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Sports Features of Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Source: Mark Gleeson in Cape Town

AFCON 2013 Profile: Niger

  • Key player: Moussa Maazou (Etoile du Sahel)
  • Coach: Gernot Rohr (Germany)
  • World rank: 105
  • AFCON Winners: 0
  • Runners-up: 0
  • World Cup appearances: 0

  • AFCON 2013 Fixtures: Group B
    • Mali vs. Niger 20/01/2013 Nelson Mandela Bay
    • Niger vs. DR Congo 24/01/2013 Nelson Mandela Bay
    • Niger vs. Ghana 28/01/2013 Nelson Mandela Bay

COACH:
Gernot Rohr guided co-hosts Gabon to the quarter-finals of the last Nations Cup, where they were unlucky to lose on penalties. He took over the Niger job in September. The 59-year-old played at Bayern Munich and Girondins Bordeaux and then coached Bordeaux when they lost to Bayern in the 1996 UEFA Cup final.

KEY PLAYERS:
Moussa Maazou (Etoile Sahel) Age: 24. Pos: Forward
Bulldozing forward whose has been the country's highest profile export to Europe, playing at Bordeaux, Monaco, Le Mans, CSKA Moscow and lastly in Belgium, but unable to pin down a long term contract. He has now moved to Tunisia in the hopes of restoring his club career.

Daouda Kassaly (Chippa United). Age: 29 Pos: Goalkeeper
Played for Cameroon club Coton Sport in the 2007 African Champions League final and won four league titles with the club. Before he was also a national champion in Niger with Sahel SC. He moved to the South African league in 2012 to join newly promoted Chippa United of Cape Town.

Kamilou Daouda (JS Saoura). Age: 25 Pos: Forward

Well-travelled striker who has played at clubs in Cameroon, Libya, Tunisia and, since July, with the newly promoted JS Saoura in the top flight of Algerian football. Had his best spell at Al Ittihad in Libya but was forced to flee when the league stopped there in March 2011 because of the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

PROSPECT
Niger were evidently out of their depth at the 2012 finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, where they made their Nations Cup debut but lost all three first round group games. They again had good fortune in the 2013 qualifiers and surprisingly return for a second successive tournament but without the prospect of bettering their performance of 12 months ago.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Toldo Alzouma (Garde Nationale), Daouda Kassaly (Chippa United), Rabo Saminou (Sahel SC)

Defenders: Ismael Alassane (Mangasport), Mohamed Bachar (AS Douanes), Mohamed Chicoto (AS Marsa), Kourouma Fatokouma (Chabab Al Hociema), Lucky James (AS Douanes), Koffi Dan Kowa (ES Zarzis), Kader Amadou Dodo (Olympic), Issiaka Koudize (Garde Nationale), Mohamed Soumaila (Olympic)

Midfielders: Moutari Amadou (FC Mans), Issoufou Boubacar (unattached), Karim Lancina (unattached), Abdoul Idrissa Laouali (Mangasport), William Ngounou (IF Limhamn Bunkeflo), Souleymane Sakou (Olympic), Boubacar Talatou (Thanda Royal Zulu)

Forwards: Issoufou Alhassane (Wydad Fes), Kamilou Daouda (JS Saoura), Moussa Maazou (Etoile Sahel), Modibo Sidibe


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