Five African giants have secured their places at Qatar World Cup 2022.
AFCON 2021 champions again proved that they were the greatest in African football. Senegal beat Egypt on a penalty shoot-out in a now disputed match. It is Senegal’s third World Cup.
Senegal’s Boulaye Dia scored an early goal, leveling the aggregate scores following Egypt’s 1-0 win in the first leg of the playoffs. The match went into extra time. Neither team could break the tie. It headed into a shoot-out which saw Egyptian star Mohamed Salah missing. His Liverpool teammate, Mane hit the target, leading his team to victory.
However, Egypt Football Association has filed a complaint with FIFA over racism they encountered in Senegal. Reports say Mohamed Salah was the main target. He might have missed his penalty because of lasers pointed at his face during the kick-out. The report also states that players got exposed to racism with offensive signs in the stands.
The Egyptian team has also claimed that their bus got hit with stones and bottles before the match.
Nigeria’s journey to Qatar got thwarted by arch-rivals Ghana. The Abuja playoffs saw the two teams draw 1-1, cutting off the wings of the Super Eagles of Nigeria. The first leg played in Ghana ended 0-0. The away goal rule led to Ghana’s victory.
As anticipated, there was chaos in the stadium as crowds stormed into the pitch. Ghana fans and players in the stadium got attacked. Players pushed their way towards the tunnel to escape the rioters. Local security was overwhelmed and police intervened using teargas and baton sticks.
Cameroon got the winning goal in the last four minutes of stoppage time at the end of extra time.
Cameroon won 2-1 on the away goals rule. In the first leg, the two teams ended 1-0 in favor of Algeria. It is the eighth World Cup appearance for the Indomitable Lions.
Tunisia beat Mali to qualify for their sixth World Cup finals appearance. Mali has never qualified for the World Cup finals and they hoped 2022 was their year. In the first leg, Mali succumbed to an own goal losing 1-0. The second leg ended in a 0-0 draw leading Tunisia to victory.
The fifth African team to book a spot for Qatar 2022 was Morocco. Morocco and D.R Congo drew 1-1 in the first leg of the plays in Kinshasa. The second leg played in Casablanca saw Morocco beat the Democratic Republic of Congo 4-1. Morocco won 5-2 on aggregate.
Teams going to Qatar are Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco and Tunisia.