Skip to content

Senegal, Cameroon, Morocco, Ghana and Tunisia qualified, Algeria and Egypt disappointed

Four days after the first legs of these qualifiers for the World Cup in the Africa zone, the ten teams still in contention faced each other a second time, on Tuesday 29 March. At stake, five tickets for the next World Cup, organized in Qatar from November 2022. Five-star posters including a confrontation between Egypt and Senegal, the last two finalists of the African Cup of Nations.

Senegal frustrates Egypt again on penalties

After 210 minutes of play in total, Senegalese and Egyptians finally had to decide on penalties. In the boiling atmosphere of the brand new Abdoulaye Wade stadium in Diamniadio (Senegal), the Teranga Lions snatched their qualification on penalties, during a session with many failures. A double confrontation which ends like the CAN final between these two nations, with a winning shot from Sadio Mané.

Before that, the match had started off with a bang with Boulaye Dia’s quick opener. An achievement by the Villarreal striker, which brought the two teams to a perfect equality after the 1-0 victory of Carlos Queiroz’s players in the first leg.

Senegalese and Egyptians surrendered blow for blow both technically and physically. Aliou Cissé’s players have, all the same, obtained the best chances with in particular a match point for Ismaïla Sarr who did not frame his shot when he was facing the goalkeeper (82nd). Mohamed El-Shenawy, Egyptian goalkeeper, distinguished himself with nine saves during the game and one during the penalty shootout. An insufficient performance to send him to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Karl Toko-Ekambi, national hero

What a scenario in Blida between Algeria and Cameroon! Karl Toko-Ekambi qualified his country on a goal at the last second (120th + 4) while his selection was virtually eliminated since the goal of Ahmed Touba (117th) a few minutes earlier. The Indomitable Lions can thank André Onana, heroic with eleven saves, including precious saves during extra time.

After a victory (1-0) in the first leg, the Fennecs arrived on waivers favorable to Blida, their fortress in which they had never been beaten. An advantage erased by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting from the 22nd minute which put the two selections back to back.

It was then Algeria who proved dangerous with two goals logically denied to Islam Slimani. Dominating in the air, the Lyonnais also came up against André Onana. Raïs M’Bolhi, not to be outdone, also saved his team thanks to a double save. Ahmed Touba’s goal (118th) from a Rachid Ghezzal corner seemed to give the Fennecs the final advantage, but Karl Toko-Ekambi emerged after a throw-in from a cross to catapult the ball into the back of the net.

With this victory (2-1) in extra time, Cameroonians benefit from the away goal rule to qualify for the World Cup. Absent in 2018, the Indomitable Lions came very close to missing a second consecutive World Cup, which has not happened to them since 1978.

Morocco enforces hierarchy against Congo

Big favorites of the double confrontation, the Moroccans had been jostled in the first leg in Congo and had equalized at the end of the game through Tarik Tissoudali (1-1). The Le Havre striker struck again in the return match in Casablanca (45th + 7). A goal preceded by a surgical strike from Angevin Azzedine Ounahi (21st), who even offered himself a double at the start of the second period (55th). Achraf Hakimi also came to join the party (70th) before Ben Malango Ngita reduced the score (77th).

Thanks to this victory (4-1), Morocco qualifies for the fifth World Cup in its history. A logical qualification which allows Vahid Halilhodzic to regain confidence after the elimination in the quarter-finals of the CAN and the criticisms which followed.

The Black Stars qualified without winning

After a draw in the first leg on Ghanaian soil (0-0), everything was decided in Abuja, Nigeria. With the away goal rule still in force, Ghana’s early opener by Thomas Partey on a handball by Francis Uzoho (11th) sent the Nigerians on the attack.

The Super Eagles then had to score two goals to hope to qualify for a seventh World Cup in eight editions. Rewarded with a penalty after a slight contact in the box, Augustine Eguavoen’s players equalized through William Troost-Ekong (21st).

Ghanaian players celebrate their qualification for the 2022 World Cup on March 29, 2022 in Abuja (Nigeria).  (PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Offensive and dangerous, the Nigerians even thought they had done the hardest part after a goal from Victor Osimhen who had won his face-to-face with Joe Wollacott (34th). A realization logically refused for offside. But Ghana held on and qualified for the fourth World Cup in its history. The Black Stars will want to repeat their exploit of 2010 and reach the quarter-finals again. No African team has done better since.

Tunisia provides the essentials

After a victory (1-0) in the first leg on a huge error by Malian central defender Moussa Sissako, the Tunisians qualified for the next World Cup thanks to a draw (0-0). The Malians struggled to put themselves in a position to destabilize the Carthage Eagles, except on a goal disallowed for an offside position for Abdoulaye Diaby.

At home, the men of Jalel Kadri, inducted after the CAN, win a ticket for the World Cup, the second in a row and the fifth in their history. The Eagles of Carthage have never left the group stages of the queen competition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.