AFCON qualifying – March Preview

Published on: 24 February 2023

The latest set of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers is waiting in the wings, and there's no better place to keep track of the upcoming fixtures and results than. Only six teams boast a win rate of 100% after the opening two qualifying rounds, and a sub-par 1-1 draw at Central Africa last time out means Ghana are not one of them.

Despite sitting level on points with second-placed Angola in Group E, the Black Stars are still in firm control of their progression hopes as they bid to make amends for a disastrous World Cup campaign. Fans will be sure to tune into Ghana livescore pages in March as Ghana get back into AFCON qualifying.

After a managerial shift in the wake of a bottom-place finish at the Qatar showpiece, Ghana, led by ex-Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton, will play Angola twice in seven days to decide the winner of Group E.

Left to lick their wounds following an abysmal group-stage exit at the 2021 AFCON tournament, the Ghanaians are desperate to give their nation something to cheer for after back-to-back disappointments.

While Ghana's qualification for the 2023 AFCON edition remains anything but a foregone conclusion, Algeria, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco and Senegal are on the brink of success.

All six abovementioned sides have gone from strength to strength in the opening two rounds and could seal their berths at the upcoming tournament in March.

Of all the countries competing in the qualifying campaign, the Nigerians have left the most telling impression after netting a competition-high 12 goals in their opening two matches.

Truth be told, they are in a straightforward-looking group and have Napoli talisman Victor Osimhen to lead the line, which spells trouble for their next rivals Guinea Bissau.

In his recent interview with ESPN, the prolific goal-getter put the ball in the Partenopei's court amid Manchester United's growing interest in his services.

Osimhen has been nothing short of impressive in Serie A this season, while he's also leading the scoring charts in AFCON qualifiers with five goals from two appearances.

In the meantime, defending AFCON champions Senegal sit atop Group L after ousting Benin and Rwanda via an aggregate score of 4-1 ahead of their upcoming home clash against current runners-up Mozambique.

Bayern Munich superstar Sadio Mane has scored all four of his country's goals across the opening two matchdays before picking up a long-term injury that prevented him from helping his team in Qatar.

With the formidable forward resuming first-team training - according to his club's official YouTube channel - the Lions of Teranga will be confident about following up their decent World Cup campaign.

In contrast to Senegal's superb AFCON qualifiers, Mane's former Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah will have to roll up his sleeves if he's to help Egypt qualify for the tournament.

After reaching the competition's title decider twice in the last three series, the record-time AFCON champions are staring down the barrel of a first unsuccessful qualifying campaign since 2015.

Stuck at the bottom of Group D, albeit with the same number of points as top-placed Ethiopia, the Pharaos have been slow to react to last tournament's heartbreak in the final and the subsequent failed attempt to make it to the World Cup finals.

Salah & Co will look to turn their fortunes around when they entertain Malawi at home on March 20.