Two countries have made it to the final round of the Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
Morocco and Senegal became the first two teams to make it through to Africa’s play-offs for the World Cup in Qatar after winning their qualifiers on Tuesday.
The Lions of Teranga earned their place by beating Namibia 3-1 at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The game had to be played in South Africa since Namibia’s home stadium in Windhoek has been declared to unfit to host Caf games.
Turkey-based forward Famara Diedhiou was the hero, outshining Sadio Mane and others as he scored once in the first half and twice in the second to register his second hat-trick for the national team.
It was Senegal who went forward in the first half before Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile equalised for the Cosafa nation, but in the end, the visitors were too strong for their hosts.
The win took Aliou Cisse’s side to 12 points in Group H, with Namibia (four points) out of the running along with Togo (four) and Congo Brazzaville (two) also out.
In the other group game, Togo earned their first win in the group stage as they beat Congo 2-1 in Brazzaville, with both teams knowing they had no chance of progressing following Senegal’s win.
In Group I, Morocco joined Senegal in the play-offs as they beat hosts Guinea 4-1, in a game that was postponed from last month following an attempted coup in Conakry.
Owing to the uncertain political situation in Guinea, the tie was moved by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to Rabat.
Guinea were without their coach Didier Six on the touchline once again after the former France international was hospitalised with meningitis during the team’s time in Morocco. He also missed Friday’s 2-2 draw with Sudan.
Ayoub El Kaabi scored Morocco’s opener in the 21st minute – his fourth in the three matches of this international window.
Ten minutes later, a long-rage effort from Mamadou Kane, who plays in Azerbaijan, pulled the Syli Nationale level.
Second half substitute Selim Amallah restored Morocco’s lead with goals on both halves and the win was sealed by former Southampton midfielder Soufiane Boufal with a minute left on the clock.
The result means that even before November’s final two qualifiers Guinea, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau are unable to progress to the final play-off phase.
Meanwhile, Algeria extended their unbeaten run to 31 games with a comfortable 4-0 away win against Niger to move back to the top of Group A.
Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez and Aissa Mandi netted for the Desert Warriors in the first half in Niamey before Ismael Bennacer and Baghdad Bounedjah scored after the break.
The African champions are ahead of Burkina Faso on goal difference, and they host the Stallions on the final match day next month.
Djamel Belmadi’s side are currently eyeing the world record of 37 games without a loss without a loss, which was recently set by European champions, Italy.
In Group G, Ghana completed a double over Zimbabwe after a narrow 1-0 win in Harare while South Africa beat Ethiopia 1-0 at the FNB Stadium.
The results leave Bafana Bafana at the top of the group with 10 points while Ghana are a point behind them in s
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By FARPost Reporter