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AFCON BATTLES HEAT UP

AFCON BATTLES HEAT UP

GROUP A
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 South Africa 3 2 1 0 5 0 5 7
2 Congo 3 2 0 1 5 4 1 6
3 Sudan 3 1 0 2 1 5 -4 3
4 Nigeria 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1

Sudan 0–3 South Africa
Nigeria 2–3 Congo
Congo 2–0 Sudan
South Africa 0–0 Nigeria
Congo 0–2 South Africa
Sudan 1–0 Nigeria

Win Or Stay Home For Eagles, Bafana In Control

The Super Eagles must defeat Sudan tonight in Abuja as any other outcome would see the African champions deprived of the opportunity to defend the Africa Cup of Nations title they won so impressively in South Africa last year.

After three winnable matches, Stephen Keshi’s team is stuck at the bottom of Group A of the AFCON 2015 qualifiers with just one point following two defeats and one draw.

Now, the minimum requirement for the Eagles to even have a sniff of qualifying for Maroc 2015 is to win their three remaining matches in the series, starting with tonight’s clash with Sudan.

Sudan too must win to stand a chance, after the win in Khartoum took them above rock bottom Nigeria to third place. A Sudan victory would take them to second place with six points, level with Congo if the Red Devils lose to South Africa.

However, the top-of-the-table clash is in South Africa where leaders Bafana Bafana host second placed Congo. One point separates the two sides and a win for either would send them halfway to Morocco.

A draw would still keep the two sides in control, provided Sudan and Nigeria also share the points in Abuja.

GROUP B
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Algeria 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
2 Mali 3 2 0 1 4 1 3 6
3 Malawi 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
4 Ethiopia 3 0 0 3 3 7 -4 0

Ethiopia 1–2 Algeria
Mali 2–0 Malawi
Malawi 3–2 Ethiopia
Algeria 1–0 Mali
Malawi 0–2 Algeria
Ethiopia 0–2 Mali

Algeria On The Brink, Mali Close

Africa’s most impressive side at the Brazil 2014 World Cup, Algeria, have kept their form in this campaign and would be the first team to qualify for Morocco if they defeat Malawi at home today.

Three straight victories – at home to Mali and away to Ethiopia and Malawi – have left the Desert Foxes needing a home win over Malawi to go through with two games to spare.

Mali would be almost certain to qualify too if they beat Ethiopia in Bamako. The Eagles won away in Addis Ababa and are expected to complete the job before their noisy home fans.
If Algeria and Mali win as expected, Malawi would be extremely close to elimination, with Ethiopia ruled out.

GROUP C
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Gabon 3 2 1 0 4 1 3 7
2 Burkina 3 2 0 1 5 2 3 6
3 Lesotho 3 0 2 1 1 3 -2 2
4 Angola 3 0 1 2 0 4 -4 1

Burkina Faso 2–0 Lesotho
Gabon 1–0 Angola
Angola 0–3 Burkina Faso
Lesotho 1–1 Gabon
Lesotho 0–0 Angola
Gabon 2–0 Burkina Faso

Gabon, Burkina Fight For Top Spot

The biggest clash of this group takes place today, with 2013 finalists Burkina Faso seeking to return to top spot after being overtaken by Gabon following a loss in Libreville last week.

A revenge victory for the Stallions, who had won two games before the reverse in Gabon, would take them to nine points, two above Gabon, with the two sides retaining the top two positions.

However, the leaders will be looking over their shoulders if Lesotho, who have played two draws, get their first win at home to Angola, whom they drew with in Luanda last week.

GROUP D
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Cameroon 3 2 1 0 6 1 5 7
2 Ivory C. 3 2 0 1 5 6 -1 6
3 DR Congo 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 3
4 Sierra L. 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

DR Congo 0–2 Cameroon
Ivory Coast 2–1 Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone 0–2 DR Congo
Cameroon 4–1 Ivory Coast
Sierra Leone 0–0 Cameroon
DR Congo 1–2 Ivory Coast

Lions, Elephants Seek Distance

If Ivory Coast can defeat DR Congo again like they did away from last week, the Elephants would open up a six-point gap over the Leopards with two rounds of matches to go.

A 4-1 loss to leaders Cameroon had severely dented Ivory Coast’s pride and their qualifying chances, but the win in Kinshasa has got them back in second place and within a chance of pulling away.

In the other Group D clash, Sierra Leone face Cameroon needing to win to remain in the race.

The Leone Stars have been forced to play all their games away from home because of the Ebola outbreak and they are yet to get a win, having only the solitary point they got at ‘home’ to Cameroon in Yaounde.

GROUP E
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Ghana 3 1 2 0 5 4 1 5
2 Uganda 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
3 Guinea 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4
4 Togo 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 3

Guinea 2–1 Togo
Ghana 1–1 Uganda
Togo 2–3 Ghana
Uganda 2–0 Guinea
Uganda 0–1 Togo
Guinea 1–1 Ghana

Black Stars Face Top Spot Battle

This is the closest group with all still to play for and nothing can be decided after this round. Leaders Ghana, who were held away to Guinea in Morocco (Guinea cannot play in Conakry because of Ebola), need to win at home to stay on top, in case Uganda beat Togo.

Uganda, joint second with Guinea on four points, one off Ghana, have a difficult trip to bottom team Togo, who defeated the Cranes in Kampala. The win in Uganda was Togo’s first points in the campaign, having lost away to Guinea and at home to managerless Ghana, but another win in Lome would transform them into proper contenders.

GROUP F
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 C/ Verde 3 2 0 1 5 4 1 6
2 Mozamb. 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
3 Zambia 3 0 2 1 1 2 -1 2
4 Niger 3 0 2 1 2 4 -2 2

Zambia 0–0 Mozambique
Niger 1–3 Cape Verde
Mozambique 1–1 Niger
Cape Verde 2–1 Zambia
Mozambique 2–0 Cape Verde
Niger 0–0 Zambia

Mozambique Eye Summit

Mozambique, who have been surprisingly competitive in this group, could go top if they repeat last week’s home victory over Cape Verde, whom they visit today.

The Southern Africans comfortably beat their West African rivals 2-0 and having already held Zambia away, Mozambique could get a good result in Cape Verde. But Cape Verde are formidable opponents, they have beaten Zambia at home and Niger away, and a home win over Mozambique would cement their place at the top.

The other group game is between struggling 2012 African champions Zambia and Niger, who are both looking for their first wins after two draws each.

GROUP G
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Senegal 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
2 Tunisia 3 2 1 0 3 1 2 7
3 Egypt 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3
4 Botswana 3 0 0 3 1 6 -5 0

Senegal 2–0 Egypt
Tunisia 2–1 Botswana
Botswana 0–2 Senegal
Egypt 0–1 Tunisia
Botswana 0–2 Egypt
Senegal 0–0 Tunisia

Egypt Set Sights On Leaders

Egypt have to beat Botswana again if the multiple African champions are to avoid missing out on AFCON for a third straight time after failing to qualify in 2012 and 2013. The victory over the Zebras away gave the Pharaohs their first three points after an away loss to Senegal and a home reverse to Tunisia.

A win over pointless Botswana would be a big boost for Egypt as Senegal and Tunisia will cancel each other out. A win for either side, who played out a draw in Dakar last week, would leave Egypt within a point of the losers.

A draw between Senegal and Tunisia in Tunis would leave Egypt with two points off both with two rounds to end the campaign.

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