One of the wildest tournaments in world soccer opens up Saturday with the final game of the day featuring Angola as it faces former African champion Morocco at 2pm EST.Morocco used to be one of the best squads on the continent but has struggled in this competition over the last decade. With the exception of 2004, in which it surprised everyone by finishing as runners-up to bitter rival in Tunisia, Morocco has only made it past the first round twice in the last 12 Cups; it didn't even qualify to the competition for four of those.
Still, Morocco's reputation has seen it generate favourable odds by bettors, who are enamoured with its showings back in the mid 90's in addition to the excellent play of Younes Belhanda - who led Montpellier to its first ever Ligue 1 title last season.
But with new manager Rachid Taoussi at the helm of the ship, the feeling is that Morocco appears to be confident again and is looked at as a dark horse that could win the group, which is paying odds of 2.75. To do that it'll have to go through host South Africa, tournament debuntant Cape Verde, and its opponents today: Angola.
To win the tournament outright, Morocco is being issued at 17.00, and to win its opening match the odds are at 2.15.
The draw offering is sitting at 3.10 over at Uwin.com.
Angola will be listed as the home side in this game and is not being considered as a contender in the competition. And why not? It has never made it past the quarter-final stage and was eliminated on goal difference to Sudan in the previous tournament. Uwin.com has Angola at 41.00 to lift its first ever trophy, while to win the group it can be taken at a heavy 8.00.
But this is a team that could make some noise given the recent run of results it has posted. The team is unbeaten in its last six games, including a pair of wins -- one of which was against last year's tournament champions Zambia. La Liga's Manucho is the man Angola will look to for goals as he finished as the co-winner of the last Cup tournament scoring title, and if Uruguyan coach Gustavo Ferrin can get the team defensively sound, it could indeed etch out a win. The victory would pay 3.40.
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