Title: Africa World Cup 2010 Qualifying
jtgulls - February 13, 2008 04:13 AM (GMT)
With South Africa already given a spot in the World Cup, how many spots will be up for grabs in African WC qualifying?
Martin - February 13, 2008 06:18 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (jtgulls @ Feb 12 2008, 08:13 PM)|
| With South Africa already given a spot in the World Cup, how many spots will be up for grabs in African WC qualifying? |
Africa gets five teams plus South Africa.http://z8.invisionfree.com/Soccer_Futbol_F...wtopic=229&st=0
Here is the opening round of qualifying:
|Group 1 |
Cape Verde Islands
Twelve group winners and eight best runners-up go through to final qualifying stage where they will be drawn in five groups of four teams. The five group winners qualify for the finals.
Note: South Africa take part in the competition which also serves as the qualifying tournament for the Africa Nations Cup. If South Africa reaches the final stage, its matches will not count towards World Cup qualification.
Egypt didn't get an easy draw in this opening group play being paired with DR Congo (the former Zaire) who although they didn't qualify for this just completed Nations Cup have been traditional participants in the continental championship and have a team with a lot of talent (LuaLua, Nonda to name their two most well known players) but they are usually plagued by even more federational disorganization than is the norm in Africa.
enganche - February 14, 2008 06:32 AM (GMT)
So the final round of African qualifying will be 5 groups of 4 teams each. Based on the most recent African Nations Cups, those qualifying matches should be very intense and evenly matched. I wonder how seeding will be determined? I'm just guessing but I'd bet qualifying for Germany 2006 and results from these last two Nations Cup will be used to determine seeding. After winning back to back continental titles I think it would be safe to say Egypt should, if as expected they advance, be one of the 5 seeded teams.
SuperEagle - February 15, 2008 07:40 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (enganche @ Feb 13 2008, 10:32 PM)|
| So the final round of African qualifying will be 5 groups of 4 teams each. Based on the most recent African Nations Cups, those qualifying matches should be very intense and evenly matched. I wonder how seeding will be determined? I'm just guessing but I'd bet qualifying for Germany 2006 and results from these last two Nations Cup will be used to determine seeding. After winning back to back continental titles I think it would be safe to say Egypt should, if as expected they advance, be one of the 5 seeded teams. |
That is what I understand will be the basis for seeding when we get to the final round along with the team's FIFA rankings. That would seem to make Egypt, Ivory Coast and Ghana likely favorites to be seeded if they advance with the other two spots likely to be a battle between Tunisia, Cameroon and Nigeria. It should be fun to figure all of that out as we get closer to the final round draw but in the meantime all these nations will have to get by the first round of qualifiers.
Looking at the groups, there should be some difficult battles and no team wants to finish 2nd and hope you are one of the 8 out of 12 second place teams which will advance. That is leaving too much up to chance. So battles like Guinea vs Zimbabwe and Namibia; Senegal vs Algeria; Angola vs Benin and Uganda; Mali vs Congo and Sudan; Togo vs Zambia and Egypt vs DR Congo should be pretty heated. Nigeria and South Africa have also developed a rivalry over the years too but with South Africa's position only counting towards Nations Cup and not World Cup qualifying, Nigeria shouldn't have too many concerns about this opening round group.
SuperEagle - February 25, 2008 12:11 AM (GMT)
As far as I know Nigeria, Tunisia and Senegal are all going to be in search of a new coach for World Cup qualifying as Vogts, Lemerre and Kasperczak all were either fired or resigned as a result of the Nations Cup. Ghana just renewed Claude Leroy's contract so they are keeping some continuity which is always a good thing. I'll be curious what Ivory Coast will do, and whether Uli Stielike, after his son's tragic death, would still be interested in returning to coach the team.
Nkono - March 7, 2008 10:52 PM (GMT)
Stielike is back, at least on a trial basis with Ivory Coast:http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=afp-...v=afp&type=lgns
I guess that is to see if his heart is still in coaching after his son's death.
SuperEagle - March 14, 2008 07:38 PM (GMT)
Apparently Stielike is only back for the one game as he signed a short term contract with Ivory Coast. Strange isn't it? Maybe Nkono is right and it is a trial run to see if he really wants to continue on. The potential for something great is there with the Elephants and if Stielike doesn't want the job I am sure they'll have plenty of candidates who would be interested.
SuperEagle - March 28, 2008 08:24 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (SuperEagle @ Mar 14 2008, 11:38 AM)|
| Apparently Stielike is only back for the one game as he signed a short term contract with Ivory Coast. Strange isn't it? Maybe Nkono is right and it is a trial run to see if he really wants to continue on. The potential for something great is there with the Elephants and if Stielike doesn't want the job I am sure they'll have plenty of candidates who would be interested. |
Doesn't look like Stielike will stick around with Ivory Coast and the team which after the ANC quarterfinals looked detsined to win the Cup have been in a horrible slump since then, they've now lost 3 straight games. Stielike's IC were beaten 2-0 by Tunisia, playing their final game under Roger Lemerre. Drogba didn't play for the Ivorians but their form has suddenly disappeared on them and it looks now liek a coach other than Stielike will be the one responsible for getting them abck on track.
Ghana must be really upset that they lost 2-1 to mexico. Ghana were outplaying Mexico and up 1-0 on a nice Michael Essien goal when their backup goalkeeper made a horrible error, lost the ball and gave Mexico a free tap in to tie the game up. Then in the final minutes the ref invented a penalty for adive which if there had been a foul was committed outside the penalty area. Well it is just a friendly but Ghana are a better team than Mexico and should not have lost that game. But once more Ghana need to question themselves over their poor finishing as that let mexico abck into the game.
Morocco with probably the most impressive result this past week for Africa's national teams, beating Belgium 4-1 in Brussels. Morocco are the kings of friendlies but put them in a competition and they choke.
Nkono - April 2, 2008 10:05 PM (GMT)
Scratch Stephen Keshi off the list of candidates to coach Nigeria, he's just accepted an offer to coach Mali!
I agree SE about Morocco, they are the African kings of friendlies. Always impressing in those games until it really matters. They had a talented U-20 team in 2005, maybe as those players mature they can build a pretty good team but I wouldn't hold my breath on that.
Nkono - April 17, 2008 05:42 PM (GMT)
Cote d'Ivoire have officially parted ways with Uli Stielike. Typically silly move on their part as Stielike had them playing well leading up to Ghana 2008. Unfortunately his son fell ill and eventually died and he wasn't able to coach them in Ghana but with the way he had them playing leading up to that tournament I think they would have done better than they did if he'd remained coach.
SuperEagle - April 21, 2008 09:37 PM (GMT)
Carlos Alberto Parreira has left South Africa and his $225,000/month salary because his wife had cancer surgery in Brazil and he wants to be with her. Can't blame him for that and hopefully it ends up better for him than the situation Stielike had with his son's illness. Word is SA are looking to hire another Brazilian to take over. Because the World Cup qualifiers also double up as African Nations Cup qualifiers, South Africa will be playing official games, although they won't count their results towards World Cup qualification, as they attempt to make it to the 2010 Nations Cup to be held in Angola. So South Africa needs a new coach in place quickly as qualifiers begin in late May.
Martin - April 21, 2008 11:48 PM (GMT)
That is too bad about Mrs. Parreira, I wish her well in her recovery. Whomever replaces Parreira with South Africa will have his work cut out for him. Parreira was trying to rebuild the team with youngsters but South Africa's U-23 team were manhandled in Olympic qualifying by both Nigeria and Ghana. No dishonor in losing to thsoe two countries but the talent level doens't seem to be there now. Strange as in sub Saharan Africa, South Africa probably has the best organized league plus the country has a significant amount of players in Europe but they just don't seem to produce playing for the national team.
Merengue - April 22, 2008 12:18 AM (GMT)
South Africa didn't waste time naming a successor to Parreira, it will be Joel Santana, currently in charge of Flamengo,http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-...uters&type=lgns
|“Joel is transferring to the South African national team after the final of the Carioca championship,” Flamengo’s football vice-president Kleber Leite said on the club’s Web site (http://www.flamengo.com.br).|
“He told that me that he will earn in 30 months more than he has earned in the last 30 years……His dream is to coach a national team at a World Cup.”
Santana is recognised as a journeyman professional with a good track record in Brazil but little international experience, apart from brief stints with clubs in Saudi Arabia and Japan.
He told reporters at Flamengo’s training camp in the mountain retreat of Teresopolis: “I’m happy that I’m being recognised outside Brazil. It shows that my work is not all that bad.”
SuperEagle - April 23, 2008 04:46 AM (GMT)
Hard for Joel Santana to turn down that kind of money on offer. Now he has to get busy with these qualifiers around the corner. In fact today Nigeria even named their roster for the game against South Africa.
Nkono - April 26, 2008 07:20 AM (GMT)
Tunisia are looking to replace one ex France coach Roger Lemerre with another Jacques Santini. I was never impressed much with Santini but it must be said in his defense that it was under he as coach that Lyon first began to dominate French football.
Nkono - May 13, 2008 01:49 PM (GMT)
I'm not sure if Santini has officially accepted the Tunisia job or not but the man he is lined up to replace Roger Lemerre is going to be the new coach at Morocco, one of Africa's more talented but underachieving national teams.
Vahid Halihodzic is going to be the Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) new coach so the teams are finally settling on new leaders with World Cup qualifying beginning the first week of June!
SuperEagle - May 13, 2008 10:59 PM (GMT)
I feel better about Nigeria having a new coach whsoe only warm up prior to World Cup qualifying will be one at the end of this month against Austria. At least he has had a chance to observe players and engage in some planning unlike Lemerre and Halihodzic! Typical African FA move!
Nkono - May 30, 2008 03:56 AM (GMT)
World Cup qualifying starts this weekend in Africa with these matches:
Blantyre: Malawi v Djibouti
Gabarone: Botswana v Madagascar
Yaounde: Cameroon v Cape Verde Islands
Libreville: Gabon v Lesotho
Kigali: Rwanda v Mauritania
Accra: Togo v Zambia
Dar es Salaam: Tanzania v Mauritius
Windhoek: Namibia v Kenya
Kampala: Uganda v Niger
Casablanca: Morocco v Ethiopia
Dakar: Senegal v Algeria
Omdurman: Sudan v Chad
Luanda: Angola v Benin
Malabo: Equatorial Guinea v Sierra Leone
Bujumbura: Burundi v Seychelles
Abuja: Nigeria v South Africa
Monrovia: Liberia v Gambia
Abidjan: Ivory Coast v Mozambique
Conakry: Guinea v Zimbabwe
Kumasi: Ghana v Libya
Rades: Tunisia v Burkina Faso
Bamako: Mali v Congo
Cairo: Egypt v Congo DR
There are several matchups which on paper at least look quite close,
Nigeria-South Africa; Togo-Zambia; Senegal-Algeria and Egypt- DR Congo all look like pretty even matchups.
SuperEagle - May 31, 2008 03:27 AM (GMT)
Time to get this started, the beginning of the road to South Africa 2010! With the 12 group winners and 8 best 2nd place teams making it through, the pressure in this round shouldn't be that great on the favorites, unless they lose their opening game and have to start playing catch up. Needless to say then these opening games will be important.
Nkono - June 2, 2008 07:34 AM (GMT)
Here is a link summarising the first weekend of qualifying play:http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-...uters&type=lgns
The one shock was Burkina Faso's 2-1 win at Tunisia! Two late goals for Burkina faso gave them the upset win. Apparently Roger lemerre is still coaching Tunisia until the end of June when his contract expires and he'll then go and coach Morocco! Nothing like having a lame duck coach to inspire confidence!
Egypt went behind at the half in ahome game evrsus DR Congo and needed a late goal to win their match 2-1. Cote d'Ivoire were missing Didier Drogba but his understudy Sekou Cisse scored the only goal in their victory over Mozambique.
In other games Cameroon easily beat Cape Verde 2-0 with a pair of goals by veterans Rigobert Song and Samuel Eto'o. Nigeria handled South Africa by the same 2-0 score, Senegal got the game's only goal versus Algeria while Ghana won big over Libya 3-0. It took Angola an hour but they finally scored on Benin and eventually went on to win 3-0.
But the big story of the weekend was definitely Tunisia's loss.
Nkono - June 6, 2008 11:20 PM (GMT)
An ex Cameroon coach Humberto Coelho will become Tunisia's new coahc but again that won't happen until Lemerre's contract expires at the end of this month! So Tunisia will play 4 World Cup qualifiers with a lame duck coach, the next coach of Morocco! Ah, my continent, only in Africa...
This is a good preview of this weekend's qualifying games from the BBC:http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7437982.stm
Really there aren't any standout games but teams like Tunisia and South Africa who lost last weekend had better get back to winning ways. Also note in the linked article new Cote d'Ivoire coach Halihodzic's anger at Drogba and Salomon kalou not appearing for World Cup qualifying games.
SuperEagle - June 8, 2008 12:12 AM (GMT)
This weekend's scores with Sunday's matches still remaining (the score in parentheses is the half time result),
06/06/08 15:00 DJIBOUTI Djibouti 0:4 (0:1) Egypt
06/06/08 19:15 BLIDA Algeria 3:0 (2:0) Liberia
07/06/08 15:00 PRETORIA South Africa 4:1 (2:0) Equatorial Guinea
07/06/08 16:00 PRAIA Cape Verde Islands 1:0 (0:0) Tanzania
07/06/08 16:00 NAIROBI Kenya 2:0 (1:0) Guinea
07/06/08 16:00 N'DJAMENA Chad 1:2 Mali
07/06/08 16:30 FREETOWN Sierra Leone 0:1 (0:0) Nigeria
07/06/08 16:30 VICTORIA (SEY) Seychelles 0:2 (0:2) Tunisia
07/06/08 17:00 NOUAKCHOTT Mauritania 1:4 (0:2) Morocco
07/06/08 18:00 OUAGADOUGOU Burkina Faso 2:0 (2:0) Burundi
07/06/08 20:00 TRIPOLI Libya 1:0 (1:0) Gabon
08/06/08 14:30 ANTANANARIVO Madagascar Côte d'Ivoire
08/06/08 15:00 CUREPIPE Mauritius Cameroon
08/06/08 15:00 HARARE Zimbabwe Namibia
08/06/08 15:00 MAPUTO Mozambique Botswana
08/06/08 15:00 MBABANE Swaziland Togo
08/06/08 15:30 BRAZZAVILLE Congo Sudan
08/06/08 15:30 KINSHASA Congo DR Malawi
08/06/08 16:00 NIAMEY Niger Angola
08/06/08 16:00 COTONOU Benin Uganda
08/06/08 16:00 ADDIS ABEBA Ethiopia Rwanda
08/06/08 17:00 BLOEMFONTEIN Lesotho Ghana
08/06/08 17:00 BANJUL Gambia Senegal
Good wins for Kenya over Guinea and Libya over Gabon, South Africa, Algeria and Tunisia all got back on track after losing the first week. I talk about Nigeria's struggles to beat Sierra Leone away in the Super Eagles discussion thread. Tomorrow's most interesting games are the neighbourhood derby between Gambia and Senegal and DR Congo hosting Malawi.
Nkono - June 9, 2008 05:43 AM (GMT)
An article wrapping up Sunday's qualifiers,http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-...uters&type=lgns
Cameroon won easily away from home, Ghana were 3-0 up on tiny lesotho but gave up two late goals to make it tight at the end, Angola came from behind to win in Niger but Cote d'Ivoire, without Drogba, Dindane and Salomon Kalou played a 0-0 tie at Madagascar! And Togo got beat by little Swaziland! Road game sin Africa ar enot easy. Usually are lousy conditions to deal with and not every team is capable of getting through those games.
kevin - June 12, 2008 03:44 PM (GMT)
I was at the Swaziland-Togo match! My radio silence is because I've been in Africa for the past 2 weeks on business and the Internet connnections are still very poor, even in decent hotels. I was in Zambia for a week and then went to Swaziland from Sunday-today (I'm now at the Joburg airport awaitng a flight to the States).
Of course, knowing the game was being played, I arranged with the US embassy (I was doing programs for them on access to information and freedom of speech) to get me a ticket and a ride to the game. It was great!
Nobody, of course, believed the Swazis could win, especially given that they hadn't actually won an international match of any kind in something like 6 years. But they didn't know this fact: I've never been to a game outside the US where the home team has lost...
In the end, the unity and organization of the Swazi team outlasted Adebayor and the quicker Togoese. In fact, Adebayor largely got frustrated by the lack of service and the 1-2 times he got free, he was stoned by the Swazi GK, who was excellent on the day (he also stopped a couple of 1 v. 1s by others). The first Swazi goal was a good cross that hit the striker more than he hit it, leading to a header from about 18 yards looping into the upper corner. The 2nd was a counter attack that was along the lines of the 2nd Portugal goal vs. Turkey (left wing to top of the area, turn, lay it off for the onrushing right winger).
What a great experience when the 15k or so in the stadium (yes, it's a small stadium, open on one side with a great view of the mountains behind and a ticket fee of 50E -- that's about $ 7 US -- for the best seats), ran onto the field (I'm hearing that FIFA will fine the Swasi FA, but nobody cares).
The Togo side were staying at my hotel, but were nowhere to be seen that night. I hear that they were fighting with each other the next day at the airport, which isn't surprising either and totally believable, given that the airport has 1 flight every 3 hours and is the smallest place in teh world. There was no way someone would have just hidden that...
I wish I were staying for this weekend's Shilunga v. Chipolopolo Boys (Swaziland-Zambia) match, although I fear that now that they are top of the group, the Swazi fans can only be disappointed if they don't win...
shelsoccer - June 12, 2008 07:05 PM (GMT)
Great story, Kevin. I'm sure it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks for sharing.
Winslow - June 13, 2008 01:04 PM (GMT)
Man--that beats my trip to Panama City for the Panama-US second round qualifier a few years ago. Nice report.
Nkono - June 13, 2008 03:03 PM (GMT)
Great experience kevin and thank you for sharing the story. Hmm, so the home team has never lost when you attend a game outside the US? Maybe myself and my fellow Cameroonians can pull our resources together and send you to a Cameoron hme match in the next round of World Cup qualifying! :D
Here is a FIFA article about this weekend's round of qualifying games being played throughout Africa with some emphasis on Swaziland:http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/newsid=7...ope+roar+africa
|Goals from Siza Dlamini and Collen Salelwako earned Swaziland a shock 2-1 victory over Germany 2006 qualifiers Togo last Sunday, and only their second success in 10 World Cup ties spanning 16 years. |
Togo overcame Zambia, and a Swazi squad guided by former South Africa coach Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba will believe that if they can beat the team ranked 13th in Africa, they can claim another scalp against a country one place lower.
Even Swaziland did not envisage going far as Mashaba, who serves as manager of leading South African club Orlando Pirates, was given only a caretaker role in charge of the 'Burning Spear'.
He works with locals performing in one of the weakest African leagues and a few "exiles" operating in the South African second division, with none known beyond the borders of the tiny kingdom.
The "Sparrowhawks" of Togo have plenty of time to lick their wounds because the unexplained withdrawal of Eritrea means the West Africans do not play again in Group 11 until September.
Now I know we have alot of creative nicknames for our national teams in Africa but Swaziland's "Burning Spear" might be one of the best ones!
The complete schedule of games this weekend:
Friday, June 13
Djibouti v Congo DR
Mauritania v Ethiopia
Saturday, June 14
Malawi v Egypt
Namibia v Guinea
Botswana v Ivory Coast
Gabon v Ghana
Rwanda v Morocco
Tanzania v Cameroon
Kenya v Zimbabwe
Uganda v Angola
Niger v Benin
Chad v Congo
Sierra Leone v South Africa
Seychelles v Burkina Faso
Gambia v Algeria
Sudan v Mali
Sunday, June 15
Madagascar v Mozambique
Mauritius v Cape Verde
Lesotho v Libya
Burundi v Tunisia
Swaziland v Zambia
Equatorial Guinea v Nigeria
Liberia v Senegal
kevin - June 13, 2008 03:32 PM (GMT)
Thanks. I mentioned to a few Swazis that I might be (have?) "muti" (those of you in Africa might know what I mean). They were all for paying to fly me back for big games.
I haven't been to a large amount of non-US games overseas, but I saw Argentina win a home qualifier vs. Uruguay (no surprise there) and point mainly to Portugal in Euro 2004. I got there in time to attend the Portugal-England match and left the country the day before the final...we know what happened there.
SuperEagle - June 15, 2008 04:31 AM (GMT)
Wonderful story kevin and we might need to send you to Nigeria for the final round of qualifying too! Muti is a Zulu word I think and thus is mainly used in southern Africa.
Here are the scores from FIFA.com from Friday and Saturday in African World Cup qualifying:
13/06/08 15:00 DJIBOUTI Djibouti 0:6 (0:3) Congo DR
13/06/08 17:00 NOUAKCHOTT Mauritania 0:1 (0:0) Ethiopia
14/06/08 14:30 BLANTYRE Malawi 1:0 (0:0) Egypt
14/06/08 15:00 WINDHOEK Namibia 1:2 (1:2) Guinea
14/06/08 15:00 GABORONE Botswana 1:1 (1:0) Côte d'Ivoire
14/06/08 15:30 LIBREVILLE Gabon 2:0 (1:0) Ghana
14/06/08 15:30 KIGALI Rwanda 3:1 (1:0) Morocco
14/06/08 16:00 DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania 0:0 Cameroon
14/06/08 16:00 NAIROBI Kenya 2:0 (1:0) Zimbabwe
14/06/08 16:00 KAMPALA Uganda 3:1 (2:0) Angola
14/06/08 16:00 NIAMEY Niger 0:2 (0:0) Benin
14/06/08 16:00 N'DJAMENA Chad 2:1 (1:1) Congo
14/06/08 16:30 FREETOWN Sierra Leone 1:0 (1:0) South Africa
14/06/08 16:30 VICTORIA (SEY) Seychelles 2:3 (0:1) Burkina Faso
14/06/08 17:00 BANJUL Gambia 1:0 (1:0) Algeria
14/06/08 20:00 KHARTOUM Sudan 3:2 (1:0) Mali
Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Angola, South Africa, Algeria and Mali all lost on the road this weekend! And Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Cameroon only could draw on the road. Makes me a little nervous about Nigeria's trip to play Equitorial Guinea on Sunday. The Equitorial Guineans have already beaten Sierra Leone at home. Parity is coming to African football.
Simon - June 16, 2008 11:42 AM (GMT)
Just to wrap up yesterday's qualifiers:
Mauritius 0-1 Cape Verde
Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Nigeria
Lesotho 0-1 Libya
Liberia 2-2 Senegal
Madagascar 1-1 Mozambique
Burundi 0-1 Tunisia
Swaziland 0-0 Zambia
Great story, Kevin, and by having to return to the States at least you only missed out on a 0-0 draw this time round. Sounds like SuperEagle was justified in expecting a tough away game for Nigeria, but goal machine Joseph Yobo scored a winner for the second match running! A win back in Abuja against Equatorial Guinea on Saturday and Nigeria are safely through to the next round. Big Radhi Jaidi was another defender to score a vital goal, 24 minutes from time to give Tunisia victory in a tense game in Burundi.
kevin - June 16, 2008 06:46 PM (GMT)
yeah, I saw the score -- I'm following this group very closely now since I was in Zambia the week before I was in Swaziland.
That's still a very good result for the Swazis, as it means that they can likely progress if they can simply draw in Zambia or Togo.
Nkono - June 17, 2008 05:46 AM (GMT)
There are 12 groups and the group winners plus the 8 best second place clubs qualify for the next round where they'll be divided up into 5 groups of 4 teams each. So it isn't a guarantee that finishing 2nd in your present group will allow you to advance. Countries like Morocco, Cote d'Ivoire and Egypt should all be concerned about that now as none of them lead their groups at the half way mark now.
kevin - June 17, 2008 01:15 PM (GMT)
That's right -- I forgot that not all of the 2nd placed finishers get through, so the Swazis would likely need more than just 5 points to be one of the 8 best 2nd placed teams (I don't know how they factor in the 2 fewer games, though).
SuperEagle - June 18, 2008 05:33 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (kevin @ Jun 17 2008, 05:15 AM)|
| That's right -- I forgot that not all of the 2nd placed finishers get through, so the Swazis would likely need more than just 5 points to be one of the 8 best 2nd placed teams (I don't know how they factor in the 2 fewer games, though). |
I believe I had read that in determining the top 8 second place teams they'll factor in the 2nd place team's results in each group against the 1st and 3rd place teams so as to even it up for Group 11 which had one nation withdraw. Confusing isn't it?
These are the standings in each group at the halfway stage of this round of qualifying:
Team (Matches Played) Points
Cameroon (3) 7
Cape Verde (3) 6
Tanzania (3) 2
Mauritius (3) 1
Kenya (3) 6
Zimbabwe (3) 4
Guinea (3) 4
Namibia (3) 3
Angola (3) 6
Benin (3) 6
Uganda (3) 6
Niger (3) 0
Nigeria (3) 9
South Africa (3) 3
Equatorial Guinea (3) 3
Sierra Leone (3) 3
Ghana (3) 6
Libya (3) 6
Gabon (2) 3
Lesotho (2) 0
Senegal (3) 5
Gambia (3) 5
Algeria (3) 3
Liberia (3) 2
Botswana (3) 5
Ivory Coast (3) 5
Madagascar (3) 3
Mozambique (3) 1
Rwanda (3) 9
Morocco (3) 6
Ethiopia (3) 3
Mauritania (3) 0
Burkina Faso (3) 9
Tunisia (3) 6
Burundi (3) 3
Seychelles (3) 0
Mali (3) 6
Chad (2) 3
Sudan (2) 3
Congo (3) 3
Swaziland (2) 4
Togo (2) 3
Zambia (2) 1
Malawi (3) 6
DR Congo (3) 6
Egypt (3) 6
Djibouti (2) 0
Nigeria, Rwanda and Burkina Faso are the only teams with maximum points at the halfway stage.
Martin - June 20, 2008 04:51 PM (GMT)
Here is confirmation from the BBC about the convuluted way that CAF are going about calculating the best second placed teams now that one group is short a memebr,http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7461676.stm
|One of the 12 groups has only three teams, and Caf wants to give the runners-up in that group a fair chance of qualifying. |
So rather than simply looking at points gained and goal difference to determine the best second-placed teams, a re-calculation will take place.
The runners-up in Group 11, which has three teams will have their statistics unchanged.
But in the other groups, the points and goal difference that the second-placed teams had against the fourth-placed team will be erased.
These new totals will then be used to determine the eight best runners-up, using points gained and then goal difference, then goals scored.
Caf says that a play-off match will take place in November should there be a tie for the eighth best runners-up spot.
I suppose the biggest problem with this is until the last day of play is complete we won't know who that 4th placed team in 11 of the 12 groups will be, so it will be almost impossible to calculate which teams are going to finish as the top 8 second place teams until all games are complete and we can then determine which teams finished in 4th place and whose record against the 2nd placed teams will be discarded! It is all very confusing. It sure would have been easier to replace the country which withdrew, Eritrea, with one of the nations eliminated in the preliminary round so that all groups would have 4 teams.
SuperEagle - June 24, 2008 06:21 PM (GMT)
After last week's play ended a marathon month of qualifying, with four games played in most groups, the action will take a break with one game in September and another in October still remaining. These are the standings and the outlook in each group:
Team (Matches Played) Points
Cameroon (4) 10
Cape Verde (4) 9
Tanzania (4) 2
Mauritius (4) 1
Cameroon had more trouble than expected in it's home and away matches with Tanzania (tie and narrow one goal victory) but along with surprise team Cape Verde, loaded with Portuguese based professionals, these two should both qualify for the next round.
Guinea (4) 7
Kenya (4) 7
Zimbabwe (4) 5
Namibia (4) 3
Top to bottom the most competitive group. The group winner should be decided on the final day in October when Guinea hosts Kenya. Because of the tightness of this group it is possible the group runner up will not be one of the top 8 2nd placed finishers.
Benin (4) 9
Angola (4) 7
Uganda (4) 7
Niger (4) 0
An even closer race among the top 3 in the group with only bottom team Niger having no hope. But since their results will be thrown out to determine the runners up in each group, this is another group where 2nd place may not be enough to qualify for the next round. Favorites Angola must not lose it's next game in September at leaders Benin.
Nigeria (4) 12
South Africa (4) 4
Sierra Leone (4) 4
Equatorial Guinea (4) 3
Nigeria have already assured themselves passage to the next round as group winners and have yet to concede a goal. This is another group where second place will find it difficult to advance.
Ghana (4) 9
Libya (4) 9
Gabon (3) 3
Lesotho (3) 0
Gabon hosts Lesotho in a make up game this weekend. A Gabon win puts them still in with a chance but this group may be determined when Libya hosts Ghana in September.
Senegal (4) 8
Algeria (4) 6
Gambia (4) 5
Liberia (4) 2
Another very competitive group with Gambia making it a 3 team race. Algeria hosts Senegal in what will be a key game in September.
Ivory Coast (4) 8
Botswana (4) 5
Mozambique (4) 4
Madagascar (4) 3
After a slow start Ivory Coast have found their way and should win the group. 2nd place is wide open.
Morocco (4) 9
Rwanda (4) 9
Ethiopia (4) 6
Mauritania (4) 0
Morocco beat Rwanda at home last weekend to end Rwanda's unbeaten streak and retake first place. But Morocco still has a tricky visit to Ethiopia to contend with.
Burkina Faso (4) 12
Tunisia (4) 9
Burundi (4) 3
Seychelles (4) 0
Burkina Faso remain unbeaten but Tunisia are on their tail in a group where it looks clear both will qualify. Burkina Faso could assure classification with a home win over Tunisia in September.
Mali (4) 9
Congo (4) 6
Chad (3) 3
Sudan (3) 3
Congo hosts Mali next round in a clash with first place at stake. Sudan surprisingly have struggled after a promising Nations Cup earlier this year.
Swaziland (3) 4
Zambia (3) 4
Togo (2) 3
A much closer group than expected, Zambia can move into control with a home win in their final match over Togo. But Swaziland have been the surprise team here.
DR Congo (4) 9
Egypt (4) 9
Malawi (4) 6
Djibouti (4) 0
DR Congo could win the group next round with a home win over African champions Egypt, if DR Congo don't win that game, Egypt will likely claim the group with a big home win over bottom placed Djibouti on the final day. Malawi have also made it interesting and their home win over Egypt might prove to be the difference in this group.
Martin - June 24, 2008 07:21 PM (GMT)
Excellent work SuperEagle in setting out the situation in each group. It is much appreciated. Other than Nigeria, all of the principal nations have struggled a bit in qualifying. In the end the giants should come through but SuperEagle does a good job of setting out that especially in Groups 2 and 3, the second place team may have a difficult time advancing when their point totals are recalculated to take into account the one less team in Group 11.
Traditional powers like Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Angola and Ghana still have some work to do to ensure they qualify for the next round.
Because of the emerging parity in Africa and the fact in the final round of qualifying only the group winners will advance to the World Cup, I think a strong argument can be made that Africa's World Cup qualifying is the most difficult in the world to advance from.
Winslow - June 25, 2008 12:21 PM (GMT)
I know many of us are watching the news from Zimbabwe, so what's your reaction to this, from yesterday's op-ed piece in The New York Times by Zimbabwean author Peter Godwin?
"If [South African president] Mbeki’s cost-benefit calculus has been such that he hasn’t seen it necessary to take tougher action [against Zimbabwe's rulers], perhaps it’s time to change that calculus. Perhaps, for example, now is not the time for you to book a safari to South Africa. Or for you, or any institution that manages your funds, to make new investments in the country.
"Most important, there is the FIFA soccer World Cup, for which South Africa is to act as host in 2010. That may seem like a long way off, but South Africa is already investing huge amounts both financially and politically, for what is supposed to be its triumphal coming-out party. Maybe Zimbabwe should become to the South Africa-hosted World Cup what Tibet has been to the Beijing Olympics — the pungent albatross that spoils every press conference and mars every presentation with its insistent odor.
"Perhaps it’s time to share the Zimbabweans’ pain, to help persuade Mr. Mbeki to bear down on its source by threatening to grab the world’s soccer ball and take our games elsewhere."
Using sport to put pressure on the bad guys has had mixed results overall, but UEFA did it right when it kicked Yugoslavia out of Euro '92 over the violence in Bosnia. Is this the time for CAF or FIFA to lean on Zimbabwe, and on South Africa for being an enabler?
SuperEagle - June 25, 2008 03:38 PM (GMT)
Well Britain are threatening to ban Zimbabwe's cricket team from touring there but in general I do not like the idea of using sporting bans to enact political goals. There is no question Thabo Mbeki, the South African president is not doing enough but this is where the African Union needs to step up and take over from Mbeki and South Africa as the institutions putting pressure on Robert Mugabe. Unfortunately the AU has not had a good record in pressuring nations but with backing from the European Union and the United Nations, it can be done if the will to do it is there.
About pressuring South Africa for not doing enough by threatening to take the World Cup away, that is a really bad idea and will be looked upon in all of Africa as colonial era bullying by the Western World. There are other means to pressure South Africa to get them to put more pressure on Zimbabwe.
Simon - June 25, 2008 05:40 PM (GMT)
And in fact, England has severed all cricketing ties with Zimbabwe, cancelling the Zimbabwe tour of this country in 2009 which would have included two tests and three one-dayers. Interestingly, England's Cricket Board, the ECB, did this in response to the same measures being taken first by South Africa, which does hopefully suggest a change of tack from the South Africans. There's an interesting look at the complex issues at stake on this link, such as the importance of the governing body or even the government taking the decision and not just putting the moral responsibility onto individual sportsmen:http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/7471238.stm
On the wider point, I generally agree with SuperEagle that it's often too tempting for governments to lean on sport as a means of taking action instead of actually doing the right thing themselves. It's hard to know what was really achieved by the olympic boycotts of the early 1980s, besides wasting years of athletes' training, but with hindsight would we still have taken part in the 1936 games? Okay there was Jesse Owens, but besides that it was a huge step for the Nazis in legitimising themselves. Also, I think the sporting boycotts against apartheid South Africa were very successful. The real enmity between Britain and the apartheid regime was actually triggered by sport with the infamous Basil D'Oliveira affair.
Basil D'Oliveira was an outstanding all-rounder who played for the English Cricket team in the late 1960s. He'd been born in Cape Town but was a British citizen. However, when England came to tour South Africa in 1968/69, it became clear that although the rest of the team would be welcome, D'Oliveira would not be allowed in on account of him being black. This caused a huge diplomatic incident between the two countries, the tour was cancelled and South Africa became a sporting pariah. I think episodes like this show just how important sport can be in international relations and in putting pressure on unacceptable regimes.