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Themba Hadebe, Associated Press
Niger's soccer fans painted in his national flag colors sings and dance as they awaits the arrival of the team for their African Cup of Nations at the Leon M'ba International Airport in Libreville, Gabon, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012.

LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Morocco coach Eric Gerets had predicted a tournament of surprises at the African Cup of Nations before Equatorial Guinea's dramatic victory and Zambia's shock win over Senegal on the opening night.

The unexpected results will serve as a warning to Morocco ahead of games against co-host Gabon and little-known debutant Niger in Group C.

First, Gerets' team starts against North African rival Tunisia on Monday when the African Cup switches to Gabon and Libreville's Stade de l'Amitie.

The match between familiar opponents takes on added importance with both hoping to be in good position ahead of the tricky encounters later in the first round.

Gabon and first-timer Niger will battle in the group opener to see who will emerge as top underdog and main challenger to the North Africans.