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2017 AFCON: How Super Eagles Can Still Qualify

By Nurudeen Obalola:

Super Eagles’ 0-0 draw with Tanzania on Saturday and Egypt’s 5-1 win over Chad on Sunday combined to leave Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying automatically for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations dented.

The two results mean Egypt top Group G with six points, while Nigeria have four, both teams having played two matches each.

But with four more matchdays to go, the 2013 African champions have plenty of opportunity to make amends and reach the competition they missed last year.

The Nations Cup is a 16-team tournament with only hosts Gabon guaranteed a spot. There are 13 qualifying groups, with each group winner and the two best second-placed teams qualifying for the tournament.

As things stand, the Super Eagles can still qualify either as group winners or with enough points to finish as one of the best two runners-up.

However, to finish ahead of Egypt, Nigeria have to get at least four points from the back-to-back fixtures against the North Africans in March and then win their other two matches, at home to Tanzania and away to Chad.

In this scenario, even if Egypt win their other games against Chad and Tanzania too, Egypt would finish with 13 points, while Nigeria would have 14.

If getting four points from the Egypt games is beyond the Super Eagles given their form, they could get second place and sneak in through the back door.

To make this happen, the Eagles would still need to beat Egypt in at least one of the two March meetings and then defeat Chad and Tanzania.

In this scenario, the Eagles (assuming they lose the other match to Egypt in March) would finish with 13 points to Egypt’s 15 (assuming the Pharaohs beat Chad and Tanzania again) and Nigeria would almost definitely finish as one of the two best runners-up.

Fortunately for the Eagles, only groups with four teams are considered for the ranking for best runners-up, meaning Group I with 2017 hosts Gabon is not considered. Also any group where one team has withdrawn will not be considered for the ranking.

As it stands after two matchdays, Morocco lead the table for best runners-up with six points, while Nigeria are second with four points and a plus 2 goals difference followed by a raft of teams also on four points but with inferior goals difference.

At present, Nigeria are on course for Gabon 2017 as the second best second-placed team in the qualifying groups.

It is still a long qualifying campaign though.

TABLE OF GROUP RUNNERS-UP

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts

1 F Morocco 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 6

2 G Nigeria 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2 4

3 J Ethiopia 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 4

4 L Zimbabwe 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 4

5 E Zambia 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4

6 M Mauritania 2 1 0 1 3 2 +1 3

7 K Burundi 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3

8 A Liberia 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3

9 H Rwanda 2 1 0 1 1 1 0 3

10 C South Sudan 2 1 0 1 1 2 −1 3

11 D Botswana 2 1 0 1 1 2 −1 3

12 B CAR 2 1 0 1 2 4 −2 3

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4 Comments

  1. Its possible that super eagles can lose to Egypt home and away. Tanzania and Chad can play a draw with Nigeria. With what i have seen so far, we may not be at Afcon2017.

  2. is it not funny that we have started our usual permutations but rather too early this time around. Other countries map out their strategies months or even years before a tournament. here we are, changing a coach who had mapped out strategy for qualification and success in the championship for a rookie coach who will equally need his own strategies. the result is the disaster that is starring us in the face! when will we ever learn? the last time we created the record of a national team hiring a coach on a match day basis. when will the NFF stop all these absurdities? any wonder that our rating is going down like the naira in the black market? NFF should wake up to their responsibilities.

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  4. Good analysis, By Nurudeen Obalola. Chuks and Chuddy1 thanks for been honest its as its is you can be playing drow or few goals in a group with team like Egypt the win game with margin if they loss they loss with pain. So playing Egypt is not the only problem fighting 6 point out of Chad and Tanzania is not easy base on the level SE’s have down to any team in Africa can comfortably win or draw us. So pemutation will not help at all. Just zero your mind 50/50 chance. We have been here before all thing powered by NFF that never learn from the past.

    There is nothing Olish will do to change things execpt we better define out regular SE’s team of 25 men with mix of old and new for this qualifer this cought-to-play dump tomorrow will not help. watch ou for Egypt they will not be easy they will be trying to avenge for what Ghana did to them last time.

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