Final scramble for AFCON slots

The remaining teams to make up the 24-team field for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be decided when the final round of qualifiers takes place from March 22-24.

Fourteen sides have already sealed their spot, including hosts Egypt, for the tournament that runs from June 21-July 19.

That leaves 10 places still up for grabs in what is likely to be an intense final round of matches. assesses the permutations in each of the qualification pools.


Senegal and Madagascar have already sealed their qualification ahead of their meeting in the final round of matches in Dakar on March 23.

Madagascar can finish top of the pool with a win, or a score draw that includes six goals or more.

It is a first ever qualification for Madagascar for the continental finals.

Sudan and Equatorial Guinea are the other teams in the pool and meet in their last game in Omdurman.


Morocco have already qualified as they travel to eliminated Malawi in their last game, needing a draw to seal top spot.

Cameroon need just a draw at home to Comoros to seal their passage, but a surprise defeat would see them eliminated on the head-to-head rule.


Mali have already sealed their qualification and take on South Sudan at home, with the minnow side yet to pick up a point in the qualifiers.

Burundi host Gabon needing just a draw to seal their passage, but a win for Gabon would see them advance. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Libreville earlier in the competition.


Algeria have already sealed their qualification but it is all to play for among the other three teams. And it is pretty complicated.

Gambia make the journey to North Africa knowing a win could see them advance, but may still not be enough, while a point is not good enough.

If Gambia win and Togo beat Benin in Cotonou in the other fixture, then Togo will advance on the head-to-head rule.

If Gambia win and Togo and Benin draw, then Gambia will advance past Benin on the head-to-head rule.

If Benin win they will join Algeria at the final come what may.

If Benin and Togo draw, and Gambia fail to beat Algeria, then Benin will advance.


Nigeria have already qualified ahead of their hosting of minnows Seychelles on Friday (yesterday).

South Africa must avoid defeat to Libya in neutral Sfax, Tunisia, in order to advance to the finals.


Both Kenya and Ghana have already qualified for the finals from a pool that was reduced to three teams after Sierra Leone were suspended by FIFA.

The two sides will meet for top spot in the pool in Accra, with Kenya needing just a draw to hold on.


All four teams can still qualify from the pool in a winner-takes-all scenario.

Zimbabwe needs just a point at home to Congo on Sunday to secure their place.

If Congo wins, they will qualify, jumping above Zimbabwe on the head-to-head rule.

If Liberia gets a point in the DR Congo, they will qualify, through one of two scenarios. Either Congo have not beaten Zimbabwe, or, if Congo do win, it will create a mini-group of three teams (Zimbabwe, Congo, Liberia) all on eight points. It will then come down to head-to-head between the three teams and Liberia and Congo will advance.

DR Congo must beat Liberia to make the finals in Egypt.


Guinea and the Ivory Coast have already qualified for the finals.

Ivory coast host Rwanda on Saturday, while Guinea travel to the Central African Republic.


Mauritania have already sealed an historic first qualification, while the only side eliminated in the pool is Botswana.

Angola needs a win in Botswana to make sure of their passage.

If Angola draw, they must hope that Burkina Faso don’t beat Mauritania at home. If they do, it will leave both sides on 10 points and the Burkinabe will advance on the better head-to-head record.

Burkina Faso must win to stand a chance of progressing.


Tunisia and hosts Egypt have already sealed their qualification. Egypt had booked their passage to the tournament before they were named as hosts, replacing Cameroon.

Niger and eSwatini are the other two teams in the pool. Niger host Egypt and eSwatini travel to Tunisia.


The 2012 Nations Cup winners Zambia are the only side eliminated from this pool so far.

A win or a draw for Guinea-Bissau at home to Mozambique will see them advance to the finals.

A win for Mozambique will ensure their passage, while a draw will not be enough, even if Zambia beat Namibia to leave them level on eight points with the Brave Warriors. Namibia have the better head-to-head record over the Mozambicans.

If Mozambique and Zambia win, then Guinea-Bissau will edge Namibia for second spot in the pool on the head-to-head rule.


Uganda have already sealed their passage to the finals, but it is all to play for among Lesotho, Tanzania and Cape Verde Islands.

A win for Lesotho in the Cape Verde will see them advance to the finals, even if Tanzania also beat Uganda as the Likuena have the better head-to-head record between the two.

Essentially, Tanzania, who hosts Uganda, must better the result of Lesotho to seal a place in Egypt.

Cape Verde must beat Lesotho and then hope Uganda get at least a point in Tanzania to book their passage.

If both games end in a draw then Uganda and Lesotho will advance.

Mzansi FootballC

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