The Sunday Mail
JOHANNESBURG – It’s the final round of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers and today is shaping up to be to be a frantic final scramble for the spots still up for grabs.
For some, the like of South Africa and Zimbabwe, 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.
South Africa, who occupy second spot in Group E, are away to nomads Libya and Bafana Bafana 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.
All four teams can still qualify from the pool in a winner-takes-all scenario.
If Congo win they will qualify, jumping above Zimbabwe on the head-to-head rule.
If Liberia get a point in the DR Congo in Kinshasa, 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.
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.
Today, 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) – SuperSport