2022 FIFA WCQ: Africa wraps up group stage qualifiers

Published on: 10 November 2021

Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying group stage will be wrapped up with 40 Matchday 5 and 6 fixtures spread from Thursday 11 to Tuesday 16 November 2021, with eight further teams looking to join Senegal and Morocco in advancing to the final playoff phase.

The Teranga Lions and Atlas Lions are guaranteed to finish top of Groups H and I respectively, and the teams looking good to join them are Tunisia (three-points lead in Group B), Nigeria (two point-lead in Group C), Mali (two-point lead in Group E), and Egypt (four-point lead Group F).

The other groups are all too close to call, including Group A where Algeria and Burkina Faso are level on 10 points and their Matchday 6 showdown in Blida on November 16 looks likely to be the decider.

Fennec Foxes coach Djamel Belmadi has been criticised in the Algerian media for persisting with the same core players, though he insists that he has not had the chance to experiment in recent times.

“As soon as we come it's either for qualifying or for a competition. There is never a match for [experimentation],” he explained.

“You can never really have the chance to try in Africa. When we take a player, we try to make mistakes as little as possible.

“It must correspond as quickly as possible to our way of playing. The margin of failure must be as small as possible.”

Group D has the Ivory Coast with a one-point lead over fellow heavyweight Cameroon, but the Indomitable will have home advantage against the Elephants when the teams meet on Matchday 6 in Douala on November 16.

It’s a similar story in Group G, where South Africa are one point ahead of Ghana, but the teams will meet on the Black Stars’ home soil in Cape Coast on the evening of Sunday 14 November for a Matchday 6 clash which looks set to be key – unless Ethiopia can stymie the West Africans on Thursday afternoon and Bafana Bafana beat Zimbabwe later the same day.

“We have to focus on the fact that we have to win [the first match against Zimbabwe],” said SA coach Hugo Broos. “If we don’t win the game, what importance can the game in Ghana have? We need to be there with one point ahead, maybe more. Ghana have the pressure to win against us, so we have the pressure to win against Zimbabwe.”

Finally, Group J sees all four teams still in with a chance: Tanzania and Benin top the standings with seven points each, but DR Congo are just two points further back and even Madagascar, on three points, could yet leapfrog to the top if they manage victories away to the Squirrels and at home to the Taifa Stars.

The 10 group winners will advance into the final playoff round, with five two-legged ties to be played in March next year, the winners of which will qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


Thursday 11 November

15:00: Uganda v Kenya 15:00: Ethiopia v Ghana 15:00: Tanzania v DR Congo 18:00: Rwanda v Mali 18:00: Congo v Namibia 18:00: Benin v Madagascar 21:00: South Africa v Zimbabwe 21:00: Togo v Senegal

Friday 12 November

15:00: Djibouti v Algeria 15:00: Burkina Faso v Niger 18:00: Gabon v Libya 18:00: Guinea v Guinea-Bissua 21:00: Angola v Egypt 21:00: Sudan v Morocco

Saturday 13 November

15:00: Zambia v Mauritania 15:00: Malawi v Cameroon 18:00: Equatorial Guinea v Tunisia 18:00: Liberia v Nigeria 18:00: Cape Verde Islands v Central African Republic 21:00: Ivory Coast v Mozambique

Sunday 14 November

15:00: Zimbabwe v Ethiopia 15:00: DR Congo v Benin 15:00: Madagascar v Tanzania 18:00: Mali v Uganda 21:00: Ghana v South Africa 21:00: Senegal v Congo

Monday 15 November

15:00: Kenya v Rwanda 15:00: Namibia v Togo 18:00: Niger v Djibouti 18:00: Guinea-Bissau v Sudan

Tuesday 16 November

15:00: Mozambique v Malawi 15:00: Egypt v Gabon 15:00: Libya v Angola 18:00: Algeria v Burkina Faso 18:00: Nigeria v Cape Verde 18:00: Liberia v Central Africa Republic 21:00: Tunisia v Zambia 21:00: Mauritania v Equatorial Guinea 21:00: Cameroon v Ivory Coast 21:00: Morocco v Guinea

Source: supersport.com