AFCON 2023 Group B guide: Ghana hope to end 41-year drought, Salah’s quest to win at last

The 2023 African Cup of Nations is nearly upon us and Asaase sports previews all the 6 groups in the tournament.

With Senegal looking to defend their title, the 24-team format means the top two from each group will progress to the knockout stages, with the four best third-placed sides joining them.

We will highlight things to keep an eye on from all the 24 nations competing in Cote d’Ivoire.

We move to Group B, which features record holders in Egypt, and four-time winners in Ghana, Mozambique, and Cape Verde.

You can read Group A and Groups C and D will be published later this week.



Egypt is the most successful country in the history of the AFCON with 7 titles.

The Pharaohs are the only team to win the AFCON three-peat (2006, 2008, 2010).

Still, their last title came in 2010, and they missed the 2012, 2013 and 2015 editions. The Pharaohs of Egypt were group D winners in the qualifiers with five wins out of six, scoring 15 goals.

According to Opta Supercomputer, Egypt has an 88% chance of reaching the last 16 and an 8.5% chance of winning its first title in 10 years.

  • Manager; Rui Vitoria(Portugal)
  • Captain: Mohamed Salah(Liverpool)
  • Qualifying record: W5, D0, L1, GF10, GA3.
  • 2021 AFCON: Runners up
  • Average age of squad:28years, 6 months
  • Top scorer in squad: Mohammed Salah(56)
  • Most caps in squad: Mohammed Elneny(96)


Key Players

Led by Mohamed Salah, they lost to Senegal on penalties in the 2021 AFCON final.

This could be Salah’s last chance to win AFCON, so many are hoping for an inspired performance.

Most of their squad plays in the Egyptian Premier League, arguably the best league in Africa.

The likes of Trezeguet (Trabzonspor, Turkey), and Omar Marmoush (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany) complement the Liverpool star. The veteran goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy(35) will also be in the post once again.




Ghana is one of Africa’s major forces in the AFCON. The Black Stars of Ghana have won the Africa Cup of Nations 4 times – in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982 – bettered by Cameroon and Egypt. As the first winner of 3 AFCON tournaments, Ghana obtained the right to permanently hold the trophy in 1978.

Ghana qualified for the tournament after finishing first in Group E with 12 points ahead of Guinea who finished second. The Black Stars won 3 and drew 3 in the 6 games, scoring 8 goals.

According to Opta Supercomputer, Ghana has an 80.9% chance of reaching the round 16 and a 5.3% chance of ending a 41-year trophy drought.

  • Manager; Chris Hughton(Republic of Ireland)
  • Captain: Andre Ayew(Le Havre, France)
  • Qualifying record: W3, D3, L0, GF8, GA3.
  • 2021 AFCON: Group stage
  • Average age of squad:26years, 4 months
  • Top scorer in squad: Andre Ayew(24)
  • Most caps in squad: Andre Ayew(115)


Key Players

André Ayew, the captain could become the third player to appear in eight editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, after Cameroon’s Rigobert Song and Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan. If Ayew scores for Ghana, he will be the first-ever player to score in seven different AFCON tournaments.

With the absence of Arsenal’s Thomas Partey and Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey, Mohammed Kudus(West Ham) is also racing against time to fit and inspire the team.

Other notable players are hoping to make a mark too, Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao, Spain), and Ernest Nuamah (RWD Molenbeek, Belgium).



Cape Verde

Cape Verde are playing in their 4th Africa Cup of Nations tournament after playing in the 2013, 2015, 2021 editions. They reached the quarter-finals in 2013, and they could be the dark horses in Cote d’Ivoire. They reached the Round of 16 in the last edition.

Cape Verde finished behind group B winners Burkina Faso in the qualifying rounds with 10 points, winning 3 out of six. According to Opta Supercomputer, Cape Verde has a 52.9% chance of reaching the last 16 and a 0.9% chance of winning the AFCON.

  • Manager: Pedro Leitão Brito(cape Verde)
  • Captain: Ryan Mendes (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey)
  • Qualifying record: W3, D1, L2, GF8, GA6
  • 2021 AFCON: Did not qualify
  • Average age of squad:28years, 1 month
  • Top scorer in squad: Ryan Mendes(15)
  • Most caps in squad: Ryan Mendes (69)

Key Players

The Blue Sharks scored eight goals in the AFCON qualifying round with eight different scorers. Ryan Mendes(c), Jamiro Monteiro(San Jose Earthquakes,USA), Kevin Pina(FC Krasnodar,Russia), Bebe(Rayo Vallecano, Spain), Gilson Tavarves(Bastia), Cle(C.F. Os Belenenses, Portugal, Joao Paulo Fernandes (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova).



Mozambique are taking part in just their fifth AFCON tournament. They played in the 1986, 1996, 1998, and 2010 editions. They failed to get past the group stages in all those tournaments, and they are in a tough group this time.

The Southern African will need a special effort to get a spot in the Round of 16. The Os Mambas were runners-up in their qualifiers with 10 points behind Senegal with 3 wins in 6 games. Mozambique has a 44.5% chance of reaching the knockout round.

  • Manager; Francisco Queriol Conde, Mozambique)
  • Captain: 40-year-old Elias Domingues Pelembe(UD Songo, Mozambique)
  • Qualifying record: W3, D1, L2,GF8,GA9
  • 2021 AFCON: Group Stage
  • Average age of squad: 27years, 4 months
  • Top scorer in squad: Elias  Pelembe(16)
  • Most caps in squad: Elias Pelembe(106)

Key Players

40 -year old Elias Domingues Pelembe is making his second-only appearance at the AFCON.

Sporting CP’s Geny Catamo will be a player to watch for the Mambas. Atletico Madrid’s Reinildo Mandava will also be required to bring experience to the squad.


Story By; Princeton Wiredu

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