who has to do what to reach Africa’s play-off places – new sport96

sport, who has to do what to reach Africa's play-off places, World Cup 2022

On Tuesday, Morocco and Senegal became the first teams to reach the African play-offs for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, with two remaining group matches.

In the two-legged play-offs in March, the five representatives of the continent will be determined in Qatar, but which eight teams will join the Moroccans and Senegalese?

BBC Sport Africa took a closer look.

Already through
Morocco, led by Wolverhamptons Romain Saiss, and Sadio Manes Senegal can breathe a sigh of relief before the final round of group matches on November 11-16.

Only the eight other group winners will advance to the play-offs.

Almost there
Mohamed Salah’s Egypt has a four-point cushion on their next challenger Libya after their victories this week against their North African neighbors.

The Pharaohs know three points from their last two games against Angola and Gabon to advance to the next qualifying round as they battle for the second consecutive World Cup.

However, the surprise package Libya could still qualify if they get the maximum number of points in games against the same opponent and Egypt fail to win the remaining two games.

Tunisia are three points ahead of Equatorial Guinea in Group B, and the Carthage Eagles guarantee a place in the play-offs with an away win against the West Africans on matchday five.

Since Tunisia has a much better goal difference, Mondher Kbaier’s team could lead the group even if they lost.


Qualification tables for the Africa World Cup
Qualifiers for the Africa World Cup
Showdowns threaten
This month’s results have put several groups in good shape, with six winners – all showdowns possible in the final qualifying round.

In Group A, the Africa Cup of Nations title lies in Algeria, led by Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, solely because of the goal difference over Burkina Faso. The two countries meet in North Africa after Djibouti and Niger.

Mahrez has scored 10 goals in his last 10 internationals to help Algeria expand their unbeaten streak to 31 games.

In Group D, the Ivory Coast Cameroon leads by one point. If both countries win on Matchday 5 and Ivory Coast against Mozambique and Cameroon against Malawi, the Indomitable Lions will have to beat the Elephants at home to advance.

In Group G, South Africa are also one point ahead of Ghana, who lost 1-0 in South Africa last month and faced Bafana Bafana in the finals.

The Black Stars travel to Ethiopia, while South Africa – which has had its first World Cup since the 2010 finals – welcomed Zimbabwe ahead of the clash in Ghana, the last of which was in 2014.

Nigeria are two points ahead of Cape Verde in Group C after the Super Eagles suffered a shocking home defeat to the Central African Republic. Nigeria host Cape Verde in the final round of the group stage.

Mali and Uganda remain unbeaten, with the west Africans leading the cranes by two points in Group E. Mali travel to Rwanda and Uganda welcome Kenya next month before the top two meet, with Mali the home team.

However, the Eagles were ordered to play in Morocco this moth by Caf, with home stadia deemed unfit to host qualifiers.

Meanwhile, three countries are still in the hunt for top spot in Group I. Tanzania and Benin both have seven points – with the former ahead on goals scored – while DR Congo are two points adrift of the pair.

Tanzania host DR Congo, for whom veteran striker Dieumerci Mbokani is still scoring crucial goals before an away tie in Madagascar, while Benin entertain the island nation and then travel to face the Leopards in the final round.

On the brink of an exit
Zambia (Group B), Central African Republic (Group C), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon (Group F) and Madagascar (Group J) can still mathematically reach the play-offs, but their respective fates are out of their hands.

The trio need to win their remaining two games and hope other results go their way, along with goal difference swinging in their favor.

Out of the running
Meanwhile, 17 teams have been eliminated from the running.

Angola and Togo, who both qualified for the 2006 World Cup, are among the countries who can no longer reach next year’s finals in the Middle East.

Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sudan and Zimbabwe have also been eliminated this month.

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