Wednesday 10 November 2021, 10:00

Twenty-one nations vie for eight berths in Africa

  • Morocco and Senegal have reached the final round of African qualifying

  • Twenty-one nations are in contention for the remaining eight places

  • It's Côte d'Ivoire versus Cameroon and South Africa versus Ghana for tickets

Eight tickets to the final round of African qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, alongside Morocco and Senegal, remain. Twenty-one teams are in contention to claim them over six huge days of action. previews the upcoming action.

Match schedule

Matchday 5 Thursday ,11 November Tanzania-Congo DR, Uganda-Kenya, Ethiopia-Ghana, Benin-Madagascar, Congo-Namibia, Rwanda-Mali, South Africa-Zimbabwe, Togo-Senegal Friday, 12 November Djibouti-Algeria, Burkina Faso-Niger, Guinea-Guinea-Bissau, Gabon-Libya, Sudan-Morocco, Angola-Egypt Saturday, 13 November Zambia-Mauritania, Malawi-Cameroon, Liberia-Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea-Tunisia, Cape Verde-Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire-Mozambique Matchday 6 Sunday, 14 November Madagascar-Tanzania, Congo DR-Benin, Zimbabwe-Ethiopia, Mali-Uganda, Ghana-South Africa, Senegal-Congo Monday, 15 November Kenya-Rwanda, Namibia-Togo, Guinea-Bissau-Sudan, Niger-Djibouti Tuesday, 16 November Egypt-Gabon, Mozambique-Malawi, Libya-Angola, Liberia-Central African Republic, Algeria-Burkina Faso, Nigeria-Cape Verde, Morocco-Guinea, Tunisia-Zambia, Cameroon-Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania-Equatorial Guinea

What you need to know

Algeria are on an impressive run of 31 matches without defeat, but their qualification for the third round is still not assured. While the Desert Foxes are top of Group A, only goal difference separates them and Burkina Faso. As fate would have it, the two teams will face off on 16 November, eight years after their winner-takes-all duel ahead of Brazil 2014, from which the Algerians emerged victorious. Can Les Étalons gain some long-awaited revenge in Blida on Tuesday? Elsewhere, there are a number of crucial clashes on the fixture list, including Cameroon-Côte d’Ivoire. Les Elephants hold a one-point lead over Toni Conceicao’s men in Group D, but Mozambique and Malawi, their respective opponents three days earlier, could throw a spanner in the works for both teams prior to the table-topping encounter. Two other countries with World Cup experience, Ghana and South Africa, are also vying for pole position in Group G. Their contest in Cape Coast on Sunday could prove decisive.

In Groups B, C and E, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Mali are well placed to qualify for the next round, but they will still have to earn it out on the pitch, especially as they are all due to face the second-placed teams in their pools – Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde and Uganda – at some point over the next week. In Group F, meanwhile, Egypt enjoy a healthy four-point advantage over their nearest pursuers Libya, and it would require an unexpected set of results for the Pharaohs to be deprived of a spot in the third-round draw at this stage. That is not the case in Group J, however, where the four competing teams – Tanzania, Benin, Congo DR and Madagascar – can all still mathematically qualify.

Facts and figures

0 Mali and Uganda, who lock horns on Sunday, are two of just three teams yet to concede a goal during the second round. Group B pacesetters Tunisia can also point proudly to this enviable defensive record. 2 Of the ten teams presently leading their groups, two have never participated in a World Cup: Mali and Tanzania. 6 Six teams could, in theory, clinch first place on Matchday 5: Tunisia, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Egypt and South Africa. 17 Aside from the 3-0 result awarded to Algeria by FIFA during Russia 2018 qualifying, Nigeria have not lost an away World Cup qualifier for 17 years, since a 1-0 defeat by Angola in June 2004. 18 On Thursday, against Rwanda, Mali will be aiming to rack up their third consecutive victory in World Cup qualifying for the first time in 18 years. Such an outcome would edge them even closer to the third round and a potential ticket to Qatar. 19 Algeria boast the most prolific attack of the second round, having bagged no fewer than 19 goals in four matches – the most they have ever scored during a World Cup qualifying campaign. Islam Slimani is the six-goal leading marksman in the African preliminaries.