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Date: 21 July 2017

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Decision time for remaining AFCON slots

[Posted 04 Oct 2011]
[By cafonline.com]
Decision time for remaining AFCON slots

The remaining 10 slots for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations will be decided this weekend after the final round of matches of the qualifying series. It will be a 90-minute of happiness or despair for the 24 teams in contention for the remaining slots to complete the roll call of the qualified teams.

Ahead of the final round of matches, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Burkina Faso have wrapped up their tickets alongside co-hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for the 28th edition of the continental showpiece football event.

It is an open secret that holders and seven-time winners, Egypt will not be around at next year’s event to defend their title and several big guns find themselves in similar situations in their quest to reach the continental finals. The synonymous feature with all the 11 groups is that there are at least two teams vying for places at the final.

In Group A, it is a three-horse race between leaders Mali, Zimbabwe and Cape Verde. The Eagles of Mali will be away in Monrovia to the Lone Stars of Liberia, whilst Cape Verde and Zimbabwe lock horns in Praia.

Two-time African champions, Super Eagles of Nigeria face Group B leaders Guinea in a crucial fixture in Abuja in an encounter that the hosts need nothing short of victory to ensure the realisation of their dreams. The Guineans will qualify automatically as group winners by avoiding a loss after a lone goal victory in the reverse fixture last October. Elsewhere in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will clash with Madagascar in an encounter that the outcome will boost their standings.

In Lusaka, Zambia will host Libya in the battle for top spot of Group C. The Chipolopolos have 12 points, one point richer than the Greens of Libya, who are seeking to reach the finals for the first time since 2006. Mozambique will engage Comoros in the other Group C clash in Maputo.

For Group D, all four teams, Morocco, Central Africa Republic, Tanzania and Algeria stand a chance of qualifying. In Marrakech, the Atlas Lions of Morocco will be hoping to complete a double over Tanzania’s Taifa Stars to seal qualification whilst Algeria and Central Africa Republic battle it out in the other group clash.

The Teranga Lions of Senegal have already qualified from Group E but the race to finish amongst the two best runners-up rages on. DR Congo will face Cameroon in Kinshasa on Friday before Senegal will seek to consolidate their place at the summit against Mauritius 48-hours later.

In Group F, Burkina Faso travel to Banjul to face Gambia in the only fixture of the three-team group.

Group G surprise leaders Niger are eyeing their first appearance at the flagship African football tourney and that dream will only bear fruit with victory against Egypt in Cairo. South Africa and Sierra Leone, both also in contention will slug it out in the other Group G clash in Nelspruit. 

The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire are highly tipped to maintain their hundred percent record in Group H against Burundi in Abidjan. The 1992 African champions remains the only side to have won all five matches in the qualifying series. In Cotonou, Benin will come up against whipping boys, Rwanda.

The action as far as Group I is concerned will be in Khartoum where Sudan squares up Ghana. Both teams have 13 points apiece are looking forward to the group winners position to qualify automatically. The reverse fixture held in Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi ended barren.

Bottom-placed Swaziland will face Congo in the other Group I match in Mbabane.

 The Cranes of Uganda are closest to qualifying for their first Africa Cup of Nations since 1978 as they host CECAFA neighbours Kenya in Kampala in Group J.  Uganda needs nothing short of victory to realise qualification whilst Kenya has slim chance of going through, with three-points adrift of the Cranes.  Angola’s Palancas Negras will be away to Guinea Bissau in the other Group J match in Bissau.

 In Group K, Tunisia will face Togo in Tunis whilst Chad sorts things out with Malawi in N’djamena. The outcome of the matches will determine who qualifies alongside group winners Botswana, with Tunisia and Malawi in contention.

 For Malawi, victory will be enough to ensure their second successive qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations.

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