Libya, Ethiopia face off in Group C
Libya and Ethiopia will look to start their 2014 African Nations Championship on a positive note when they meet in a Group C encounter at the Free State Stadium on Monday night, kick-off at 20h00.
The Greens of Libya return to the tournament for the second time after taking part in the inaugural tournament in 2009, where they failed to make it past the group stage.
They failed to qualify for the 2011 edition as they were eliminated by Nigeria on away goals rule.
The Mediterranean Knights were handed automatic qualification this time around after Algeria withdrew from the tournament but striker Ali Taher Elhadi believes they have a squad that is good enough to compete.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know the other teams but we are confident that we will do well in this competition,Ã¢â‚¬Â he told reporters.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have a lot of new faces in our team as well but we are confident that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have a good tournament.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia reached will be making their debut at the tournament as they look to build on their recent success.
Sewnet BishawÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s side took part in 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and were on the brink of qualifying for the 2014 Fifa World Cup before they were knocked out by Nigeria.
They have retained eleven players from the squad which participated in last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Afcon, making them one of the teams to watch.
They reached this stage of the competition by beating Rwanda 6-5 on penalties after the two legged tie was deadlocked at 1-1.
“For us almost all our players are home based. We have two or three players who play outside of their country,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bishaw told reporters.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Their absence makes little difference for the current team.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The other teams in Group C are Ghana and Congo, who will face each other at the same venue on Monday afternoon.