On October 7th, 2015, the qualification for World Cup 2018 began. Two years later, five teams (Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco, and Tunisia) are going to represent the continent. Here it is how it unfolded over the weekend.
Tunisia needed just a draw to qualify as they played Libya. DR Congo played Guinea and needed a Tunisian loss and a win of their own to qualify. Sadly, DR Congo got their win but as Tunisia drew 0-0 against Libya, they qualified for their first World Cup since 2006.
Nigeria has had this group beat since they beat Zambia 1-0 last month in Uyo, Nigeria. The remaining matches were dead rubbers.
This group came down to the last day. For Morocco, it was a draw and you qualify, for the Ivory Coast, nothing but a win would set them up to qualify. The Ivory Coast had some of their best players suspended and injured but were boosted by the return of Wilfred Zaha. Despite Zaha’s return, Ivory Coast lost 2-0 to Morocco, who in turn qualified for the World Cup and won the group.
Drama. Drama. Drama. The first time South Africa and Senegal played, South Africa won in controversial fashion, leading a referee to be suspended for life and the match to be replayed. The replay led to a Senegal 2-0 victory which guaranteed a place in the World Cup for Senegal.
Similar to Group B, Group E was wrapped up last month. Egypt secured their place through Mohamed Salah’s last minute heroics.
So there you have it.
Tunisia will make their first World Cup appearance since 2006.
Nigeria will be going to their third in a row.
Morocco’s will be at their first World Cup since 1998.
Senegal last went to the World Cup 2002, their then captain, Alou Cisse, is now their coach and he leads his country once again.
Egypt will be going to their first World Cup since 1990.
Congratulations to all 5 teams, make the continent proud!