KAMPALA – The 2021 African Cup of Nations – Afcon Cameroon that was pushed to 2022 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is in its final bend of the qualifying stage, and only a few are unclaimed.
The five-day action of these qualifiers kicked off last Wednesday with matches spread all over the different parts of the continent, where Burkina Faso played to a goalless draw against Uganda at the St. Mary’s Stadium – Kitende but won their ticket to feature in the Cameroon finals scheduled for January 9 to February 6.
Burkina Faso’s booking of their ticket from Kampala left Uganda and Malawi to battle for the remaining slot from group B. Both The Cranes and The Flames face-off in Blantyre, a few hours from now.
Uganda Cranes coach –Abdallah Mubiru told PMLDaily in WhatsApp chat earlier today that the team was set to make the nation proud.
“We’ve no injuries; no complaints that can complicate our mission, which every member on the team knows. Players were very in the last training we had on Sunday evening. So, we only need prayers,” said Mubiru, who took over from head coach Johnathan McKinstry, whom federation officials asked to step aside for at least a month.
The Cranes, who travelled to Malawi aboard a Uganda Airlines chartered plane, trained at the 40,000 capacity Kamuzu Stadium – the very venue to host the decider that kicks –off at 4:00pm.
Players on duty include skipper Denis Onyango as well as Salim Magoola – the first and second choice goalkeepers. Others are Joseph Ochaya, Nicolas Wadada, Murushid Juuko, Ronald Mukiibi, Mustafa Kizza Halid Lwaliwa, Mike Azira and Taddeo Lwanga. Also on the team are; Bobosi Byaruhanga, Farooq Miya, Allan Okello, Moses Waiswa, Abdu Lumala, Kizito Luwaga, Emma Okwi, Gervin Mugweri, Mathias Kigonya, Yunus Sentamu, Dan Isiagi, Charles Lukwago and Ibrahim Orit.
But as Uganda and Malawi for a slot in the Cameroon finals, already some team are assured of appearance as listed below;
Both Mali and Guinea qualified to Cameroon 2021.
Chad was disqualified while Namibia failed.
Burkina Faso qualified. South Sudan out.
Uganda on eight points while Malawi seven. Both teams battle for the second group slot. Uganda needs a draw to qualify while Malawi wants a win.
Ghana qualified while Sao Tome and Principe is eliminated.
Sudan took he second slot following a win over South Africa in Omdurman on Monday.
Gabon and Gambia qualified. DR Congo and Angola are out.
Mauritania (6 points), Burundi (5) and Central African Republic (4) battle for the second ticket.
Central African Republic hosts Mauritania in Bangui while Burundi plays Morocco in Rabat.
Mauritania qualifies if they win, or draw coupled with Burundi failing to win.
Burundi qualifies only if they win coupled with Mauritania failing to win.
Central African Republic qualifies only if they win, coupled with Burundi failing to win.
Cameroon qualified automatically as hosts.
Cape Verde (7 points), Rwanda (5) and Mozambique (4) are in the race for the second ticket.
Mozambique hosts Cape Verde in Maputo while Cameroon and Rwanda face in Douala.
Cape Verde qualifies if they win, or draw with Rwanda failing to win.
Rwanda qualifies only if they win coupled with Cape Verde losing.
In case of Rwanda winning and Cape Verde having a draw, goal difference will determine who qualifies, as the head-to-head between them is 0-0 in aggregate. Goal difference is currently Cape Verde (+2) and Rwanda (-2).
Mozambique only qualifies if they win coupled with Rwanda failing to win.
Egypt and Comoros qualified. Kenya and Togo are eliminated.
Algeria and Zimbabwe qualified. Botswana and Zambia are out.
Senegal qualified, Eswatini are out.
Congo (8 points) and Guinea-Bissau (6) battle for the second ticket. They lock horns in Bissau where the hosts need a win to qualify, while just a draw is enough for Congo to go through.
Malawi v Uganda
Burkina Faso v South Sudan
Angola v Gabon
DR Congo v Gambia
Togo v Kenya
Egypt v Comoros
Algeria v Botswana
Zimbabwe v Zambia
Cote d’Ivoire v Ethiopia
Madagascar v Niger
Guinea-Bissau v Congo
Senegal v Eswatini
Sierra Leone v Benin
Nigeria v Lesotho
Central A Rep v Mauritania
Morocco v Burundi
Cameroon v Rwanda
Mozambique v Cape Verde