U23 Cup of Nations: Draw for Olympic qualifiers completed

The Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations trophy

Egypt have been handed a tough draw as they bid to reach the men's Olympic football tournament for a twelfth time in Brazil next year.

They will face Algeria, Mali and Nigeria in Group B of the Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal from 28 November to 12 December.

Hosts Senegal will play South Africa, Zambia and Tunisia in Group A.

Only the top three sides at the tournament will qualify for next year's Games in Rio.

Draw for Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations:
Group A: Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, Tunisia
Group B: Egypt, Algeria, Mali, Nigeria

At the first ever African under-23 championship in Morocco in 2011 Senegal, who finished fourth, beat Oman in a play-off to earn a place at the Olympics.

There is no play-off spot available this time around.

Egypt and Senegal are the only sides in the last eight who played in the 2012 Olympics in London, where they both lost in the quarter-finals.

Gabon won the inaugural tournament in 2011 with a 2-1 win over hosts Morocco, while Egypt claimed the third automatic place.

Despite having played at a record 11 Olympics the Egyptians' loss in the last eight in London is their best performance.

Nigeria are the most successful African side at the Olympics having won gold in 1996 in USA and silver eight years later in China.

Cameroon are the only other team from the continent to have won gold when they were victorious in 2000 while Ghana claimed bronze in 1992.

Qualifying for the Olympics is restricted to players born on or after 1 January 1993, i.e. under 23 years of age but each nation can call up a maximum of three overage players for the finals.

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