Monday, January 28, 2008

Qualification Status for Each Country in Cup of Nations

Every team has one more game left.
15 of the 16 squads come into the last game with a chance to head to the quarterfinals.

Here, a rough guide showing what each team needs to do.

In Group A, all four teams can still make it through to the quarter-finals, although Namibia have only a slim shot.

The Brave Warriors will need a big win over Guinea on Monday and then hope that Ghana can inflict a heavy defeat on Morocco for them to stand any chance.

Elsewhere, hosts Ghana need just a point from their final game with Morocco to progress.

However, if the Atlas Lions and Guinea win they will both be level with Ghana at the top of the table with six points.

If this is the case, then the top two places will be decided on goal difference from the head to head between the three teams.

Morocco will be out if they fail to beat Ghana and Guinea win their final game against Namibia.

But if Morocco and Guinea draw their final fixtures then the Syli Nationale will join Ghana in the last eight.

The winner from group A will go on to face the runner-up from Group B, which could be Ivory Coast, Mali or Nigeria. The winner will go on to face either Ivory Coast or Mali.

In Group B, Ivory Coast play Mali in their final group match on Tuesday - and having won their first two fixtures the Elephants are already assured of a place in the last eight.

Mali have four points from their first two games - and a point against Ivory Coast would guarantee them qualification in second place behind Gerard Gili's team.

Nigeria have one point from their first two fixtures but can still qualify.

For this to happen they need to beat Benin and rely on Ivory Coast defeating Mali. That would leave Nigeria and Mali on four points. Progression would then be decided on the tournament's qualification criteria.

The Super Eagles have yet to score but Mali have only found the net once - but if Mali lose and Nigeria win by two clear goals they will qualify.

Benin lost their first two games and cannot reach the last eight.

In Group C, Sudan are effectively out. They lost their opening two Group C games and come in with a goal difference of minus six.

That leaves Egypt, Cameroon and Zambia battling it out for the two qualification berths when Group C's final round of games takes place on Wednesday.

Egypt, with a maximum six points from their opening two games, will definitely go through with at least a point against Zambia.

If, however, the Chipolopolo beat Egypt and Cameroon are victorious against Sudan then all three teams will finish with six points and the tournament's qualification criteria comes into play.

In this instance it is likely that the group will be decided on the goal difference from the head-to-head games involving Egypt, Cameroon and Zambia.

However, wins for Cameroon and Egypt will see the Pharaohs top the group and the Indomitable Lions qualify as runners-up.

The winners of Group C will play the team that finishes second in Group D.

Finally, in Group D, Tunisia and Angola are in the driving seat, with both teams on four points.

The two teams meet in their final group game on Thursday and a draw would be enough for both teams to progress.

Senegal and South Africa meet in the other remaining Group D fixture - and both teams go into that encounter in Kumasi with one point apiece.

If either side are to qualify they must win their fixture.

If Senegal are victorious and finish level on points with Angola they will be eliminated as the Teranga Lions lost when the two teams met.

However, if they finish level on points with Tunisia (with whom they drew 2-2) it will come down to goal difference.

It is the reverse for South Africa, who will go out if they finish level on four points with Tunisia.

The only chance they have of going through is if they beat Senegal and finish level with Angola (with whom they drew 1-1). Then it would come down to overall goal difference.

(Thanks to the BBC for the pertinent info)

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