Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Complete Schedule and Preview for Day 5 Matches

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Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Complete Schedule and Preview for Day 5 Matches
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With the exception of the host nation being involved in the action, day one of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations was a dud in the excitement department.

South Africa and Cape Verde Islands played to a draw in the first match of the tournament, and Angola and Morocco followed that up with a draw of their own. That being said, Group A is wide open, and Wednesday's matches will be a deciding factor towards who moves on and who is eliminated at the end of pool play.

These four teams will square off against each other once more, with South Africa again expected to receive plenty of Bafana Bafana chants as the action continues. Morocco still figures to be the favorite from this group and can claim its place as the clear-cut frontrunners with three points against Cape Verde.

Here's a look at when and where you can catch all the action for these Jan. 23 matches, as the Cup of Nations is in full swing and the action won't slow down until Feb. 11.

 

Where: Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa

When: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET — Wednesday, Jan. 23

Watch: EuroSport (Live stream only in U.S.)

Live Stream: ESPN3.com

 

South Africa vs. Angola — 10:00 a.m. ET

Bafana Bafana put on a disappointing show against Cape Verde. They didn't attack, defend or play particularly well in front of the best crowd of the tournament so far.

They'll get another chance against Angola, which suffered much of the same against Morocco in the nightcap of the opening day.

The Blue Sharks had the best chance to score on day one against the South Africa side, and the news for Wednesday's match doesn't get any easier. According to Afcon2013 on Twitter, Bafana will be without two players for the match against Angola:

However, striker Katlego Mphela will likely return for South Africa, giving the team some much-needed punch in the scoring department.

Angola will rely on the scoring punch of former Manchester United man Manucho—who had a great header chance fly wide against Morocco on Saturday. He won't be able to miss those chances and keep his team in the tournament with only three matches left in group play.

Look for these teams to get on the board on Wednesday.

 

Morocco vs. Cape Verde Islands — 1:00 p.m. ET

Gallo Images/Getty Images

Younes Belhanda came in off the pine after an early injury kept him from starting the match against Angola, but he'll be counted upon for much of the Moroccan attack on Wednesday.

The Blue Sharks, like Morocco, missed out on some key opportunities to capitalize on the opening day. That won't cut it on Wednesday, as Cape Verde needs to make a statement to move on in this tournament.

Toni Varela and Babanco are both injury possibilities for the Blue Sharks, but that won't stop this pesky squad from staying on the attack against one of the more-feared teams in this year's Cup of Nations.

This match has potential to be the best of the early stages of this tournament, as Cape Verde is clearly no team to take lightly after its 0-0 draw with South Africa. With Belhanda making progress and clearly the biggest threat on Morocco's side, it could come down to his performance in determining who picks up the three points in Group A.

Don't count on another two-draw day from Group A. These teams are hungry and the pre-match jitters are gone. From Bafana on down, the scoring will pick up in South Africa on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.


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