There will be plenty to play for as the final round of qualifiers ahead of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire will be played the continent this weekend.
A number of teams including the Super Eagles of Nigeria have already booked their places at the next continental showpiece, while some groups are yet to be concluded.
Last round of the AFCON qualifiers. 🌍⚽️
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— Micky Jnr ✪ (@MickyJnr__) September 6, 2023
Group A has already been decided with Nigeria and Guinea Bissau through to play in the Côte d’Ivoire tournament. Like Group A, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde made it to Africa’s biggest football showpiece, while Togo and Eswatini missed out on the opportunity.
Past winners, Egypt and Guinea have also made it out to the AFCON finals from Group D of the qualifiers. Other teams that have qualified include; Algeria, Mali, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia, South Africa, Senegal, and Morocco.
Some key games where there is a lot to play for have been highlighted below.
In this three-team group, Namibia (5 points), Burundi (4 points) and Cameroon (4 points) are all within a good chance of qualifying. Cameroon and Burundi face off in the decider, and Namibia will be hoping that the two teams cancel each other out in order to make it to the AFCON finals.
Madagascar are bottom of the group and have been knocked out, but the other three teams – Ghana (9 points), Angola (8 points) and the Central African Republic (7 points) – are vying for two slots in order to be in Cote d’Ivoire.
The Black Stars, who sit top of the group with nine points, could be eliminated on goal difference if Angola can beat Madagascar and the Ghanaians lose at home in Kumasi.
2021 champions Algeria have booked their place in Côte d’Ivoire from this AFCON qualifiers group, while the second place is still there for the taking between Tanzania and Uganda.
Uganda must beat Niger and hope Tanzania slip up in Algeria. Even then, Uganda will need a big win to qualify at the expense of Tanzania.
Mali have booked their spot in Cote d’Ivoire, while the second place will be decided between Gambia (9 points) and Congo (6 points). The Gambia host Congo on the final matchday. Congo must win to qualify, while a draw is enough to take the Scorpions through.
This is where drama resides, as all four teams could make it to the tournament next year. DR Congo (9 points), Mauritania (7 points), Gabon (7 points), and Sudan (6 points) can all book a ticket to Cote d’Ivoire.
DR Congo have their fate in their hands as a win against Sudan will confirm their qualification. In the event of a draw, the two opponents will have to wait for the result between Gabon and Mauritania, while the winner of the match will take the other ticket.
The second spot in the group will be decided between Mozambique (7 points) and Benin (5 points). Mozambique, who are at home against Benin, need just a point to qualify. Rwanda who are on two points have been eliminated.