The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers saw a number of teams put their best foot forward in a bid to secure early tickets to the tournament in the Ivory Coast.
However, others failed to live up to expectations, with their coaches either failing to inspire them or getting their selections and tactics wrong.
GOAL profiles the coaches who failed to impress in the opening rounds of qualifying matches for next year’s tournament.
- Ballon d’Or: Does Mane, Salah, Mahrez, Haller & Oshoala have a chance?
- Men's Ballon d'Or 2022 nominees announced: Benzema leads the way as Messi and Neymar miss out
- Kaizer Chiefs & the Africa Super League: Will Amakhosi miss out?
- Welcome to Man Utd! Inside Ten Hag's turbulent first week of the Premier League season
The Belgian coach was supposed to use the Afcon qualifiers to get his critics off his back following a failure to qualify for the World Cup but seems to have made matters worse. Following a 2-1 loss to Morocco in a match Bafana Bafana were on the backfoot for long periods despite taking an early lead, Broos angered South Africans further by his assertions that the country lacks top talent to compete with their fancied rivals. Broos had set up his side to play on the counter against Morocco, rather than going for the kill, and with those tactics failing to yield victory, he is left clutching at straws against an angry public.
- The News Glory
The former Zamalek coach is the first casualty of the Afcon qualifiers after being sacked on Thursday. Galal was supposed to bring the smile back to Egyptian fans after losing the Afcon final and missing out on World Cup qualification, but he failed to deliver on his first assignment. Egypt laboured to a 1-0 win over Guinea where they required an 87th-minute goal from Mostafa Mohamed to break down their stubborn opponents. Hopes of a better showing in their next match against Ethiopia, who were considered ‘lesser opposition’, disappeared as soon as the match started, the Walya Antelopes making the Pharaohs look average as they comfortably beat them 2-0 in a match they would have won by a bigger margin. Although level on three points with Ethiopia, Malawi and Guinea, the fact that Egypt are bottom of Group D saw Galal dismissed after just three games.
- Getty Images
Cameroon FA president Samuel Eto’o post-match rant after the less-than-convincing 1-0 win against Burundi may have been directed to the players but their coach could not escape the blame. The former Indomitable Lions captain has so far not been able to put together an exciting style of play since he took over after the 2021 Afcon and the laboured win over Burundi was another example. Cameroon looked out of sorts and were unable to come up with a formula to break down the East Africans. Were it not for a Karl Toko Ekambi free-kick, it is possible the match could have ended 0-0.
There were hopes that Micho, as he is fondly known, would start his second stint with Uganda on a positive note but the Cranes find themselves on one point from two matches after losing 2-0 to Algeria and drawing 1-1 with Niger. While victory against Algeria would have been difficult, it is the draw with Niger that left most Uganda fans disappointed with doubts now emerging early whether the Serbian will manage to return the country to the Afcon after missing the last edition in Cameroon. Uganda played the two matches without a plan, lacked cohesion and were brutally exposed by their opponents.
With a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Brighton and Hove Albion’s Enock Mwepu, Leicester City’s Patson Daka and Fashio Sakala of Rangers, Zambians had hoped that Asanovic’s reign will get off to a bright start in a group comprising Ivory Coast, Comoros and Lesotho but that was not to be. Zambia were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by the Ivorians on match-day one after conceding three goals in 22 second-half minutes. Although they won their second match 2-1 against Comoros, it was down to the brilliance of Kings Kangwa who scored a beautiful freekick in the 88th minute to win the match. The Chipolopolo had failed to create clear chances from open play for most of the game after conceding in the 13th minute and will need to improve in their next round of fixtures to avoid missing the Afcon for a fourth straight time.