Who will join Senegal and Morocco?

Who will join Senegal and Morocco?

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 10, 2021. 10:00

With Senegal and Morocco safely through the next round of 2022 World Cup Qualification, Matchdays 5 and 6 of the group stage – running from Thursday 11 to Tuesday 16 November – will decide the other eight teams which will secure progression into next year’s playoffs.


The Teranga Lions and Atlas Lions are guaranteed to finish top of Groups H and I respectively, and the teams looking good to join them are Tunisia (three-points lead in Group B), Nigeria (two point-lead in Group C), Mali (two-point lead in Group E), and Egypt (four-point lead Group F).


The other groups are all too close to call, including Group A where Algeria and Burkina Faso are level on 10 points and their Matchday 6 showdown in Blida on November 16 looks likely to be the decider.


Fennec Foxes coach Djamel Belmadi has been criticised in the Algerian media for persisting with the same core players, though he insists that he has not had the chance to experiment in recent times.


“As soon as we come it’s either for qualifying or for a competition. There is never a match for [experimentation],” he explained.


“You can never really have the chance to try in Africa. When we take a player, we try to make mistakes as little as possible.


“It must correspond as quickly as possible to our way of playing. The margin of failure must be as small as possible.”


Group D has the Ivory Coast with a one-point lead over fellow heavyweight Cameroon, but the Indomitable will have home advantage against the Elephants when the teams meet on Matchday 6 in Douala on November 16.


It’s a similar story in Group G, where South Africa are one point ahead of Ghana, but the teams will meet on the Black Stars’ home soil in Cape Coast on the evening of Sunday 14 November for a Matchday 6 clash which looks set to be key – unless Ethiopia can stymie the West Africans on Thursday afternoon and Bafana Bafana beat Zimbabwe later the same day.


“We have to focus on the fact that we have to win [the first match against Zimbabwe],” said SA coach Hugo Broos. “If we don’t win the game, what importance can the game in Ghana have? We need to be there with one point ahead, maybe more. Ghana have the pressure to win against us, so we have the pressure to win against Zimbabwe.”


Finally, Group J sees all four teams still in with a chance: Tanzania and Benin top the standings with seven points each, but DR Congo are just two points further back and even Madagascar, on three points, could yet leapfrog to the top if they manage victories away to the Squirrels and at home to the Taifa Stars.


The 10 group winners will advance into the final playoff round, with five two-legged ties to be played in March next year, the winners of which will qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


Africa World Cup Qualifying fixtures, 11-16 November


Times CAT


Thursday 11 November


15:00: Uganda v Kenya

15:00: Ethiopia v Ghana

15:00: Tanzania v DR Congo

18:00: Rwanda v Mali

18:00: Congo v Namibia

18:00: Benin v Madagascar

21:00: South Africa v Zimbabwe

21:00: Togo v Senegal


Friday 12 November


15:00: Djibouti v Algeria

15:00: Burkina Faso v Niger

18:00: Gabon v Libya

18:00: Guinea v Guinea-Bissua

21:00: Angola v Egypt

21:00: Sudan v Morocco


Saturday 13 November


15:00: Zambia v Mauritania

15:00: Malawi v Cameroon

18:00: Equatorial Guinea v Tunisia

18:00: Liberia v Nigeria

18:00: Cape Verde Islands v Central African Republic

21:00: Ivory Coast v Mozambique


Sunday 14 November


15:00: Zimbabwe v Ethiopia

15:00: DR Congo v Benin

15:00: Madagascar v Tanzania

18:00: Mali v Uganda

21:00: Ghana v South Africa

21:00: Senegal v Congo


Monday 15 November


15:00: Kenya v Rwanda

15:00: Namibia v Togo

18:00: Niger v Djibouti

18:00: Guinea-Bissau v Sudan


Tuesday 16 November


15:00: Mozambique v Malawi

15:00: Egypt v Gabon

15:00: Libya v Angola

18:00: Algeria v Burkina Faso

18:00: Nigeria v Cape Verde

18:00: Liberia v Central Africa Republic

21:00: Tunisia v Zambia

21:00: Mauritania v Equatorial Guinea

21:00: Cameroon v Ivory Coast

21:00: Morocco v Guinea


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