Reverse games set to provide more thrills and spills

Reverse games set to provide more thrills and spills
Morocco players warm up

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 09, 2021. 10:00

Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying tournament continues through Saturday 9 to Tuesday 12 October with 20 Matchday 4 fixtures across the continent.

These ‘reverse’ games of Matchday 3 which could well prove decisive in determining several of the 10 group winners which will advance into the final playoff round next year.

The action gets underway on Saturday 9 October and features two Group I clashes, with Guinea at ‘home’ to Sudan in Agadir and chasing their first win, as well as Morocco looking to keep up their 100 percent record with an ‘away’ win over Guinea-Bissau in Casablanca.

The Atlas Lions thrashed their opponents 5-0 in Rabat on Wednesday and will be hoping for a repeat to put one foot in the next round of qualification.

“The players had a good game and were very efficient. I had said that we were going to regain our level and go up the slope. I am happy for the team, but also for the supporters who have been waiting for this great victory for a long time,” said Morocco manager Vahid Halihodzic. “We could have done better, but 5-0 is still exceptional in the World Cup qualifiers.”

Sunday 10 October is a busy day across the continent, but most eyes will be focused on Nigeria’s away match against the Central African Republic, with the Super Eagles looking to avenge a shock 1-0 home loss at the hands of the Wild Beasts in an effort to wrestle back control of Group C.

Another key clash sees Uganda and Rwanda meet in an east African derby, with Cranes captain Khalid Aucho backing his team to claim victory on home soil in Entebbe and complete a double over the Amavubi.

“We have played many derbies and won,” said Aucho. “We are not under any pressure but we want to win the game. The players are strong and ready for the game against Rwanda. The young players in the team are like babies taking their first steps to walk. They want to prove a point and are willing to deliver for the Uganda Cranes and make the fans happy.”

Monday 11 October is headlined by Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Egypt, who will face Mozambique, Malawi and Libya in respective key matches, while Tuesday 12 October will see South Africa host Ethiopia in the return game in Group G – a match at FNB Stadium which will see supporters, in limited numbers, returning for the first time in SA since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic back in March 2020.

“It will be a marvel to see fans back in the stands,” said South African FA president Danny Jordaan, who added: “Bafana Bafana are the hearts and emotions of South African fans […] The hope they bring and the smiles they can put on the faces of the fans is special to see.”

Tuesday also features heavyweights Ghana, Algeria and Senegal in action, as well as a catch-up match from the first block of fixtures last month, with Guinea ‘hosting’ Morocco in Agadir after the fixture was delayed due to the military coup in the West African country.

Africa WCQ, Group Stage Matchday 4 fixtures

All times CAT

Saturday 9 October

15:00: Guinea v Sudan

21:00: Guinea-Bissau v Morocco

Sunday 10 October

15:00: Central African Republic v Nigeria

15:00: Kenya v Mali

15:00: Uganda v Rwanda

15:00: Benin v Tanzania

18:00: Zambia v Equatorial Guinea

18:00: Cape Verde v Liberia

18:00: Madagascar v DR Congo

21:00: Mauritania v Tunisia

Monday 11 October

15:00: Mozambique v Cameroon

15:00: Gabon v Angola

18:00: Burkina Faso v Djibouti

18:00: Ivory Coast v Malawi

21:00: Libya v Egypt

Tuesday 12 October

15:00: Zimbabwe v Ghana

15:00: Namibia v Senegal

18:00: Niger v Algeria

18:00: South Africa v Ethiopia

18:00: Congo v Togo

21:00 Guinea v Morocco (rescheduled from Matchday 2)

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