Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) "The Elephants" (Group C)The Ivory Coast drew a tough group and this is the country's debut in the World Cup. Nevertheless, they do have one of the world's best players -- Didier Drogba. And out of all 5 African nations, the Ivory Coast is probably the best team. To qualify for the World Cup they beat Egypt (this year's Africa Cup of Nations winner) and Cameroon. The pundits think if the Ivory Coast can get through the first round they should be able to make it to the quarter finals.
Cote d'Ivoire play Argentina in Hamburg on 10 June
Cote d'Ivoire play Netherlands in Stuttgart on 16 June
Cote d'Ivoire play Serbia & Montenegro in Munich on 21 June
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Angola "The Black Impalas" (Group D)Angola beat one of Africa's strongest teams in their group, Nigeria, to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Much of the credit goes to their coach, Goncalves for getting them there. While Angola isn't expected to get beyond the first round it's just wonderful for Angola to have made it this far since the country has just recently pulled itself out of a horrific civil war which lasted for 27 years.
Angola play Portugal in Cologne on 11 June
Angola play Mexico in Hanover on 16 June
Angola play Iran in Leipzig on 21 June
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Ghana "The Black Stars" (Group E)Ghana has some excellent young players and a lot of enthusiasm but this is their first visit to the World Cup and nerves have let the team down before. The Ghanaian team is led by Serbian coach Dujkovic who has a lot of experience coaching national teams including Venezuela, Myanmar and Rwanda.
While a long shot to win the title, Ghana could be one of those teams that upsets the favorites in their group. Their performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in January was disappointing but many feel this was due to the loss of two key players to injury; the team captain Stephen Appiah and midfielder Mickael Essien.
Ghana play Italy in Hanover on June 12.
Ghana play the Czech Republic in Cologne on June 17.
Ghana play the United States in Nuremberg on June 22.
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Togo "The Sparrow Hawks" (Group G)Togo surprised many by qualifying for the World Cup especially since they beat Senegal (who made it to the quarter-finals in 2002). Their success was largely due to their striker, Emmanuel Adebayor who scored 11 goals during the qualifying rounds. Unfortunately Togo had an abysmal Africa Cup of Nations in January, losing all their matches so confidence is low going into the World Cup. Hopefully an early win will boost their spirits, but just making it this far is already a great achievement for this small West African nation.
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Togo play South Korea in Frankfurt on 13 June
Togo play Switzerland in Dortmund on 19 June
Togo play France in Cologne on 23 June
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Tunisia "The Eagles of Carthage" (Group H)Tunisia have appeared in the World Cup three times previously (1978, 1998, 2002) but they've never made it past the first round. Perhaps under the steady hand of coach Roger Lemerre, 2006 could be their year. They have a strong squad led by the excellent Brazilian-born striker Dos Santos. Tunisia won the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations with almost the same team. If they can control their nerves on the world stage they at least have a good chance of making it to the second round.
Tunisia play Saudi Arabia in Munich on 14 June
Tunisia play Spain in Stuttgart on 19 June
Tunisia play Ukraine in Berlin on 23 June
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