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Final scramble for remaining Afcon spots reaches boiling point

Johannesburg, March 22 – It’s the final round of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers and the weekend is shaping up to be to be a frantic scramble for the 10 spots still up for grabs.

For some, the like of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola, their task of qualifying seems easier, needing to hang on to the point they’ll start off with on the day, compared to teams like Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Tanzania who must win to guarantee them making the 21 June – 19 July showpiece in Egypt. 

The seven nations’ fixtures are part of SuperSport’s nine-match selection of Afcon qualifiers to be broadcast live on the World of Champions.  

South Africa, who occupy second spot in Group E, are away to nomads Libya and will return to the grand stage of continental football should they hold the Mediterranean Knights to a stalemate. Victory will be a bonus, but defeat would mean a second successive Afcon tournament watched from the comfort of their couches by Bafana.    

Zimbabwe’s Warriors sit pretty at the summit of Group G but must gain a point against Congo to secure qualification.

A home fixture against bottom-of-the-group Botswana should make Angola’s qualification a foregone conclusion. But, stranger things have happened in football and Palancas Negras must secure a point in order to shoot down Burkina Faso’s challenge and guarantee themselves progression to the finals.

Lesotho are on the cusp of a first-ever appearance at an Afcon finals and will qualify with a win over the Cape Verde Islands.

For Tanzania, a win doesn’t guarantee them qualification as they need other results in the group to go their way. The scenario for them is to beat Uganda and hope for a favour from the Cape Verde Islands of stopping Lesotho from winning.

But Cape Verde will be in no such mood as they’re also in the mix of progressing from this group, needing to beat Lesotho while already-qualified Uganda do them a favour by beating Tanzania. However, their push for qualification will inadvertently be doing Tanzania a favour; favours galore in Group L.  

There are also several fascinating permutations at play in Group K where Namibia and Mozambique, who both have their destiny in their own hands, are in a three-way scramble with Guinea-Bissau for two spots. For Mozambique it’s win or burst. Namibia, though, can squeak through with a draw should Mozambique fail to beat Guinea-Bissau.

Friday, March 22 
Nigeria vs Seychelles     
SS3 HD  (5pm)

Botswana vs Angola       
SS3 HD, Maximo (7pm)                                            

Saturday, March 23                                                   
Guinea Bissau vs Mozambique  
SS11 HD (6.30pm)

Zambia vs Namibia        
SS9 HD (6.30pm)

Ghana vs Kenya              
SS4 HD (8pm)   

Sunday, March 24                                                      
Zimbabwe vs Congo      
SS4 HD (3pm)

Cape Verde vs Lesotho  
SS11 HD (5pm)

Tanzania vs Uganda       
SS9 HD (5pm)   

Libya vs South Africa     
SS4 HD (7pm) 1


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