17 Nov 2021The ten-team line-up for the ultimate spherical of African qualifying has been setMali are the one nation in it to have by no means reached the FIFA World CupCôte d’Ivoire will miss out on a second successive world finalsThe second spherical of African qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ got here to an thrilling finish on Tuesday, and the identification of the ten groups who will participate within the third and ultimate spherical in March 2022 is now identified.
FIFA.com runs the rule over the important thing moments from the second spherical, which ran from 1 September to 16 November, and featured ten teams of 4 groups, who battled one another over six matchdays with the intention of preserving their World Cup desires alive.
Certified for the ultimate spherical
The same old suspects
Out of the ten sides who booked a spot within the subsequent spherical, 9 have beforehand participated in a World Cup. In truth, solely Mali, who recorded some spectacular ends in the second spherical, have but to carry out on soccer’s best stage. With 5 wins and a draw – and never a single aim conceded – beneath their belts, the unbeaten Eagles will probably worry no-one within the third spherical.
Lions devour Elephants
The so-called group of demise, wherein two giants of African soccer, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, locked horns, definitely delivered its fair proportion of suspense. Having defeated the Indomitable Lions at house on Matchday 2, Les Éléphants led Group D till the ultimate spherical of fixtures, once they finally fell to a 1-0 loss in Douala. Karl Toko-Ekambi was the hero of the hour for Cameroon, notching what would show to the successful aim within the first half, thereby sending his nation via to the subsequent spherical and eliminating the Ivoirians, who will now miss out on their second successive World Cup.
Algeria’s Islam Slimani loved a memorable second spherical, scoring seven instances to prime the scoring charts. As if that weren’t sufficient, the Lyon ahead turned his nation’s all-time main goalscorer on 8 October, when he discovered the web for the thirty seventh time in opposition to Niger – a aim that took him one forward of former skipper Abdelhafid Tasfaout. With 16 World Cup qualifying targets to his title, he now lies joint fourth on the all-time African standings, degree with Emmanuel Adebayor (16) and simply behind Moumouni Dagano, Samuel Eto’o (each 17) and Didier Drogba (18).
Ayew leads by instance
The ultimate match in Group G pitted Ghana in opposition to South Africa, who loved a three-point lead over the Black Stars on the prime. And it was the Ghanaians who emerged victorious (1-0) in Cape Coast, courtesy of a first-half Andre Ayew penalty. With that aim, the 31-year-old captain, who made his a hundredth worldwide look on the evening, propelled his staff to the identical variety of factors and aim distinction because the Bafana Bafana, and having scored one aim extra, Milovan Rajevac’s males marched on to the ultimate spherical.
With six wins out of six matches, Morocco have been the one staff within the second spherical to earn most factors. As well as, the Atlas Lions conceded only one aim whereas scoring 20 – a haul that may please coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who, since taking over the reins in 2019, has solely skilled defeat on one event.
Impregnable Eagles’ nest
Tunisia concluded their marketing campaign as they started – with a victory at house. Though they drew 0-0 in Mauritania and suffered a 1-0 reverse in Equatorial Guinea, the Eagles of Carthage maintained their exceptional house report. Extremely, they haven’t misplaced in entrance of their very own followers in a World Cup qualifier since June 2008, when Burkina Faso picked up a 2-1 win in Tunis.
What they mentioned
“The World Cup in 2022 may find yourself being the best in historical past. I stay in Qatar, and I’ve seen their skill to host main occasions, their degree of excellence and their organisational abilities. It’s type of like a second nation for us – we’ve received a whole lot of gamers there.”
Djamel Belmadi, Algeria coach