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Sports News of Saturday, 27 November 2021


World cup play-offs in Africa: When is the CAF draw?

Black Stars beat South Africa to advance to the play-offs stage Black Stars beat South Africa to advance to the play-offs stage

The top teams from ten groups will be battling for five spots to represent the continent in Qatar

CAF has confirmed the draw for the Fifa World Cup qualification play-offs will be done on January 26.

Initially, the pairing had been scheduled for December 18, but after the Extraordinary Assembly held on Friday, a decision was reached to push the process to early next year.

The members also agreed the seeding will be done based on the January 2022 rankings whereby the top five-ranked teams will be paired with five unseeded sides.

Who made it to the play-offs?

From Group A, Algeria beat Burkina Faso to first position. The Desert Foxes, who are currently unbeaten in their last 33 matches, finished with 14 points, two more than the Stallions.

Another North African heavyweight Tunisia grabbed the Group B ticket with 13 points. Equatorial Guinea were the closest challengers in the pool as they managed to finish with 11 points.

Despite being placed in a seemingly easier Group C with Liberia, Cape Verde, and Central African Republic, West Africa giants Nigeria made heavy weather but eventually finished top with 13 points. They managed four wins, a draw, and a loss. Cape Verde came second with two points less.

In Group D, it was a battle between Cameroon and Ivory Coast. In the end, it was the Indomitable Lions who beat the Elephants to the only slot. They collected 15 points with their closest rivals getting 13.

Mali had no real threat in Group E and went on to walk past Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The Eagles finished the campaign with 16 points after five wins and a draw.

Mohamed Salah led Egypt to the top position in Group F. The Pharaohs managed four wins and two draws to finish with 14 points ahead of Gabon who had just seven.

Ghana controversially edged out South Africa on the number of goals scored in Group G. Both teams finished on 13 points but it was the Black Stars who were granted the ticket. Bafana Bafana lodged a complaint to Fifa regarding the decisive game that the West Africans won by a solitary goal, alleging that the hosts were handed a dubious penalty.

Senegal were Group H winners, while Morocco - who won all their games, and Congo DR also finished top of Group I and J respectively.