Factbox-Soccer-Profile of Mauritania team for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

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ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Factbox on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Mauritania


Africa Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (2) 2019, 2021

Best performance: Group phase

Drawn in Group D with Algeria, Angola and Burkina Faso

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Coach: Amir Abdou

The 51-year-old social worker from Marseille was asked to assist the Comoros side in 2014 but suddenly thrust into the head coach role when the intended appointee did not take up the post. He then created a Comoros team from the large diaspora in France and took the small island nation’s team to unimaginable heights, culminating in a debut Cup of Nations finals appearance two years ago when they upset Ghana.

After that he took over as Mauritania’s coach and returns for a second successive tournament. Abdou first began coaching in French amateur football.

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Key player: Aboubakary Koita. Age: 25. Forward.

Koita was hoping for a call-up from Senegal, where he was born, but with stiff competition for places he was persuaded to play for Mauritania, where his mother was born. He made his debut in November in World Cup qualifiers. He could have also played for Mali where his father was born, or Belgium, where he was brought up. His 11 goals for St Truiden this season put him among the top five scorers in the Belgian league and his addition to the squad is a major boost for Mauritania, without too many players competing at top flight level in Europe.


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FIFA world ranking Dec 2023: 105

How they qualified: Second placed team in Group I, behind the Democratic Republic of Congo but ahead of Gabon and Sudan.


Goalkeepers: Namori Diaw (Tevragh Zeina), Babacar Niasse (En Avant Guingamp), Mbacké N’Diaye (Nouakchott Kings)

Defenders: Aly Abeid (UTA Arad), Lamine Ba (NK Varazdin), Khadim Diaw (Al Hilal), Nouh Mohamed El Abd (FC Nouadhibou), El Hassen Houeibib (Al Zawraa), Ibrahima Keita (TP Mazembe), Bakary Ndiaye (Al Quwa Al Jawiya), Mohamed Dellah Yali (Al Hedod)

Midfielders: El Hadji Ba, Mouhsine Bodda (both FC Nouadhibou), Bakari Camara (Villefranche-Beaujolais), Sidi Ahmed Mohamed El Abd (Nouakchott Kings), Guessouma Fofana (Doxa Katokopias), Omare Gassama (Chateauroux), Yassin El Welly (US Monastir), Oumar Ngom (Pau)

Forwards: Souleymane Anne (KMSK Deinze), Pape Ibnou Ba (Concarneau), Amar Sidi Bouna (FC Nouadhibou), Souleymane Doukara (Magusa Turk Gucu), Aboubakar Kamara (Al Jazira), Aboubakaray Koita (St Truiden), Hemeya Tanji (Ai Ittihad Tripoli), Idrissa Thiam (Al Mesaimeer).

(Compiled by Mark Gleeson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

– TheStar

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