The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations proceeds into the third round with the action expected to be nerve-wracking as majority of the groups remain open.
So pay careful attention: both games of group matches will be played at the same time, to avoid any of that messy so-and-so-threw-the-match nonsense. But with just two teams having already sealed qualification for the knockout stages, it’s unlikely there will be any hijinks going down. But by the end of each day in the next 4 days we will know who’s through from all the groups, so that’s fun!
The tournament has witnessed 7 draws so far with the hosts Gabon setting the pace after drawing in both their matches so far against Burkina Faso and Guinea Bissau.
Tonight however, the hosts will be fighting for qualification from Group ‘A’ when they face top placed Cameroon in their last group match.
So far, just two teams has secured qualification with still a game to spare – Senegal from group B and Ghana from group D. Meanwhile Uganda from group D is the only team with no chance of qualification following 2 losses.
Battle for survival
Second placed Burkina Faso will be fighting to cement their place at the top of the group when they face botton placed Guinea Bissau, in the other Group ‘A’ match set for Sunday evening with the latter being one foot out of the competition. A win for either of the teams can propel last 8 place.
Group ‘B’ action will be on Monday as Zimbabwe seeks to rescue their sinking ship when they face Tunisia in a must win match. Zimbabwe will qualify if they successfully beat the Carthage Eagles while already qualified Senegal beat Algeria.
Defending champions Ivory coast are clutching on a straw in their qualification campaign as they are in 3rd place of Group ‘C’ and will have to beat second placed Morrocco to have a chance.
DR Congo lead the standings and face Togo who have a point at the botton of the standings.
Group ‘D’ will see Mali and Egypt battle for the remaining spot after Ghana secured qualification with two victories.
Mali face already booted out Uganda while Egypt have a tricky encounter against the Black Stars of Ghana. Egypt require just a point to sail through.
Statistics So far
Junior Kabananga Kalonji (DRC) 2
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) 2
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) 2
Sadio Mane (Senegal) 2
Fayçal Fajr (Morocco) 2
Keita Balde Senegal) 2
Most goals scored
DR Congo 3
Most goals conceded
Guinea Bissau 3
Burkina Faso 2
DR Congo 1