Qualified teams continue Nations Cup preparation with friendlies

By Mark GleesonSouth Africa
Morocco v Cameroon
Morocco beat 2019 Nations Cup hosts Camerooon 2-0 on Friday as both teams now gear up for international friendlies.

Five of the countries who have already booked their places at the Africa Cup of Nations finals will continue preparations for next year's tournament with friendly internationals on Tuesday.

The weekend's penultimate round of qualifiers for Cameroon 2019 might be out of the way but the hosts along with Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda are all using the international window to fit in another fixture.

Cameroon have a glamour game at Milton Keynes where they take on Brazil.

The reigning African champions will be looking to make a big statement ahead of hosting the Nations Cup, but they will be underdogs against the five time World Cup winners after failing to impress since Clarence Seedorf took over as coach.

Cameroon suffered a 2-0 loss away against Morocco in Casablanca on Friday and have won one of four matches since the arrival of the former Dutch international.

Morroco also play on Tuesday, against fellow north Africans Tunisia at the Rades Stadium on the outskirts of the Tunisian capital, but must do without Hakim Ziyech, who scored the two goals against Cameroon last weekend.

Ziyech suffered a knee injury and has since returned to his club Ajax Amsterdam while Younes Belhanda, who had to go off at half-time against Cameroon with a similar problem, is also ruled out.

Tunisia will have a second game with Maher Kanzari as caretaker coach after the dismissal of Faouzi Benzarti last month.

It is a chance for Kanzari to stake a claim for a permanent appointment, even though they lost 3-2 to Egypt in the Nations Cup qualifiers away on Friday to see their 100 percent record in the preliminaries ended.

Nigeria returned from their 1-1 draw in Johannesburg against South Africa - where they also booked their Nations Cup berth - to Asaba by chartered jet, arriving back on Sunday morning, and have been preparing since to face Uganda on Tuesday.

Nigeria's national team coach warns they shouldn't get carried away with friendly success.
Nigeria's coach Gernot Rohr will use their friendly against Uganda to look at the players who did not feature in their 1-1 draw away to South Africa

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is expected to field many of those who did not get a chance to play at the weekend.

Opponents Uganda secured qualification for a second successive tournament when they beat Cape Verde 1-0 in Kampala on Saturday.

South Africa, who did not secure Nations Cup qualification and must now wait until their last group game in March, have a friendly against Paraguay at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Tuesday's game is expected to also see many changes to the line-up although coach Stuart Baxter needs a morale boosting win to keep his critics at bay.

Paraguay arrived in Durban last Thursday and have plenty of time to prepare as they play a first game under new coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

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