Wednesday Jun 14, 2023. 11:00
Guinea and Egypt will both be looking to seal a ticket for the next Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) when they meet in one of three Matchday 5 qualifiers played on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 14 June 2023.
The Syli National and the Pharaohs are slated to meet at the Marrakesh Stadium in a night game – due a lack of CAF-approved venues in the West African nation.
The teams are level at the top of Group D on nine points each and a draw would mathematically guarantee qualification for both – though Guinea would surely like to avenge a narrow 1-0 loss to the North Africans when they met on Matchday 1 in Cairo a year ago.
Pharaohs coach Rui Vitoria has named a squad featuring star man Mohamed Salah, as well as five uncapped players, but they will be without the injured Tarek Hamed and Ahmed Hegazy.
Wednesday’s action gets underway in the afternoon in Ismaila, Egypt, with a crunch Group G clash between South Sudan and Gambia.
The Scorpions (who are chasing a second AFCON qualification) need a win to join Mali at the top of the log on nine points, which would put major pressure on the Eagles and Congo (currently the top two) ahead of their meeting in Brazzaville on Sunday 18 June.
“We are at the moment in a good position to qualify again, but the only problem is that we can’t play our home matches at home,” said Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet.
“It depends on Mali taking some points off Congo Brazzaville and we win against South Sudan. It’s possible, but it will be for me a miracle.
“If we can qualify two times consecutively for a country of about two million people, without a professional local league and few players in Europe, it will be amazing.”
Wednesday also features a Group A match pitting Sao Tome & Principe against Guinea Bissau. This clash presents the Djurtus with the chance to leapfrog to the top of the table ahead of Nigeria if they win.
And if the Super Eagles can then avoid defeat away to Sierra Leone on Sunday, they and Guinea Bissau would be safely through to the AFCON finals.
AFCON qualifying fixtures, Wednesday 14 June
All times CAT
15:00: South Sudan v Gambia
18:00: Sao Tome & Principe v Guinea Bissau
20:00: Guinea v Egypt