Race for Afcon spots hots up
ABUJA: South Africa, Cameroon and Tunisia will qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations – wherever it takes place – if they win their penultimate qualifying games this weekend.
Algeria and Cape Verde have already qualified for the 2015 tournament whose original hosts Morocco were stripped of the rights to stage the January 17-February 8 finals over concerns over Ebola.
South Africa are top of Group A with eight points and are playing for the first time since the murder of skipper Senzo Meyiwa.
If they beat Sudan tomorrow in Durban, this will give them an unassailable 11 points.
Bafana Bafana beat Sudan 3-0 in Omdurman in September in the first match between the two sides.
Congo and African champions Nigeria are also locked in a tussle in the same Group A with the Super Eagles in serious danger of missing out on the 16-team tournament after they lost to Congo and Sudan.
The Eagles, who have reinstated coach Stephen Keshi and recalled Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche, lost to Congo 3-2 at home in September and now need to win tomorrow by at least two clear goals to stay in the reckoning for automatic qualification.
Congo are second with seven points and have two match winners in Ferebory Dore, who has scored three goals in the qualifying series, and Spain-based star Thievy Bifouma, who netted a brace and provided an assist as the Red Devils stunned the star-studded Nigeria in Calabar.
Cameroon are expected to book their ticket from Group D with a win in Yaounde against secondplaced DR Congo.
The four-time champions are on 10 points, four points clear of DRC who they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture three months ago.
The Ivory Coast are expected to get their campaign back on track in the same group by doing the double over Sierra Leone in Abidjan after they defeated the Leone Stars 2-1.
This match will be played in Abidjan because Ebola in Sierra Leone. – Sapa-AFP