Preview: D-Day for Africa in World Cup playoffs

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Mar 2022

African Football is set for 5 explosive fixtures on Tuesday in Dakar, Rabat, Tunis, Algiers and Abuja following mouth-watering results in the first leg of the World Cup qualifiers playoffs.

Algeria s Riyad Mahrez (L) controls the ball past Cameroon s Samuel Oum Gouet during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying third round football match between Algeria and Cameroon at Limbe Omnisport Stadium stadium in Limbe, Cameroon on March 25, 2022.

Egypt beating Senegal 1-0 at home in Cairo in the replay of the Afcon finals, Algeria and Tunisia winning 1-0 each away in Cameroon and Mali respectively and Morocco drew 1-1 away to Congo.

Ghana and Nigeria played out a goalless draw in the “Jollof derby” in Kumasi Ghana and all to play for next Tuesday in what will be five Cup finals.

Africa has been represented at the World Cup by 13 African Countries out of 54 member associations and from the 10 teams remaining, 9 of them have been to the World cup and only Mali will be making their debut if they do qualify.

Cameroon will make it a record 8 appearances at the World Cup if they qualify but if they don’t and Nigeria qualify, then the Super Eagles will match their 7 appearances.

Cameroon’s best showing was in Italy in 1990 when Roger Milla inspired them to the quarterfinals. Nigeria on the other hand have been to the round of 16 thrice, 1994, 1998 and 2014 but it was their memorable debut at USA 94 that they built their World cup legacy.

Morocco and Tunisia have been to the world cup 5 times each and will match Nigeria on 6 appearances if they qualify and the Super Eagles don’t qualify.

Algeria will make this a 5th appearance if they do qualify and despite taking a one goal advantage from Cameroon, if they fail to qualify, then Egypt and Ghana will move to 4 appearances each if both qualify.

Mali needs to overturn their one goal deficit to Tunisia which will be their first appearance but also make them the 14th African Nation to make their World cup debut.

Senegal have only been to the world cup twice yet possess the joint best African best performance at the World cup, quarterfinals in 2002, and a win over Egypt will earn them a 3rd appearance.

Congo went to the World cup in 1974 as African Champions and their not too memorable debut seems like distant memory, so they crave a second appearance going to Morocco with a 1-1 draw at home.

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