Fifteen selections qualified, fourteen eliminated and sixteen still in the queue. At the time of the final sprint on the last day of the CAN-2024 qualifiers, African teams will not have a second chance.
France 24 dissects the stakes of the last 22 qualifying matches.
Nine places still at stake
• Group C: Cameroon under pressure from Burundi
In this three-team group – Kenya having been excluded from the competition for "political interference" – anything remains possible. Only Namibia is a little more serene than the others: it would take an improbable draw with four goals scored by each team for them to be eliminated.
On September 12, all eyes will be on the Cameroon-Burundi "final". The Indomitable Lions are among the last cadors of the continent not to have validated their qualification. A home defeat to Burundi would kick them out. A draw, on the other hand, would qualify them at the expense of their opponent due to the particular goal difference.
• Group E: three-way match between Ghana, Angola and Central African Republic
Present at the 2022 World Cup, Ghana is still not qualified for the CAN despite a leading place and 9 points. Good news, however, for the Black Stars: it only takes a draw to be sure to be there.
However, in case of defeat, the Central African Republic, currently third with 7 points, would qualify for the first CAN in its history. And in this case, everything will depend on the other match: if Angola (second with 8 points) were to beat the red lantern, Madagascar, the Ghana qualifiers would then end in a tail fish.
• Group F: Algeria qualified, Tanzania wary of Uganda
In Group F, Algeria looks untouchable with 15 points out of a possible 15. The Fennecs are also aiming for faultless and will therefore become the referee of the remote duel between Tanzania and Uganda.
To qualify, the latter must absolutely beat Niger, last in the group, while taking care of its goal difference. And hope that Algeria does the job against Tanzania, to whom a draw would be enough to go to the land of the Elephants.
• Group G: Gambia – Congo final, Mali qualified
Mali, first with 12 points, will watch from afar the final for the second ticket of Group G. To qualify for the CAN at the expense of Gambia (second with 9 points), Congo (third with 6 points) must win against the Scorpions. A feat within the reach of Paul Put's men. For its part, South Sudan is already eliminated.
• Group I: everyone can have a place
The group of all possibilities. No one is eliminated and no one is qualified yet. And, even rarer, all selections have their fate in their hands. DR Congo (leader with 9 points) can settle for a draw in front of Sudan.
However, if the Crocodiles, last with 6 points, manage to create the surprise by winning in front of DR Congo, then the Leopards would be threatened, except in case of a draw between Mauritania and Gabon.
• Group L: Mozambique – Benin final, Senegal looks from afar
Senegal, reigning African champions, remain undefeated in these qualifiers (4 matches won, one draw) and are already sure to finish in first place in the group, regardless of the result of their match against Rwanda, last in the group and eliminated. The Lions of Teranga will therefore watch from afar the duel between Mozambique and Benin for second place. In this one, advantage to the Mambas who need only a draw to pass, with in addition the privilege of receiving.
Symbolic first place
• Group H: Côte d'Ivoire for a symbolic first place
Organizer of CAN-2024, Côte d'Ivoire was guaranteed to participate even before the start of the qualifiers. Zambia has earned its place on the field and is also first in the group. The only challenge of this last day will therefore be a remote duel, Comoros-Zambia, so that the host country symbolically finishes in first place in Group H and is full of confidence before its home competition. Opponent of the Elephants, Lesotho is already eliminated.
• Group K: Morocco wants first place
The three-team pool (due to Zimbabwe's exclusion) has already delivered its verdict. South Africa (7 points) and Morocco (6 points) qualified for the CAN, unlike Liberia (1 point). The challenge of the last day will be to see if Walid Regragui's men, semi-finalists of the World Cup-2022, will be able to take the first place, while "discovering new players". A throne that befitted his current stature in Africa.
One last day for "butter"?
• Group A: Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau already qualified
In Group A, there were no surprises. Nigeria (12 points) and Guinea-Bissau (10 points) qualified on Day 5, at the expense of Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe. This final day will mainly serve as a dress rehearsal before the CAN. The Super Eagles also took the opportunity to welcome five new players including Victor Boniface, Bayer Leverkusen striker, Gift Orban, KAA La Gantoise striker, Jordan Torunarigha KAA La Gantoise, Bruno Onyemaechi Boavista FC in Portugal.
• Group B: Burkina Faso and Cape Verde have their ticket
Also in Group B, the two qualified for the CAN are already known. These are Burkina Faso (10 points) and Cape Verde (10 points) which left Togo and Eswatini docked. In a remote duel, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde will be content to compete for a symbolic first place.
• Group D: Egypt and Guinea are serene
Egypt, the reigning African runner-up (12 points), and Guinea (9 points) have composted their tickets to Côte d'Ivoire. Malawi and Ethiopia will stay home in January.
• Group J: Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia already qualified
Group J will open the ball on Thursday with Libya – Equatorial Guinea but the games are already done. The Spanish speakers are already qualified with 12 points as well as the Tunisians (10 points). Eswatini can no longer hope to see Côte d'Ivoire.
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