the race continues in Africa!






© JAVIER SORIANO / AFP


Lis 3e and 4e qualifying days for the 2022 World Cup gave more information on the outcome of this second qualifying round. If some teams have already taken serious options on qualifying, the last two days promise decisive shocks in many groups. Suspense guaranteed in perspective.

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the Senegal and the Morocco already qualified

No less than four teams have either validated their ticket for the play-offs or have widened a significant gap before starting the last two days of this second round. Senegal, opposed to Namibia, has been able to ensure the essential of this double confrontation (victories 4-1 and 1-3) despite notable difficulties on the defensive level. Former Angers striker Famara Diedhiou stood out in the absence of Boulaye Dia with four goals scored, including a hat-trick in the return match played in South Africa. This is his second triplet in selection after that achieved against Eswatini in the CAN qualifiers, and he brings his total in selection to nine goals, second top scorer in activity behind Sadio Mané, more decisive since his positioning in support of the attacker.

Morocco, hosting many countries that do not have stadiums to the standards imposed by CAF, played its three home games, including the late match against the Guinea due to be played in Conakry, postponed due to the political situation in the country. Also opposed to Guinea-Bissau, hard hit by food poisoning, the teammates of Parisian Achraf Hakimi gleaned nine points with three large victories and built up confidence despite the exclusion of Hakim Ziyech from the group.

L’Egypt and Tunisia are playing big

Tunisia, which seems invigorated since the arrival of coach Mondher Kebaier after CAN 2019, is comfortably installed in the first position of group B with three victories, a draw, zero goals conceded and a convincing collective expression. A simple draw against Equatorial Guinea (2e with seven points) during the next day should be enough for him to validate his ticket for the final round of these qualifiers. For his debut on the bench of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Carlos Queiroz secured his entry with two victories over Libya, who were in first place in the group after their two victories, repositioning them to the first position in the group with four points ahead. . In a similar position, Nigeria, leaders of their group, need a victory to secure their place at the play-offs. The Super Eagles got slightly in trouble following their loss to the Central African Republic.

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Algeria-Burkina, Ivory Coast-Cameroon and Ghana-South Africa: decisive posters

We should know the outcome for groups A, D and G on the last day. As expected, Algeria and Burkina Faso held their rank against Niger (wide 6-1 and 0-4 successes for the African champions) and Djibouti (0-4 and 2-0 wins). The African champions come with these two results to bring their unbeaten streak to 31, passing the 6e place in the best series in history, overtaking France (1994-1996) and Italy (1935-1939), while Lyon striker Islam Slimani enters even more into the history of Algerian football by becoming the top scorer in the history of the selection with 37 achievements.

Côte d’Ivoire almost scared itself and gave up its leadership position in Cameroon (double winner of Mozambique 3-1 then 0-1) by narrowly winning against Malawi in a match relocated to Benin, after s ‘be imposed more easily (1-3) during the first leg played in Soweto. Ghana, following the change of coach which coincides with the return of Serbian Milovan Rajevac, quarter-finalist of the 2010 World Cup with the Black Stars, seems to find new sensations.

Strong choices marked his return to the bench like his decision to place André Ayew on the substitutes’ bench in the second leg against Zimbabwe, a way to mark its territory. Rajevac also decides to rely on young talents like the very precocious Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, only 17 years old, elected best player of the CAN U20 at the beginning of the year and playing in the country. Announced on his way to Sporting Portugal, this great hope of African football, trained at Steadfast (club of 2e Ghanaian division), will remain in the country until the age of majority and will probably play on the side of Dreams FC in 1re division of the Ghanaian championship, before joining Europe. With a still difficult trip to Ethiopia (at altitude) and a reception from South Africa (first with a point ahead of Ghana) on the final day, the Black Stars have their destiny in their hands. Finally, Mali, appearing in first place in its group with two points ahead of Uganda, will have to make a faultless during the last two days to reassure themselves and confirm their presence in the next round.

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A three-way race in Group J

Benin and Tanzania, both tied, followed by DR Congo, third with two points behind, are engaged in a race that will run until the last moments. Benin, after their victory in Dar Es Salam (0-1), missed the opportunity to drive home the point when the same Tanzania received at home (0-1 defeat to the Taifa Stars), while the DRC, which could take advantage of the situation to regain first place, lost in Madagascar. There is no doubt that the next two days will be the occasion for a long-distance fight with in particular a Tanzania-DRC duel, during 5e day, and a DRC-Benin, on the last day. For Tanzania and Benin, qualifying for the dams would be an unprecedented feat.

Note that the ten qualified teams will be distributed according to their position in the CAF classification for the draw for the play-offs: the five best classified will be in the first hat and will not be able to compete and five other teams will be in the second.

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