Africa’s humbled giants have the chance to exact swift revenge on the teams which beat them in 2010 World and Nations Cup qualifying last weekend.

This weekend’s matches are the reverse fixtures from the last round – meaning Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Ghana host the teams who beat them away from home.

That means difficult trips for Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Gabon, amongst others.

But Rwanda have maximum points so far, and a win will take them to the brink of the next round.

Nigeria and Burkina Faso also have the chance to keep up their perfect records.


Group 1

Tanzania coach Marcio Maximo has won a new contract on the back of the Taifa Stars’ 0-0 draw with Cameroon last weekend.

Cameroon fans But Indomitable Lions striker Samuel Eto’o and his colleagues will be keen to stretch their lead at the top of the group – a win will take them to 10 points from four games.

In the other match this weekend, second placed Cape Verde host floundering Mauritius, who have just one point so far.

Group 2

Zimbabwe were beaten in Nairobi last weekend and Kenya now top this group, but a win for the Warriors on Sunday will take them back into first place.

Zimbabwe defender David Kutyauripo knows the Harambee Stars will provide a test.

“They play as a unit, you know, they don’t rely on one person. If they are going up they go together, if they are defending, they defend together,” he told the BBC.

Nations Cup quarter-finalists Guinea now lie in third place in the group and host Namibia, after beating them 2-1 in Windhoek last weekend.

Group 3

There is a three-way tie at the top of this group, following Angola‘s shock defeat in Kampala last weekend.

The Palancas Negras are top on goal difference, with Benin and Uganda behind them.

But it will be much tougher for Uganda in Luanda this weekend – home advantage has been decisive in many of these games.

“I think the game in Angola is a different game, but the attitude of the team is good,” Cranes coach Laslo Csaba said.

Niger are almost out of it already, without a single point from their three games so far.

They travel to Benin and it will be a major surprise if they get anything from the game.

Group 4

South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena Nigeria are one of the few teams with a perfect start on the road to South Africa and Angola 2010.

A home win over Equatorial Guinea would all but secure the Super Eagles a place in the next round of qualifying.

If Nigeria get three points and South Africa fail to win against Sierra Leone in Pretoria then Nigeria are definitely through as group winners.

For their part, Bafana Bafana badly need to win, if only to restore some pride, following two bad defeats in qualifying so far.

Group 5

Ghana slipped up last weekend, when they were beaten 2-0 in Gabon.

The Black Stars need to win in the return fixture on Sunday, especially as Gabon and Lesotho have a game in hand.

Their opening qualifier was postponed because Lesotho were unable to arrive in time.

It will now be played on 28 June.

Libya hosted Lesotho on Friday.

Group 6

This is another group which is very tight, especially after the last round of games when Senegal were held by Liberia, and Algeria were beaten by Gambia.

At the top of the group, Senegal and Gambia both have five points – but the momentum is with Gambia who won their recent match with Algeria.

The Scorpions went to Algeria this weekend, and Senegal’s return match with Liberia in Dakar is on Saturday.

Group 7

Botswana are without a substantive coach at the moment, after the sacking of Colwyn Rowe, but the Zebras are joint top of this one with Ivory Coast, on five points each.

Salomon Kalou They visit Abidjan this weekend, where the hosts are still missing captain Didier Drogba, but will welcome back Salomon Kalou and Bakary Kone for the game on Sunday.

Madagascar are the draw specialists in this group, taking a point from each of their games so far.

Their trip to Mozambique could be a bad-tempered affair.

The Mambas were incensed when Madagascar were awarded a last-minute penalty last weekend, and security forces had to be brought in to get the game started again.

The Mozambique coach accused the Malagasy of “cheating”.

Madagascar sacked their coach Mickael Nivoson Andrianasy after the game, and replaced him with Franck Rajaonarisamba.

Group 8

The Amavubi, as Rwanda‘s national team are known, can take a big step towards the next round of qualifying this weekend if they beat Morocco on Saturday.

They have a perfect record so far, and stunned Morocco in Kigali last weekend.

But their task is much tougher in Casablanca, because Morocco are undefeated in their last 26 home qualifiers.

The Atlas Lions are second in the table, with two wins and a defeat so far.

In the other game in the group, Ethiopia host struggling Mauritania, who have yet to register a point.

Group 9

Burkina Faso are looking good for a place in the next round, with a full nine points from their three matches so far.

Roger Lemerre They kicked-off their campaign with a surprise away win in Tunisia and have kept up the momentum.

They should beat Seychelles in Ouagadougou this weekend.

Tunisia are in a strange position.

This weekend’s game against Burundi is coach Roger Lemerre’s final one in charge, before he heads off to take over in Morocco.

His successor, Humberto Coelho will be at the game, but defeat by Burundi coupled with a win for Burkina Faso could leave Tunisia hoping for a second-placed finish which might see them into the next stage.

Group 10

This is one of the most complicated groups, because the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has decided that Chad cannot qualify for the Nations Cup in Angola after they failed to show up for their opening game against Sudan.

The problem is that Fifa says Chad can continue to compete for a place at the World Cup.

Mali are top, but they have played three games to Sudan and Chad’s two.

The Eagles are at home in Bamako, hosting Sudan.

Sudan, Chad and Congo-Brazzaville all have three points so far, but Congo have played a game more.

They host Chad.

Group 11

This group has just three teams in it, and so there is only the one match this weekend.

It gives Zambia the chance to gain revenge for their 0-0 draw against Swaziland last time out, when the Swazis visit the Konkola Stadium.

Zambia are bottom of the table, with just one point from two games, whilst Swaziland lead with a win and a draw.

Togo are the team to sit out this round of games.

Group 12

Hassan Shehata This group provided perhaps the most stunning result of last weekend’s round of games, when the double African champions Egypt went to Malawi and lost.

But the Pharaohs were without several key players, and a trip for the Flames to the Cairo International Stadium will be a very different experience.

If the intimidating crowd does not put off Kinnah Phiri’s visitors then playing under floodlights might.

They have not been able to practice under lights because the facilities in Malawi have not been mended.

At the top of the group, Malawi, DR Congo and Egypt all have six points.

Djibouti, the lowest-ranked team remaining in qualifying travel to Kinshasa, and must be expected to lose.



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Related to this story:


2010 World Cup Qualifiers (15 Jun 08 |  African )
Tricky formula for 2010 qualifying (18 Jun 08 |  African )


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