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Date: 24 March 2019

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Topping Group A, Zim's only qualification hope

[Posted 05 Sep 2011]
[By Beezsports Editor]
Zimbabwe meet Cape Verde in their final match in Praia in October in a crucial quailifier

Resurgent Zimbabwean Warriors have only one option left to qualify for the Equatorial Guinea/Gabon 2012 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, that is, emerging top in a tight Group A, since qualification as one of the best second placed sides is completely out.

Zimbabwe brightened their chances of qualification with a clinical demolition of visiting Liberia at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday, to move to second place on the log, with eight points from five matches, and a healthy plus three goal difference.

Mali, who, like Zimbabwe were slow to get out of their shell in this campaign, beat former group leaders Cape Verde 3-0 to climb to the top of the group and place the destiny of this fiercely contested group firmly into their hands now.

Closest rivals Zimbabwe need to win by any margin in Praia against Cape Verde, and hope that Liberia does them a favour by holding or even beating Mali in Monrovia on the final day of the qualifiers, on October 8.

Qualifying as the one of the second best placed teams looks like it is beyond Zimbabwe as things stand in other groups.

In Group I, the second placed team Sudan is sitting on 13 points already, second only because of an inferior goal difference of plus seven to Ghana's plus ten, and will play the last match of the group at home against Ghana on 8 October.  

In Group B, the second placed team Nigeria, is sitting on 10 points, a goal difference of plus seven goals and will play their final match at home against group leaders Guinea, who lead the group with 13 points and a goal difference of plus eight.

Should Nigeria beat Guinea at home in October by any margin, the permutations are that the second placed team in that group will end the campaign with 13 points, beyond the reach of Zimbabwe in Group A, even if the Warriors finish behind Mali with 11 points and any goal difference.

It therefore looks likely that two groups will have second-placed teams who would have amassed 13 points or more by the end of the day on October 8.

Zimbabwe's only hope then lies in the country topping Group A at the end of the campaign. That scenario is possible if the Warriors beat Cape Verde in Praia and Liberia hold or defeat Mali in Monrovia on the same day. 


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