WCQ Preview: Africa’s Key Qualifiers
Over at sister-site Mad About Fútbol, I augment today’s Cameroon-Togo preview by looking briefly at the two other key matches in the region.
In both Groups B and C, the favorites are in danger of bowing out. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, trails Tunisia by two points in Group B, having drawn with them in the last round. In Group C, Egypt is trying to stay on track for a November 14 match with Algeria, where they can make up the three points (and three goals) the group leaders have on them.
Whether they survive the weekend, both Nigeria and Egypt are in danger of missing out on South Africa. Egypt, the two-time defending confederation champions, have only made two World Cups, their last appearance coming in 1990. While it is a bit of a mystery why such a talented team has failed to show better in qualifying, this is not a new phenomenon.
Nigeria missed Germany after qualifying for the preceding three tournaments (making it out of group stage twice) but, without another match against Tunisia, they look destined to miss consecutive finals, a result that should be unacceptable to a country with the talent and size of Nigeria.