On Tuesday, Morocco and Senegal grew to become the primary groups to succeed in the African play-offs for subsequent 12 months’s World Cup in Qatar, making it by way of with two group video games left.
The 2-legged play-offs in March will decide the continent’s 5 representatives in Qatar, however which eight groups will be a part of the Moroccans and Senegalese?
BBC Sport Africa has been taking a better look.
Already by way of
Morocco, captained by Wolverhampton’s Romain Saiss, and Sadio Mane’s Senegal can breathe simple forward of the final spherical of group matches between 11 and 16 November.
Solely the eight different group winners will be a part of them within the play-offs.
Mohamed Salah’s Egypt have a four-point cushion over nearest challengers Libya after this week’s back-to-back victories over their north African neighbours.
The Pharaohs know three factors from their ultimate two matches in opposition to Angola and Gabon to progress to the subsequent stage of qualifying as they bid to succeed in a second consecutive World Cup.
Nonetheless, shock package deal Libya may nonetheless qualify in the event that they take most factors in matches in opposition to the identical opposition and Egypt fail to win their remaining two video games.
Tunisia have a three-point lead over Equatorial Guinea in Group B, and the Carthage Eagles will assure passage to the play-offs with an away win in opposition to the west Africans on matchday 5.
As Tunisia have a far superior objective distinction, Mondher Kbaier’s aspect may nonetheless high the group even when they lose.
This month’s outcomes have left a number of teams finely poised, with six winner-takes-all showdowns potential within the ultimate spherical of qualifying.
In Group A, Africa Cup of Nations holders Algeria, led by Manchester Metropolis’s Riyad Mahrez, are forward of Burkina Faso on objective distinction alone, with the 2 nations assembly in north Africa after they face Djibouti and Niger respectively.
Mahrez has scored 10 objectives in his final 10 internationals to assist Algeria lengthen their unbeaten run to 31 matches.
Ivory Coast lead Cameroon by a degree in Group D. If each nations win on matchday 5, with the Ivorians going through Mozambique and Cameroon taking up Malawi, the Indomitable Lions might want to beat the Elephants at residence to progress.
Equally, in Group G, South Africa have a one-point benefit over Ghana with the latter, who misplaced 1-Zero in South Africa final month, internet hosting Bafana Bafana within the ultimate spherical.
The Black Stars journey to Ethiopia, whereas South Africa – chasing a primary World Cup since internet hosting the 2010 finals – welcome Zimbabwe previous to the conflict in Ghana, whose final World Cup was in 2014.
Nigeria are two factors in entrance of Cape Verde in Group C after the Tremendous Eagles suffered a shock residence defeat in opposition to Central African Republic. Nigeria host Cape Verde within the ultimate spherical of the group stage.
Mali and Uganda stay unbeaten, with the west Africans main the Cranes by two factors in Group E. Mali journey to Rwanda and Uganda welcome Kenya subsequent month earlier than the highest two meet, with Mali the house crew.
Nonetheless, the Eagles have been ordered to play in Morocco this moth by Caf, with residence stadia deemed unfit to host qualifiers.
In the meantime, three nations are nonetheless within the hunt for high spot in Group I. Tanzania and Benin each have seven factors – with the previous forward on objectives scored – whereas DR Congo are two factors adrift of the pair.
Tanzania host DR Congo, for who veteran striker Dieumerci Mbokani continues to be scoring essential objectives earlier than an away tie in Madagascar, whereas Benin entertain the island nation after which journey to face the Leopards within the ultimate spherical.
On the point of an exit
Zambia (Group B), Central African Republic (Group C) and Gabon (Group F) can nonetheless mathematically attain the play-offs, however their respective fates are out of their palms.
The trio must win their remaining two video games and hope different outcomes go their manner, together with objective distinction swinging of their favour.
Out of the working
In the meantime, 17 groups have been eradicated from the working.
Angola and Togo, who each certified for the 2006 World Cup, are among the many nations who can now not attain subsequent 12 months’s finals within the Center East.
Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sudan and Zimbabwe have additionally been eradicated this month.
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