Big guns seek to seal Afcon spots

SOUTH AFRICA - Cameroon and Tunisia will qualify for next year's Africa Cup of Nations - wherever it takes place - this weekend if they win their penultimate qualifying games.
Nigeria’s star midfielder Obi Mikel keen to spur his team to Afcon 2015. (Net photo)
Nigeria’s star midfielder Obi Mikel keen to spur his team to Afcon 2015. (Net photo)

SOUTH AFRICA – Cameroon and Tunisia will qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations – wherever it takes place – this weekend if they win their penultimate qualifying games.

Algeria and Cape Verde have already qualified for the 2015 tournament whose original hosts Morocco were stripped of the rights to stage the January 17 to February 8 finals over concerns over Ebola.

South Africa are top of Group A with eight points and are playing for the first time since the murder of skipper Senzo Meyiwa.

If they beat Sudan on Saturday in Durban – the hometown of the slain Orlando Pirates goalkeeper – will give them an unassailable 11 points.

The Eagles, who have reinstated coach Stephen Keshi and recalled Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche, lost to Congo 3-2 at home in September and now need to win on Saturday by at least two clear goals to stay in the reckoning for automatic qualification.

Congo are second with seven points and have two match winners in Ferebory Dore, who has scored three goals in the qualifying series, and Spain-based star Thievy Bifouma, who netted a brace and provided an assist as the Red Devils stunned the star-studded Nigeria in Calabar.

The four-time champions are on 10 points, four points clear of DRC who they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture three months ago.

The Ivory Coast are expected to get their campaign back on track in the same group by doing the double over Sierra Leone in Abidjan after they defeated the Leone Stars 2-1 in September.

This match will be played in Abidjan because of the severity of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

Tunisia also top Group G on 10 points and a win in Botswana on Friday will qualify them for their 17th appearance at the Nations Cup.

Senegal and Egypt are neck-and-neck on seven and six points respectively and both teams clash in Cairo on Saturday after the Teranga Lions won 2-0 in Dakar.

With Cape Verde already qualified from Group G, the battle for the second ticket is between 2012 champions Zambia and Mozambique, who are both on five points.

It is a tight race to the finish in Group C with leaders Gabon just a point ahead of Burkina Faso, and both teams will be on the road to Angola and Lesotho respectively this weekend.

Group E is also too close to call as Ghana on top on eight points face a tricky trip to third-placed Uganda, who have four points.

Togo are second with six points and welcome bottom team Guinea, who have so far recorded four points, also on Saturday.

 FIXTURES

SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2014

Malawi                 v         Mali                           14:30pm

South Africa        v         Sudan                       15:00pm

Uganda               v         Ghana                       16:00pm

Togo                   v         Guinea

Angola                v         Gabon

Mozambique       v         Zambia

Cape Verde        v         Niger

Cameroon          v         DR Congo

Lesotho              v         Burkina Faso

Congo                v         Nigeria

Egypt                 v         Senegal

Algeria               v         Ethiopia

 

TABLES

Group A

Team               P      W    D     L    Pt

South Africa      4       4     2      2     8

Congo              4       2     1      1      7

Nigeria             4       1     1      2      4

Sudan              4       1     0      3      3

Group B

Team               P      W    D     L    Pts

Algeria             4       4     0      0     12

Mali                 4       2     0      2       6

Ethiopia            4       4     1      0     3

Malawi             4       1     0      3       3

Group C

Team               P     W    D     L    Pts

Gabon              4      2     2      0     8

Burkina Faso    4       4     2      1    7

Angola             4       1     1      2     4

Lesotho 4         4       0     2      2     2

 

Group D

Team               P      W    D     L    Pts

Cameroon        4       3     1      0     10

DR Congo        4       2     0      2      6

Ivory Coast      4       2     0      2       6

Sierra Leone     4       0     1      3     1

Group E

Team               P      W    D     L    Pts

Ghana              4       2     2      0     8

Togo                4       2     0      2     6

Uganda 4         4       1     1      4     4

Guinea             4       1     1      2     4

Group F

Team               P      W    D     L    Pts

Cape Verde      4       3     0     1    9

Zambia            4       1     2      1     5

Mozambique     4      1     2      1     5    

Niger               4       0     2      2     2

Group G

Team               P      W    D     L    Pts

Tunisia             4       3     1      0     10

Senegal            4       2     1      1      7

Egypt               4        2     0      2      6

Botswana         4       0      0      4      0

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