World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria in group of death
The last remaining steps for Africa’s FIFA World Cup contenders have been laid out after the draw for the continent’s third round of Russia 2018 qualifiers took place in Egypt.
The event, held at CAF’s Cairo headquarters, threw up some mouth-watering heavyweight clashes, with Cameroon, Algeria and Nigeria drawn together in Group B, and Group C pairing Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco. Outsiders Libya and Burkina Faso, meanwhile, will be hoping to upset the odds against the likes of Tunisia and Senegal respectively.
This is the decisive stage of an African Zone preliminary competition that began last October, with the 20 teams still in contention having been drawn into five four-team groups. They will now play each other home and away on a round-robin basis, with all five group winners qualifying automatically for Russia 2018. Matches will take place between October 2016 and November 2017.
This is how the draws were finally concluded.
Group A: Libya (2), Guinea (4), DR Congo (3), Tunisia (1)
Group B: Zambia (1), Cameroon (2), Nigeria (4), Algeria (3)
Group C: Gabon (1), Morocco (4), Mali (2), Cote d’Ivoire (3)
Group D: Burkina Faso (3), South Africa (2), Cape Verde (4), Senegal (1)
Group E: Uganda (4), Congo (3), Egypt (2), Ghana (1)
The first matches of the series will begin in October and will take about 12 months to conclude.