2022 WCQ: Four teams set to advance into group phase

2022 WCQ: Four teams set to advance into group phase
Jane Thaba-Ntso of Lesotho during the 2019 Cosafa Cup

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 08, 2019. 09:00

The first four teams to secure qualification from the first round of Africa’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers will be revealed on Sunday, with matches in Maseru, Dar Es Salaam, Malabo and Freetown.

The action opens in mid-afternoon with two delicately-poised ties. Lesotho host Ethiopia in Maseru with the tie locked at 0-0 after the first leg in Bahir Dar last Wednesday. If Likuena can get the better of the Wayla Antelopes on home soil, it would represent a major early achievement for new coach Thabo Senong.

In Dar Es Salaam Tanzania hold the edge for their East African derby with Burundi. The first match in Bujumbura last week ended 1-1, with Simon Msuva scoring a potentially decisive away goal for the Taifa Stars. If they can keep a clean sheet, then progression is guaranteed.

The first of two early-evening games comes from Malabo, where Equatorial Guinea are in a similar situation against South Sudan. A 1-1 draw in Omdurman (featuring a strike from Nzalang Nacional’s Luis Meseguer and an own goal from Niko Kata) leaves them in a strong position to push for a place in the next phase.

Sunday’s action wraps up in Freetown, where Liberia take a 3-1 lead to face hosts Sierra Leone. Goals from Terrence Tisdell, Mohammed Sangare and Sam Johnson have left Peter Butler’s side within touching distance of progression, but they will still need to resist any attempt at a comeback from the hosts at Siaka Stevens Stadium.

2022 World Cup qualifiers – CAF first round, second-leg matches

Sunday 8 September – Times CAT, aggregate score in parenthesis

15:00: Lesotho v Ethiopia (0-0)

15:00: Tanzania v Burundi (1-1)

18:00: Equatorial Guinea v South Sudan (1-1)

18:30: Sierra Leone v Liberia (1-3)

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