• Analysis

CAF World Cup Qualifiers: Egypt progress, Algeria edge closer

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Ace Football looks back on the latest action from the African World Cup Qualifiers and the teams that have made the playoffs so far.

Which teams have progressed to the third round?

Round three of the CAF World Cup qualifiers will see the 10 group winners from the second round drawn into five two-legged ties. The victors of each fixture qualify for the 2022 World Cup. So far, the following four teams have progressed:

  • Egypt
  • Mali
  • Morocco
  • Senegal

The third round CAF World Cup qualifying playoffs are expected to take place on March 2022. FIFA has yet to release the official dates.

CAF World Cup Qualifiers Round-Up (November 12)

Burkina Faso 1-1 Niger

Losing home advantage proved costly for Burkina Faso. The Stallions had to play in Marrakech, Morocco, after their home stadium was deemed unfit for a World Cup qualifier. They fell a goal behind in the 34th-minute when Youssef Oumarou’s penalty put Niger in front. However, Issoufou Dayo equalized from the spot himself in the second half to salvage a point.

As a result, Burkina Faso have slipped two points behind Group A leaders Algeria in second place. Seven points behind them in third is Niger.

Djibouti 0-4 Algeria

The Desert Foxes extended their unbeaten run to 32 games and moved two points clear at the top of Group A following a 4-0 win over Djibouti.

Despite Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani being on the bench, Algeria made easy work of Djibouti. Youcef Belaili, who missed a first-half penalty, fired Djamel Belmadi’s men into the lead inside the box. Said Benrahma doubled their advantage with his first international goal from outside the box. Captain Sofiane Feghouli scored the third goal before Slimani came on to add a late fourth.

If Algeria avoid defeat to Burkina Faso on Tuesday, they’ll progress to the third round.

Gabon 1-0 Libya

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half penalty secured Gabon a 1-0 win over Libya and the 24th goal of his international career.

The Arsenal striker’s efforts, however, were not enough. Gabon cannot progress to the third round anymore. Egypt’s 2-2 draw at Angola means the Panthers trail the Group F leaders by four points in second. With only one game left, it’s now impossible to snatch the top spot.

Guinea 0-0 Guinea Bissau

Neighbours Guinea and Guinea-Bissau played out a tightly contested goalless stalemate in Group I.

Despite the 0-0 scoreline, it was a relatively entertaining tie that could’ve gone either way. Guinea had the lion’s share of the opportunities, but couldn’t convert them. The National Elephants remain winless in third place in Group I on four points, a point less than the second-placed Guinea-Bissau.

Both teams have failed to progress to the third round as Group I leaders Morocco are out of reach.

Angola 2-2 Egypt

Egypt became the fourth team to progress Africa’s World Cup qualifying playoffs following a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Angola.

Helder Costa and M’Bala Nzola fired Angola into a two-goal lead after 36 minutes to leave Egypt sweating. However, a Mohamed Salah-inspired fightback salvaged the point they needed.

The Liverpool star first set up Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny moments before the half-time draw a goal back. He then assisted Akram Tawfik in the second half to complete a Pharaohs comeback draw.

Sudan 0-3 Morocco

Despite having already sealed the top spot in Group I, Morocco showed Sudan no mercy by thrashing their fellow North Africans 3-0.

Ryan Mmaee scored a brace in Rabat to put the Atlas Lions into a comfortable lead before Imran Louza’s injury-time goal completed a solid win.