four, the Stars remain the only team to have finished on top of the qualifiers, which granted them automatic qualification to the world soccer summit in Germany and the Nations Cup as well.

Both Nigeria and Senegal finished behind Angola and Togo respectively in the qualifiers to ensure only a place in the 16-nation competition, which commences in January. Interestingly, both Ghana and Nigeria are still holding on to the most of the players that met each other in Mali.

By the rules, the two top teams in each group advances to the next stage of the championship.

In the other pairings, Group A considered as the toughest has host Egypt, Libya, high-flying Ivory Coast and Morocco. Cameroon, Angola, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo complete Group B.

Defending champions, Tunisia open their defence against Zambia in Group C, which include Guinea and South Africa.

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