The World Cup Qualifiers of the African Section are about to enter the final round and here’s how the teams have fared so far.
All 54 FIFA affiliated teams will participate in the qualifiers, which will be contested in the group stage of three rounds.
The first round will see the teams ranked between 27 and 54 (based on FIFA rankings) compete in away and home legs. 14 winners will join the top-ranked teams in the next round.
40 teams in the second round will be divided into ten groups, and the winners of each group will progress to the final round.
In the third round, the ten teams will be drawn into five home and away legs. 5 winning teams will ensure their place in the World Cup next year. The third-round games are set to be played in March 2022.
10 Teams who have qualified for the third round
- DR Congo
Morocco’s impressive winning streak in the second round
Morocco were the only African side in the qualifiers to win all of their six games in the second round. Ayob El Kaabi is their top scorer (5 goals in 5 games) and the second overall in the Qualifiers. Furthermore, the Moroccans have conceded only a goal in the process and look like the clear favourites for the next year’s World Cup.
Algeria and Egypt also boast impressive records.
Algeria came out as the winners of Group A without losing a single game. Furthermore, the defending African Cup champions hold an impressive 33 match undefeated streak – the fourth-longest in the history of international football. Lyon striker Islam Slamani has racked up 7 goals in 6 games for Algeria – the most by any player in the Qualifiers.
Egypt’s draw against Gabon saw them extend their unbeaten run at home to 21 games. Mohamed Salah looks optimistic about leading his side to the World Cup next year.
Senegal and Nigeria – the other two strong contenders
Both Senegal and Nigeria were excellent in the second round, topping their respective group.
Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr are the two Premier League stars looking to inspire the Senegalese side to World Cup glory, with the latter one netting 3 goals in 6 games in the Qualifiers.
Victor Osimhen, who has been in terrific form in Serie A for Napoli, is the spearhead of Nigeria’s attack alongside Leicester City star Kelechi Iheanacho.