Africa Zone; CAF World Cup Qualifiers

South Africa lockhorns with Zimbabwe in Group C

South Africa will be looking for another home win in the CAF World Cup Qualifiers when they take on neighbours Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Group C is still wide open, with only three points separating the current unexpected leaders Lesotho from the bottom-placed Zimbabwe, heading into week four of the competition.

South Africa, who will be playing at the Free State Stadium for the first time since 2010, secured a 1-1 draw away to Nigeria in Uyo on Friday night, which saw them slip to fourth place in the group standings, though they are still just one point off the top.

While they would undoubtedly have wanted all three points as payback for their defeat against the Super Eagles in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final, a point from what should be their toughest away game of the group will likely be seen as a satisfactory return. Next up for Hugo Broos‘s side are Zimbabwe.

In terms of all-time head-to-head statistics, these two have faced each other in 17 matches since 1992, with both Bafana Bafana and the Warriors securing seven wins each, while the remaining three matches ended level.

Zimbabwe’s interim coach Jairos Tapera, who was a surprise replacement for yet another caretaker coach Norman Mapeza, admitted that the Warriors need to improve defensively after his side suffered a frustrating 2-0 ‘home’ loss to Lesotho in Johannesburg on Friday.

Nevertheless, while bouncing back will be no easy task for Zimbabwe, they often raise their game a notch whenever they come up against their neighbours, and could spring a surprise here if Bafana Bafana are as wasteful as they were last week.



Angola welcome Cameroon in Group D 

Angola welcome Cameroon to Estadio 11 de Novembro today with the possibility of leapfrogging the visitors in CAF World Cup qualifying Group D.

Both sides recorded victories in their last qualifying games and will be looking to take the momentum into this encounter.

Cameroon players

Angola are one of three teams in CAF World Cup qualifying Group D – alongside Libya and Cameroon – that are yet to taste defeat after three matches.

After settling for scoreless draws in their opening two fixtures, the Palancas Negras finally picked up a 1-0 victory over Eswatini at Estadio 11 de Novembro.

This win takes them to third place with five points, two adrift of Cameroon and Libya who are both on seven points after three matches.

Pedro Goncalves‘s men will host the strongest side in their group based on pedigree and the current standings, hoping to make it two wins on the bounce.

The head-to-head record between both sides is balanced, with three wins apiece alongside two draws in eight meetings. However, the last time they met in a World Cup qualifier, Angola won 2-0 on home soil after losing the reverse fixture.

The altercation between FECAFOOT president Samuel Eto’o and current coach Marc Brys did not prove to be a distraction as Cameroon dispatched Cape Verde 4-1 at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Saturday.

It was Brys’ first game in charge of the Indomitable Lions since replacing Rigobert Song at the beginning of April, following a disappointing showing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Cameroon will be hoping to maintain their position at the top of the group, as they look to make an appearance at the World Cup for the ninth time, having qualified more than any other African nation in history.



Congo, Morocco faceoff in Group E

Congo will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Morocco at the Grand Stadium of Agadir in a World Cup qualifying match. The venue was originally scheduled to be in Kinshasa, but FIFA did not approve its use and the game will now be played in Morocco.

The Central Africans have not played a World Cup qualifier since their 4-2 defeat against Zambia in November, as their second scheduled opponent, Eritrea, withdrew from the qualifiers.

Morocco players

However, Isaac Ngata‘s men did play an international friendly back in March, drawing 1-1 against Gabon at Stade des Marais in France.

Congo go into Tuesday’s clash without a point in Group E and are winless in their last four games across all competitions. They have only won one of their last seven competitive matches since September 2022.

The hosts have a poor record against Morocco, having never won in three meetings, losing twice and drawing once.

Morocco returned to competitive action recently after their surprise exit to South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals, securing a 2-1 victory over Zambia in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Morocco currently sit top of Group E with six points from two games, three clear of the next three teams behind them.

After their historic performance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Walid Regragui’s men will be eager to qualify for the 2026 edition, and their chances of securing maximum points against Congo have been enhanced by the switch in venue.


Kenya host favourites Ivory Coast in Group F

Kenya were unable to extend their winning run, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burundi at the Bingu National Stadium on Friday. Engin Firat‘s men were left disappointed as they were the stronger of the two sides. With four points from three matches, Kenya remain third in Group F, five points behind group leaders and next opponents, Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast players

The East Africans failed to score more than once in a game for the first time in 2024 after squandering a number of chances. Firat will hope his side can rediscover their scoring touch, as this lack of finishing is more likely to be punished against a more dangerous opponent.

This will be the first-ever meeting between Kenya and Tuesday’s opponents, and they will be heading into this fixture as the underdogs.

Ivory Coast maintained their perfect start to the World Cup qualifiers after securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Gabon at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Friday.

Seko Fofana‘s first-half goal was the difference, as the Elephants made it three wins from three games to record nine points and remain top of the group.

The win was Emerse Fae‘s first competitive match after the Africa Cup of Nations triumph and he remains unbeaten after seven matches as coach. The West Africans are the highest-scoring side in the CAF zone of the World Cup qualifiers and they are one of two teams – alongside Tunisia – to have won all three matches without conceding a goal.




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