The draw for
Africa’s final 2014 Fifa World Cup
qualifying round is complete. The result is five monster ties.
The final playoff round features the ten winners of the group stage of qualifying, and although the format has faced criticism from some, it has guaranteed the drama and excitement of five epic ties.
None is bigger than
Ghana versus , a clash
of two countries that share 11 Africa Cup of Nations titles between them. Egypt
It is a true heavyweight clash.
Black Stars are chasing their third consecutive appearance at the World Cup
(after a last 16 showing in 2006 and a quarterfinal in 2010). Ghana Egypt, Africa’s
record champions with seven crowns, is looking to return to the world showpiece
for the first time since Italia‘90.
There’s also a fascinating West African derby to look forward to as top-rated
Ivory Coast face rejuvenated . The tie is a rematch of
last October's Afcon qualifier in Senegal .
On that occasion, the match had to be stopped after 14 minutes and the result
was a lengthy home ban for Dakar . Senegal
The ban will have lapsed by the time the two meet again, but the rivalry will be intense as ever.
Elsewhere, African champions
have been drawn against
in another intriguing prospect. The Super Eagles are a juggernaut under Stephen
Keshi, but Ethiopia
is arguably the continent’s most enterprising side today and is formidable
opposition at home. Ethiopia
will also be spurred on by the promise of a first-ever World Cup appearance. Ethiopia
|When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers|
Egypt v Ghana
Another team looking to secure its World Cup debut is
Faso, and they will face Algeria
while two more powerhouses, Tunisia
and Cameroon, face off for
Africa’s final ticket to . Brazil
World football’s governing body, Fifa, has asked the ten playoff countries to nominate the dates, venues and kickoffs for the ties by Friday. The first legs will be played between October 11 and 15 with the return games between November 15 and 19.
It should be interesting.
Playoff draw in full:
(First leg hosts first)