The race for a spot in next year’s African Cup of Nations took a major step on Tuesday night as several nations booked a place.
The tournament is scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, but the CAF announced on 15 January 2020 that due to unfavourable climatic conditions during this period, the tournament would take place between 9 January and 6 February 2021.
On 30 June 2020, CAF moved the tournament for the third time to January 2022 following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who have qualified
Among the nations that have qualified for next year’s masterpiece are Algeria, Mali, Senegal and Tunisia.
Defending Champions Algeria booked their spot on Monday despite settling for a 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe.
Mali earned their spot ensured their place at an eighth consecutive Nations Cup finals with narrow hard-fought 2-1 win over hosts Namibia.
Senegal sealed their spot with a 1-0 win over Guinea Bissau on Sunday in their Group I clash.
Tunisia were held to a 1-1 draw with Tanzania on Tuesday, but still sealed their place in the tournament.
Who can qualify
Mali’s win over Namibia took them to 10 points, two ahead of second-placed Guinea with Namibia on three and still with a mathematical chance of grabbing second place.
However Chad, despite earning their first point of the campaign in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Guinea, cannot now qualify for the finals.
Burkina Faso lead the group with eight points, Uganda are second with seven points.
Malawi are third with four while South Sudan sit at the bottom with three points.
Sudan scored a last-gasp winner to edge past visiting Ghana in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Tuesday.
The result means that Ghana will have to wait to qualify for the finals having started the day knowing a draw would see them progress.
That result means that Ghana stay on nine points level with South Africa as Sudan move to six points with all three still looking for a place at the finals.
The other team in the group are Sao Tome, who are yet to win a single point after their 4-2 loss to South Africa on Monday.
A 1-0 win over Angola took D.R Congo closer to the top two of the Group – Gambia on top and Gabon second.
The Gambia top the group ahead of Gabon on goal difference.
DR Congo moved to within a point of the top two while Angola have just one point, but still have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the finals.
Morocco are top of the group with 10 points and need only a draw from their final two games to qualify for the finals.
The other place is wide open with Mauritania on five points after Sunday’s 3-1 loss in Burundi, who have four points and CAR stay on three.
With only one place up for grabs from the group as Cameroon qualify automatically as hosts the race for the remaining spot is still wide open.
Cape Verde now move level with Mozambique in the group on four points and despite Rwanda having just two so far they are still in with a chance of reaching the finals.
Egypt and Comoros both have eight points and look the most likely to reach the finals.
Kenya, who suffered a shock 2-1 loss in Comoros on Sunday have three points and are the only other team who can qualify from the group, with games against Egypt and Togo left to play.
Defending Champions Algeria are already through and the battle will be for the remaining spot.
Zimbabwe are second with five points, one ahead of Botswana.
Zambia are fourth with three points.
One spot remains up for grabs after Senegal sealed the first position with 12 points.
Congo are second with seven while Guinea Bissau are third with three points. Eswatini are fourth with just one point.
Tunisia have already qualified following their 1-1 draw with Tanzania. Equatorial Guinea are second with six points while Tanzania are third with four. Libya are bottom of the table with three points.
With two matches left to play Ivory Coast top the pool thanks to a better head-to-head record over Madagascar, both teams have seven points, Ethiopia move to six and Niger stay on three.
Nigeria are still top of the group with eight points, that’s just one ahead of Benin.
Sierra Leone edge into third place on three points and Lesotho are bottom on two, but both of those sides are still in with a chance of reaching the finals in Cameroon.