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2018 FIFA WCQ: Cape Verde 0-0 Senegal – LIVE – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal reacts in disappointment for missing a penalty during the Afcon Quarter Final match between Senegal and Cameroon on the 28 January 2017 at Franceville , Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 19:43


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match between Cape Verde and Senegal at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia.

Line-ups:

Cape Verde XI: Vozinha, Stopira, Varela, Babanco, Soares, Nhuck, Rodrigues, Perreira, Ponck, Mendes, Almeida.

Senegal XI: Ndiaye; Wague, Mbodj, Koulibaly, Mbengue; Gueye, Kouyaté, P.Ndiaye; Keita Baldé, Sakho, Mané.

Commentary:

60′ – CHANCE! Senegal midfielder P.Ndiaye fires straight at Cape Verde keeper Vozinha, who denies him.

55′ – It is still 0-0 here in Praia as we approach the hour-mark.

50′ – Cape Verde fail to capitalize after Senegal keeper Ndiaye had dropped the ball inside the box.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Cape Verde 0-0 Senegal.

45′ – The fourth official has added two minutes.

40′ – Cape Verde captain Soares finds some space outside the Senegal box and he forces keeper Ndiaye into a comfortable save.

35′ – Senegal’s talisman Mane has been tightly marked by the Cape Verde defence thus far.

30′ – It remains goalless here in Praia as we reach the half-hour mark.

25′ – Senegal striker Sakho fires over the crossbar from outside the Cape Verde box.

20′ – Cape Verde’s talisman Mendes has been lively for the hosts thus far keeping the Senegal defence busy.

15′ – It’s end-to-end stuff as the two sides look for the opening goal.

10′ – GREAT SAVE! Mendes sets up his Cape Verde team-mate Rodrigues, who is denied by Senegal goalkeeper Ndiaye.

5′ – Senegal midfielder Gueye’s long range effort from a free-kick is easily saved by Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.

1′ – The match is underway.



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2018 FIFA WCQ: Nigeria 1-0 Zambia – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 20:05


Welcome to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo for this evening’s 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Zambia.

Live Commentary (press F5 to refresh)
All times CAT

 

90+3′ – Full time – Done and dusted, Nigeria win and qualify for the 2018 World Cup! It will be the sixth appearance for the Super Eagles, who are the first team from Africa to secure their place in next year’s global tournament!

90+1′ – Yellow card – Chingandu is booked for a late challenge.

90′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

87′ – Substitution – Mulenga makes way for John Chingandu in Zambia’s final change.

85′ – Moses with a chance on the ‘D’ of the box, but he snatches at his volley and sends it over the target.

84′ – Iwobi free down the right side of the penalty area, but he’s flagged offside.

80′ – Substitution – Ola Aina replaces Echiejile in Nigeria’s final change.

78′ – Substitution – Justin Shonga replaces Sakala in Zambia’s attack.

76′ – Iwobi crosses from the right but his ball is just too strong for Ighalo at the far post! The Arsenal man has added a new dimension to his team’s attack.

73′ – GOAL! Nigeria 1-0 Zambia – Finally the deadlock is broken! Shehu provides a cut-back from the right and Iwobi shoots first time to beat Mweene with a low shot! Great finish and that goal could send Nigeria to Russia 2018!

71′ – A great counter attack for Nigeria, but Ighalo opts to try and cut back rather than shoot first time and the move breaks down!

68′ – Midway through the second half, still 0-0. So far so good for Zambia, but they need to win this match if they are to have any realistic hope of qualifying ahead of Nigeria.

66′ – Substitution – Here’s the answer, as Iwobi replaces Simon in the forward line.

65′ – How long before Nigeria look to boost their attack? They have the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho on the bench…

63′ – Yellow card – Abdullahi is booked for a nasty challenge on Mwepu.

60′ – Up to the hour mark, just 30 minutes left for one of these teams to take this game by the scruff of the neck.

57′ – Ndidi with a looping header on target but Mweene makes a superb save to keep the game goalless!

56′ – Yellow card – Mtonga is booked for a cynical foul on Mikel.

55′ – A sniff of goal for Zambia but Ngonga can’t bring the ball under control. Nigeria living dangerously at the back…

51′ – Substitution – Ernest Mbewe replaces Lungu in Zambia’s first change of the match.

50′ – Ndidi gets onto the end of a free kick driven into the box, but his header is high and wide.

47′ – Moses floats a long diagonal into the box and Balogun heads on target, but it’s an easy save for Mweene.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+2′ – Half time – Goalless at the break, but it’s certainly not been short of entertainment. Nigeria know they can take this game if they just tighten up their play, while Zambia still have genuine hope of an upset.

45+1′ – There will be two minutes of added time.

45′ – Ighalo with a great chance to dig out a cross from the right by-line and Simon tries an acrobatic volley which is also way high and wide. Had the crowd excited, though…

43′ – Ighalo with a half-chance under pressure from Tembo, but he volleys off target.

40′ – Five minutes to half time. Nigeria have been the better team overall, but Zambia have had perhaps the best chances.

38′ – Mikel volleys a dropping ball on the edge of the box, but his effort is high and wide.

36′ – Ngonga with a long range effort which bounces awkwardly in front of Ezenwa and then strikes the outside of the post! The closest we’ve come to a goal at either end!

35′ – Yellow card – Agu is booked for a hand in Mwepu’s face in midfield. He’ll need to tread carefully now…

31′ – Moses cuts inside from the right and shoots left-footed, but Mweene makes a comfortable save. Now it’s a chance for Ngonga, who outmuscles Balogun and stabs a shot over with only Ezenwa to beat!

30′ – Substitution – Here comes the change for Nigeria, with Agu replacing the injured Onazi.

29′ – Zambia have grown in this game and are now posing a genuine threat to the hosts.

27′ – Nigeria have got Ndubisi Agu ready to replace Onazi, but the midfielder limps on for now. Looks like he’ll try to run the injury off.

24′ – A blow here for Nigeria, with Onazi receiving treatment and the medical team has called for a substitution.

23′ – Midway through the first half, still goalless in Uyo. Zambia have the ball in the back of the net through Mulenga, but he’s flagged offside.

20′ – Another corner for Nigeria, again it’s well defended by Zambia.

17′ – Simon plays a great cross from the right flank but it’s just too strong for Ighalo, who threw himself at the ball but couldn’t quite reach it!

14′ – Nigeria’s defence gives the ball away and Zambia are presented with a great chance – however, Sakala opts for a shot from a tight angle which only travels out for a goal kick. Lucky break for the hosts…

13′ – Ngonga with a cracking turn, run and cross from the right flank, but his ball is just too strong for Sakala through the middle.

12′ – Good defending from Echiejile as he holds off Ngonga in attack for Zambia.

9′ – Good passing from the Super Eagles, though Zambia are looking well organised in defence.

6′ – Simon with a storming run forward to win a corner kick. The set piece sees Moses look for the far post, but Mweene makes a solid catch.

4′ – Zambia with a couple of quick corners, but neither is a bother for Nigeria thanks to some sub-par delivery from Kapumbu.

2′ – Moses blown up for an early hand-ball near the centre circle. Nigeria starting with plenty of energy and intent.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Uyo! Nigeria wear their famous all-green, while Zambia are kitted out in orange and black.

17h50 – Ten minutes to kick-off. Our referee today is Joshua Bondo from Botswana. He will be assisted by Oamogetse Godisamang and Souro Phatsoane, with Tirelo Mositwane as the fourth official.

17h40 – A reminder of the stakes for this match, where the equation is very simple for Nigeria: win and they will be the first African team to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. A draw would also be a good result, but wouldn’t mathematically guarantee their spot at the finals.

Should Zambia win, it would bring them level on points with Nigeria ahead of the final round of matches in November.

17h30 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the line-ups for the match:

Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Elderson Echiejile, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon

Zambia: Kennedy Mweene, Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo, Stophila Sunzu, Kondwani Mtonga, Enock Mwepu, Chisamba Lungu, Augustin Mulenga, Fashion Sakala, Alex N’gonga



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2018 FIFA WCQ: Uganda 0-0 Ghana – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 16:55


Good afternoon and welcome to the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala for our live coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group E qualifier between Uganda and Ghana, on 07 October 2017.

Uganda: Onyango; Isinde, Mawejje, Okwi, Kizito (Ochaya 73′), Nsibambi (Serunkuma 67′), Iguma, Wakiro, Walusimbi, Wasswa, Miya (Mutyaba 62′)

Ghana: R.Ofori; Opare, Partey, E.Ofori, Duncan (Dwamena 56′), Sarfo (Twumasi 51′), Agbenyenu, Amartey, Opoku, Yiadom, Acheampong (Attomah 86′)

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES: 

90+4′ Full-Time: Uganda 0-0 Ghana

90′ Four minutes added.

83′ Amartey has been an absolute beast for Ghana today, as the Cranes struggle to find a way past the burly defender.  Not long to go now, the Cranes are in desperate search of a goal.

75′ Into the final exchanges in Kampala and as things stand Egypt will be smiling, knowing that victory over Congo in Alexandria tomorrow will seal their ticket to Russia.

65′ MISS! Derrick Nsibambi with the miss of the decade as he heads wide from point-blank range! Could this be  the defining moment for the Cranes?

59′ Double booking as Okwi and Partey go into the referee’s book following a tussle.

58′ CHANCE! Patrick Twumasi’s free-kick attempt flies inches over the crossbar. Onyango found himself in an awkward position, but  lucky for him the ball sails wide.

54′ Uganda have had several chances on the counter-attack, but have looked nervous in-front of goal this afternoon. Meanwhile, Ghana are about to make their second change following the introduction of Twumasi.

48′ Early chance for Ghana who win a free-kick in a dangerous position, but it comes to nothing. Wasted opportunity for the visitors.

46′ Second-half is underway in Kampala.  All to play for!

45+2′ Half-Time: Uganda 0-0 Ghana

45′ Two minutes added to the half.

45′ Ebenezer Ofori tries his luck from range, but the ball was always flying wide of goal.

40′ Tempo has died down since the break in play. Both teams reluctant to flood bodies forward knowing a single goal could decide the outcome of the match.

34’Goal! No! … Amartey’s header is chalked off with the assistant’s flag raised for offside.

30′Half-hour played in Kampala and there is nothing to separate the two teams at this point. Stoppage in play following a clash of heads, with teams taking this opportunity to hydrate.

26′ The Black Stars are starting to flex their muscles having weathered early pressure from the Cranes. Still waiting for the game’s opener, though.

18′ CHANCE! Opportunities at either end of the pitch as the game sparks to life. Eric Ofori does just about enough to deny the Cranes before Partey see’s his shot rattle the side-netting from the resulting counter-attack.

10′ Nothing to write home about just yet, with the hosts edging the encounter thus far. A lot on the line and you can sense the tension in the air.

6′ Nervy start to the match for Ghana as Okwi breaks through on goal, but Amartey does just about enough to stop the playmaker in his tracks – takes one for the team so to speak and goes into the referee’s book as a result.

1′ Kick-off in Kampala! Crucial game for both teams with a win a must for the Black Stars especially, if they are to keep their slim hopes alive! The Cranes, though, are in the driving seat, but need all three points or they could see Egypt booking their ticket to Russia later tonight at their expense.

 



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WCQ: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


L’international ivoirien Franck Kessié

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 22:55


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group C match between Mali and Ivory Coast at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako.

LINEUPS:

Mali XI: Diarra, Wagué, Traoré, Koné, Fofana, Doumbia, Samassekou , Diarra, Bissouma, Niane, Traore.

Ivory Coast XI: Gbohouo, Aurier, Kanon, Bailly, Konan, Dié, Gbamin, Kessié, Kodjia, Cornet, Assalé.

COMMENTARY:

That’s all from the Stade du 26 Mars where Mali drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast. As a result, Mali are eliminated from the qualifiers, while Ivory Coast remain at the top of Group C standings. Please join us again tomorrow, bye!

FULL-TIME: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast.

90′ – The fourth official has added three minutes.

85′ – Mali attacker Coulibaly forces Gbohouo into a decent save with a header.

85′ – Five minutes left for the Eagles to snatch a late winning goal.

80′ – Mali sub: Haidara IN, Bissouma OUT.

80′ – CAUTION: Aurier (Ivory Coast)

75′ – The match is stopped as Mali’s Diarra is down injured.

70′ – Twenty minutes left for Mali to snatch a late winning goal and keep their slim hopes of qualifying for the World Cup alive.



67′ – CAUTION: Gbohouo (Ivory Coast)



67′ – Ivory Coast sub: Kalou IN, Assale OUT.

65′ – Mali midfielder Bissouma plays a through ball for Doumbia, who is ruled offside.

63′ – Mali sub: Coulibaly IN, Niane OUT.

60′ – The match is stopped as Mali’s Traore is down injured. It remains goalless as we reach the hour-mark.



55′ – CAUTION: Konan (Ivory Coast)

50′ – Mali defender Kone tries his luck from range and his right footed shot from outside the box misses to the target.



46′ – Ivory Coast sub: Sanogo IN, Die OUT.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast.

45′ – The fourth official has added one minute.

40′ – Mali sub: Djenepo IN, Traoré OUT.

40′ – CHANCE! Ivory Coast striker Kodjia has a chance to put the Elephants into the lead, but his effort is blocked.

35′ – CAUTION: Samassekou (Mali)

30′ – It remains goalless here at the Stade du 26 Mars as we reach the half-hour mark.

26′ – CAUTION: Bailly (Ivory Coast)

25′ – Traoré tries a through ball for his Mali team-mate Diarra, but the latter is ruled offside.

20′ – Mali midfielder Bissouma goes down injured and play is stopped.

15′ – The Elephants of Ivory Coast are starting to apply some pressure on the Mali defence with Die stamping his authority in midfield.

10′ – Kodjia is playing as a target-man for Ivory Coast, but there’s no supply for him thus far as Mali continue to dominate possession without testing goalkeeper Gbohouo.

5′ – The Eagles of Mali have been the better side thus far – pressing Ivory Coast in search of an early goal.

1′ – The match is underway.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group B head-to-heads – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


John Obi MIKEL of Nigeria during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Algeria on November, 12th 2016 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium
©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 16:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the team head-to-heads leading into this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Group B fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Nigeria v Zambia – Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo – 18h00 CAT

Cameroon v Algeria – Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde – 18h00 CAT

Nigeria v Zambia

Matches played: 18

Nigeria wins: 7

Zambia wins: 5

Draws: 6

Nigeria goals: 18

Zambia goals: 21

Last meeting: Zambia 1-2 Nigeria, 9 October 2016, Levy Mwanawasa Stadium

Nigeria World Ranking: 44

Zambia World Ranking: 78

Nigeria World Cup appearances: 5 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014)

Zambia World Cup appearances: 0

Cameroon v Algeria

Matches played: 8

Cameroon wins: 1

Algeria wins: 3

Draws: 4

Cameroon goals: 10

Algeria goals: 9

Last meeting: Algeria 1-1 Cameroon, 9 October 2016, Stade Mustapha Tchaker

Cameroon World Ranking: 62

Algeria World Ranking: 45

Cameroon World Cup appearances: 7 (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014)

Algeria World Cup appearances: 4 (1982, 1986, 2010, 2014)



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group A head-to-heads – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sliti Naim of Tunisia (number 23) celebrates goal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Algeria and Tunisia at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 13:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the team head-to-heads leading into this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group A: Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea and Libya.

Group A fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Guinea v Tunisia – Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry – 19h00 CAT

Libya v DR Congo – Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir – 19h00 CAT

Guinea v Tunisia

Matches played: 20

Guinea wins: 7

Tunisia wins: 8

Draws: 5

Guinea goals: 20

Tunisia goals: 29

Last meeting: Tunisia 2-0 Guinea, 9 October 2016, Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet

Guinea World Ranking: 65

Tunisia World Ranking: 31

Guinea World Cup appearances: 0

Tunisia World Cup appearances: 4 (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006)

Libya v DRC

Matches played: 8

Libya wins: 2

DRC wins: 2

Draws: 4

Libya goals: 8

DRC goals: 11

Last meeting: DRC 4-0 Libya, 8 October 2016, Stade des Martyrs

Libya World Ranking: 81

DRC World Ranking: 42

Libya World Cup appearances: 0

DRC World Cup appearances: 1 (1974, as Zaire)



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the permutations for Group D – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Henri Saivet of Senegal (c) celebrates goal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Senegal and Zimbabwe at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 13:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at who needs what to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s round of matches. Today we focus on Group D: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal and South Africa.

Where and when are the games?

Saturday 7 October

South Africa v Burkina Faso – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg – 15h00 CAT

Cape Verde v Senegal – Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde, Praia – 19h30 CAT

Who needs what to qualify?

Given that FIFA annulled South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal from last year and this group is therefore effectively one result short of where it should be, nobody can secure qualification this weekend.

However, a win for group leaders Burkina Faso over hosts South Africa would not only take the Stallions to within touching distance of Russia 2018, it would mathematically eliminate Bafana Bafana.

What’s likely to happen?

Hard to tell. South Africa can surely only improve from their dreadful performances last month when they were beaten in back-to-back games by Cape Verde, but Burkina Faso are unbeaten thus far and determined to go to the World Cup for the first time in their history – perhaps a draw would be the thinking man’s pick for the game in Johannesburg.

As for the Cape Verde v Senegal game in Praia, we’d go with the Teranga Lions to come away with all three points. They’ve had new life breathed into their campaign by both the decision to have the game against Bafana replayed and the combination of group results in September.

If Senegal can head to November knowing that back-to-back wins over an eliminated South Africa will secure a place in Russia 2018, then that will be the perfect scenario for coach Aliou Cisse – a veteran of the country’s famous World Cup debut in 2002.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group A players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Mathieu Dossevi of Togo battles for the ball with Chancel Mbemba of DR Congo during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Togo and DR Congo at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 11:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group A: Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea and Libya.

Group A fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Guinea v Tunisia – Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry – 19h00 CAT

Libya v DR Congo – Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir – 19h00 CAT

Tunisia – Wahbi Khazri

With Tunisia looking to claim a potentially decisive away win over Guinea on Saturday evening, they will need their attacking players to take advantage of every opportunity which comes their way. Playmaker Wahbi Khazri will be tasked with slicing open the hosts’ defence and hopefully adding to the one goal he has scored (a penalty against Libya just under a year ago) in this group thus far.

DR Congo – Chancel Mbemba

Chancel Mbemba scored for DR Congo in their 2-2 draw at home to Tunisia last month but also suffered an injury which put him out of contention for a couple of weeks at Premier League club Newcastle United. The Leopards will hope their versatile 23-year-old is fit and firing for their trip to Monastir in Tunisia, where they will come up against an already-eliminated Libya in a must-win fixture.

Guinea – Alkhaly Bangoura

The scorer of Guinea’s winning goal in the 3-2 triumph over Libya in the last international window, Alkhaly Bangoura is making a name for himself with the Syli Nationale. The 21-year-old forward plays his club football with Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel and will feel quite comfortable taking on the Carthage Eagles. Guinea will hope Bangoura can reproduce the form which made him a hero in their last match in Conakry.

Libya – Hamdou Elhouni

The scorer of Libya’s goal in the 1-0 win over Guinea last month, Hamdou Elhouni will be hoping to continue his strong form for the Mediterranean Knights. Libya are out of the running to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but they can certainly affect DR Congo’s chances by winning in Monastir and doing their fellow North Africans Tunisia a major favour.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group E head-to-heads – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa06186462 Egypt’s Abdallah El-Said (R) in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Uganda, in Alexandria, Egypt, 05 September 2017. EPA/MOHAMED HOSSAM

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 04, 2017. 17:30


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the team head-to-heads leading into this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group E: Egypt, Uganda, Ghana and Congo.

Group E fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Uganda v Ghana – Mandela National Stadium, Kampala – 15h00 CAT

Sunday 8 October

Egypt v Congo – Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria – 19h00 CAT

Uganda v Ghana

Matches played: 11

Uganda wins: 3

Ghana wins: 4

Draws: 4

Uganda goals: 8

Ghana goals: 11

Last meeting: Ghana 0-0 Uganda, 7 October 2016, Tamale Stadium

Uganda World Ranking: 71

Ghana World Ranking: 52

Uganda World Cup appearances: 0

Ghana World Cup appearances: 3 (2006, 2010, 2014)

Egypt v Congo

Matches played: 7

Egypt wins: 6

Congo wins: 1

Draws: 0

Egypt goals: 15

Congo goals: 4

Last meeting: Congo 1-2 Egypt, 9 October 2016, Stade Municipal de Kintele

Egypt World Ranking: 30

Congo World Ranking: 95

Egypt World Cup appearances: 2 (1934, 1990)

Congo World Cup appearances: 0



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group D players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


West Ham striker Diafra Sakho

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 04, 2017. 11:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group D: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal and South Africa.

Group D fixtures

Saturday 7 October

South Africa v Burkina Faso – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg – 15h00 CAT

Cape Verde v Senegal – Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde, Praia – 19h30 CAT

Burkina Faso – Bertrand Traore

Olympique Lyon striker Bertrand Traore looks set to be Burkina Faso’s spearhead for their clash away to South Africa on Saturday. The 22-year-old has taken his game to a new level since joining his current French side and notably scored for the Stallions in their 2-2 draw at home to Senegal last month. If Traore can find the net again this weekend, it may well put the Burkinabe on the path to their first World Cup appearance.

Cape Verde – Garry Rodrigues

Garry Rodrigues’ two goals for Cape Verde in their stunning win over South Africa in Durban last month, as well as his form for Turkish giants Galatasaray, has seen the forward linked with a move to Premier League side Newcastle United. If he is to keep such speculation alive and well, he will need to once again strut his stuff for the Blue Sharks when they face up to Senegal in Praia.

Senegal – Diafra Sakho

Diafra Sakho has seen his career almost go off the rails in recent times, but this past weekend he stole the headlines in the Premier League by scoring a crucial winner for West Ham United in their clash with Swansea City – effectively saving manager Slaven Bilic’s job. He’ll have another chance to bask in the limelight when Senegal face Cape Verde in a crunch clash in Praia on Saturday, having been recalled to the Teranga Lions squad for the first time in two years.

South Africa – Phakamani Mahlambi

After their back-to-back losses to Cape Verde last month, South Africa are in desperate need of inspiration to keep their slim qualifying hopes alive. In young forward Phakamani Mahlambi they may have the ingenuity and pace their attack has been crying out for. The 20-year-old has recently joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly and will be keen to prove himself for the national team.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group D head-to-heads – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Prejuce Nakoulma of Burkina Faso (r) .challenged by Bruno Ecuele Manga of Gabon during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Gabon and Burkina Faso at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 18 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017. 17:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the team head-to-heads leading into this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group D: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal and South Africa.

Group D fixtures

Saturday 7 October

South Africa v Burkina Faso – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg – 15h00 CAT

Cape Verde v Senegal – Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde, Praia – 19h30 CAT

South Africa v Burkina Faso

Matches played: 8

SA wins: 4

Burkina Faso wins: 1

Draws: 3

SA goals: 11

Burkina Faso goals: 5

Last meeting: Burkina Faso 1-1 South Africa, 8 October 2016, Stade du 4 Aout

SA World Ranking: 80

Burkina Faso World Ranking: 49

SA World Cup appearances: 3 (1998, 2002, 2010)

Burkina Faso World Cup appearances: 0

Cape Verde v Senegal

Matches played: 13

Cape Verde wins: 2

Senegal wins: 9

Draws: 2

Cape Verde goals: 7

Senegal goals: 18

Last meeting: Senegal 2-0 Cape Verde, 8 October 2016, Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor

Cape Verde World Ranking: 67

Senegal World Ranking: 33

Cape Verde World Cup appearances: 0

Senegal World Cup appearances: 1 (2002)



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group C players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017. 13:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group C: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gabon and Mali.

Group C fixtures

Friday 6 October

Mali v Ivory Coast – Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako – 21h00 CAT

Saturday 7 October

Morocco v Gabon – Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca – 21h00 CAT

Ivory Coast – Serge Aurier

Serge Aurier has had mixed reviews for Tottenham Hotspur since his big-money move from Paris Saint-Germain. The powerful wingback usually reserves his best showings for the big occasions and Ivory Coast will certainly hope that he is in inspired form for their tricky trip to Mali on Friday night. His overlapping runs and crossing ability from out wide give the Elephants a fine attacking option.

Morocco – Hakim Ziyech

A scorer of two goals in Morocco’s massive 6-0 win over Mali last month, Hakim Ziyech will look to continue his fine form for the Atlas Lions. The 24-year-old Ajax star will be a threat not only from open play, but also his notable dead-ball ability. Morocco will need a strong performance against Gabon to keep up their good hopes of qualifying and coach Herve Renard will look to Ziyech to direct the traffic for his team’s attack.

Gabon – Mario Lemina

Mario Lemina has made a strong start to life in the Premier League with new club Southampton, putting in several impressive performances since joining from Juventus. The energetic midfielder will hope to bring his form to Gabon’s national team, who still have an outside chance of qualifying for Russia 2018 – especially if they can beat Morocco in Casablanca on Saturday.

Mali – Moussa Marega

Mali have managed just one goal from four group matches and the pressure is firmly on striker Moussa Marega and his fellow attackers to find the back of the net for the Eagles. The team is entering a new era under caretaker Mohamed Magassouba (who moved into the hot seat following Alain Giresse’s resignation last month) and the likes of Marega will hope they embrace a more attack-minded tactical approach.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the permutations for Group B – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Victor Moses of Nigeria shields the ball away from Ngadeu Ngadjui of Cameroon during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Cameroon on September,1st 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium ©Kabiru Abubakar/fotodezamora

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017. 11:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at who needs what to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s round of matches. Today we focus on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Where and when are the games?

Saturday 7 October

Nigeria v Zambia – Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo – 18h00 CAT

Cameroon v Algeria – Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde – 18h00 CAT

Who needs what to qualify?

Nigeria hold a three-point advantage over Zambia at the head of the group and will secure qualification if they beat Chipolopolo in Uyo on Saturday. A draw puts them on the cusp of qualification because they have a much better goal difference than the Southern Africans, but it wouldn’t quite guarantee their place in Russia.

What’s likely to happen?

Given that Nigeria have comprehensively outplayed Algeria and Cameroon in their two home matches – and beat Zambia 2-1 in Ndola a year ago – it’s hard to see any other outcome than a win for the Super Eagles.

If Gernot Rohr’s team do indeed go on to beat Zambia, they will be the first African team to book their place at the 2018 tournament and it will be their sixth appearance at the World Cup finals overall.

For Chipolopolo, an unlikely victory would bring them right back into contention to qualify for the World Cup for the first time, but they would then still need to better Nigeria’s result in the final round next month when the teams face Cameroon and Algeria respectively.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group C head-to-heads – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Franck Kessie of Ivory Coast challenged by Karim Aroussi El Ahmadi of Morocco during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Morocco and Ivory Coast at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 17:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the team head-to-heads leading into this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group C: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gabon and Mali.

Group C fixtures

Friday 6 October

Mali v Ivory Coast – Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako – 21h00 CAT

Saturday 7 October

Morocco v Gabon – Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca – 21h00 CAT

Mali v Ivory Coast

Matches played: 25

Mali wins: 2

Ivory Coast wins: 16

Draws: 7

Mali goals: 17

Ivory Coast goals: 47

Last meeting: Ivory Coast 3-1 Mali, 8 October 2016, Stade Bouake

Mali World Ranking: 76

Ivory Coast World Ranking: 54

Mali World Cup appearances: 0

Ivory Coast World Cup appearances: 3 (2006, 2010, 2014)

Morocco v Gabon

Matches played: 14

Morocco wins: 6

Gabon wins: 5

Draws: 3

Morocco goals: 21

Gabon goals: 12

Last meeting: Gabon 0-0 Morocco, 8 October 2016, Stade de Franceville

Morocco World Ranking: 56

Gabon World Ranking: 79

Morocco World Cup appearances: 4 (1970, 1986, 1994, 1998)

Gabon World Cup appearances: 0



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group B players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 15:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Group B fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Nigeria v Zambia – Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo – 18h00 CAT

Cameroon v Algeria – Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde – 18h00 CAT

Nigeria – Victor Moses

Victor Moses seems to have lost his first-team place at Chelsea, having been dropped to the bench for their loss at home to Manchester City this past weekend. However, he is a definite starter for Nigeria, especially after the superb performances he gave in the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon last month. Used as a wide attacker for the national team, expect Moses to be a thorn in the side of Zambia’s defence.

Zambia – Patson Daka

In the absence of the injured Brian Mwila (who scored two goals for Zambia in their home win over Algeria last month), much of the attacking burden will fall on 18-year-old Patson Daka. The Austrian-based forward proved his class with the only goal against the Fennec Foxes in the teams’ second clash in Constantine, earning Chipolopolo a famous win. Quite whether the teenager can repeat the feat in Uyo this weekend remains to be seen, but coach Wedson Nyirenda may gamble that he can.

Cameroon – Vincent Aboubakar

Vincent Aboubakar has been in fine form for Porto, notably scoring two goals for the Portuguese giants in a 3-0 away win over Monaco in the UEFA Champions League last week. The 25-year-old has also netted twice thus far in Group B and will look to add to his tally – even if Cameroon are no longer in the running to reach Russia 2018.

Algeria – Zinedine Ferhat

With Algeria out of the running to qualify, under-fire coach Lucas Alcaraz has named a much-changed squad, opting to bring in fresh blood and recall players who deserve a second crack at international football. One such example who falls into the latter category is Zinedine Ferhat, whose superb form for Le Havre merits a recall to the Fennec Foxes. The 24-year-old midfielder will hope he can establish himself in the national team with a strong showing against Cameroon.



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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the permutations for Group A – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Junior Kalonji of DR Congo celebrates goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Togo and DR Congo at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 13:00


AfricanFootball takes a closer look at who needs what to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s round of matches. Today we focus on Group A: Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea and Libya.

Where and when are the games?

Saturday 7 October

Guinea v Tunisia – Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry – 19h00 CAT

Libya v DR Congo – Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir – 19h00 CAT

Who needs what to qualify?

Tunisia hold a three-point advantage over Dr Congo at the head of the group and can secure qualification through one of two scenarios: if they win away to Guinea and DRC fail to win away to Libya; or if they draw and DRC lose.

What’s likely to happen?

Guinea may be mathematically eliminated, but Conakry is never an easy place for an away team to win. That being said, Tunisia should have too much class for the Syli Nationale and we can see them picking up all three points.

However, it probably won’t be enough to secure qualification this weekend, because DRC are more than capable of winning away to Libya. The Leopards thrashed the North Africans 4-0 when the teams met in Kinshasa a year ago, and with even a sniff of World Cup qualification in the air they’ll have more than enough motivation to claim a ‘double’.

If it plays out that way, qualification will go down to the last set of matches in November when Tunisia are at home to Libya and DRC host Guinea. But it’s still very much the Carthage Eagles who are the favourites.



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WCQ Africa: Zambia 3-1 Algeria – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 16:55


Zambia will be hoping to claim their first win in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign as they host Algeria at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

On the other hand, the Desert Warriors are also chasing their maiden win to move up the log table and will be fighting on all fronts for a victory.

Line-ups:

Zambia: Mweene, Silwamba, Sunzu, Tembo, Kapumbu, Mulenga, Mtonga, Lungu, Sakala, Mwila, Daka

Algeria: M’Bolhi, Mandi, Bansebaini, Hassani, Ghoulam, Soudani, Taider, Bentaleb, Brahimi, Slimani, Hanni

Commentary:

90+5′ – It is full time in Lusaka. Zambia 3-1 Algeria. Now they will hope to bag another win in Algiers come Tuesday fore the second leg.

90+5′ – Daka booked

90+5′ – Zambia playing to preserve their lead at home, the crowds singing and Mweene collects a loose ball into the box.

90′ Zambia bag their third goal through Mwepu. A powerful low shot beats M’Bolhi on his far post making it 3-1 for Nyirenda’s men.

85′ – Mweene beaten on his far posts by a powerful shot by substitute, Idriss Saadi’s well executed shot, but it sails wide inches off the far post.

81′ – Sub for Algeria, Saadi for Bansebaini

81′ – We are in the final 10 minutes of the contest.Sub for Zambia: Mulenga on for N’Gonga

79′ – Mweene becoming the busiest of the two goalkeepers as he tries to curb all Algerian attacks. Mweene collects a set piece from Algerian attack.

75′ – A foul against Mulenga on the corner flag for pushing his opponent. Zambia still leading 2-1.

70′ A booking for the Algerian keeper, M’Bolhi for protesting.

69′ – Booking for Bansebaini.

69′ – Sub for Zambia: Kabwe replaces the goalscorer, Mwila.

68′ – Zambia chasing their third goal and Nyirenda becomes animated on the touchline. A corner for the hosts.

63′ – Mwepu beats the Algerian through his pace, but a final delivery to Mwila sees the striker’s effort going wide.

58′ – Sub for Algeria: Ghezzal on for Soudani

57′ – Sub for Zambia: Mwepu on for Lungu

56′ – Sakala booked for the second time., Zambia down to 10 men.

55′ – Brahimi makes it 2-1, Yacine Brahimi pulls a powerful shot right on the d-line to beat Mweene on his right post. Zambia 2-1 Algeria

51′ – Yattal booked for simulation. Zambia still lead Algeria by 2-0.

50′ – Algerians chasing their first goal in the match and Soudani fails to read the bounce of the ball, he misses with only Mweene to beat.

46′ Youcef Yattal comes on for Illias Hassan.

46′ – Second half gets underway in Lusaka, with the hosts leading 2-0.

45′ – It is half time in Lusaka. Zambia 2-0 Algeria.

45+2′ – A great cross in search of Algerian forwards, but it is too much for Slimani.

42′ – Sakala booked for a silly foul on Algerian midfielder.

40′ – Mulenga does well on the left flank to toy around with an Algerian defender, but his rushed effort sails wide over the cross bar. Zambia 2-0 Algeria

37′ – Hassani booked for a foul on Daka. Free kick for the hosts.

35′ Mwila makes it two for the Zambians. A wonderful run on the left flank by Mulenga as he beat the Algerian defence before passing the ball for the Platinum Stars striker. 2-0 against Algeria.

30′ – Sunzu and Mweene fail to communicate at the back, but the ball goes sway from danger. Zambia 1-0 Algeria.

25′ – The North Africans pushing for an equaliser and to trouble the disjointed defence. Mweene collects a cross from the right flank.

20′ – Zambia not convincing at the back, a handball protested for by Slimani, but referee not interested. Zambia still lead 1-0.

15′ – Faouzi Ghoulam attempts a header from a corner, but the defender’s effort sails wide off the cross bar.

13′ – Zambia lead the Desert Warriors in the opening 10 minutes. Mulenga tries a long range effort, but narrowly misses the target.

07′ – Mwila scores for the hosts, Mwila receives a telling cross on the right flank through Mulenga and the forward cannot be denied fore the second time. Zambia 1-0 Algeria.

03′ – The hosts get a corner as they put the Algerians under pressure. Goal kick for M’Bolhi.

01′ – We are underway in Lusaka between Chipolopolo and the Desert Warriors.



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WCQ: Uganda 1-0 Egypt – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Khalid Aucho of Uganda challenged by Mohamed Elneny of Egypt during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Uganda

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 17:07


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group E match between Uganda and Egypt at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala.

Line-ups:

Uganda XI: Denis Onyango, Nico Wakiro Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Isaac Isinde, Murushid Juuko, Wasswa Hassan Mawanda,Khalid Aucho, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Faruku Miya, Derrick Nsibambi, Joseph Benson Ochaya.

Egypt XI: Essam El-Hadary; Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, Ahmed Hegazy, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Said, Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’.

Commentary:

FULL-TIME! Uganda 1-0 Egypt

95′ – CHANCE! Egypt attacker Salah’s effort is blocked by his teammate Hegazy from close range.

93′ – Uganda sub: Muleme IN, Ochaya OUT.

90′ – The fourth has added seven minutes.

88′ – Uganda sub: Sserunkuma IN, Okwi OUT.

82′ – Caution: Uganda captain Onyango is booked for time wasting.

80′ – Uganda are now defending too deep as they look to contain Egypt in the remaining minutes of this encounter.

73′ – Egypt sub: Hamed IN, El-Said OUT.

75′ – Uganda sub: Kizito IN, Miya OUT.

70′ – Twenty minutes left on the clock for the Pharaohs to level matters.

66′ – Egypt sub: Gamal IN, Kahraba OUT.

65′ – GREAT SAVE! Egypt winger Salah’s header from close range is parried away by Uganda keeper Onyango as the Pharaohs continue to press the Cranes.

60′ – Uganda are leading 1-0 as we reach the hour-mark here in Kampala.

55′ – Egypt are now pressing Uganda as keeper Onyango gathers two long balls as the visitors look to respond with a goal.

51 – GOAL! Uganda 1-0 Egypt. Okwi cuts inside and he beats El-Hadary with a low shot.

50′ – GREAT SAVE! Uganda forward Miya forces Egypt keeper El-Hadary into a great save at the near-post.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

Egypt sub: Sobhi IN, Hassan OUT

HALF-TIME! Uganda 0-0 Egypt.

45′ – The fourth official has added one minute.

40′ – Pressure is mounting on the Egyptian defence as El-Hadary denies Uganda attacker Nsibambi, whose header was heading for the top corner.

35′ – GREAT SAVE! Egypt keeper El-Hadary makes a great save to deny Uganda winger Okwi, who had unleashed a powerful low shot from side the box.

30′ – It remains goalless here in Kampala and Uganda have been doing most of the attacking thus far.

25′ – Uganda keeper Onyango is called into action and he gathers Egypt winger Salah’s curling effort from a corner-kick.

20′ – Uganda attacker Okwi plays a cross into the Egypt box for Nsibambi, but the ball goes out for a goal-kick.

15′ – GOOD SAVE! Egypt goalkeeper El-Hadary tips Uganda forward Okwi’s effort over the crossbar as the Cranes press the Pharaohs.

10′ – Uganda attacker Miya makes a good run down the right-hand side, but Egypt defender Hegazy does well to stop him.

5′ – The Cranes of Uganda are enjoying more possession thus far as they search for an early goal.

CAUTION: Uganda’s Nsibambi is booked after elbowing Egypt attacker Salah.

1′ – The match is underway.



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