Egypt can become the second African country, after Nigeria to book
their trip to Russia next year if they beat Congo at home on Sunday.
Tunisia also stand on the brink of a place as they maintained their
three-point lead at the top of their group with one match left to play.
The other two groups remain in the balance and will be settled on the
last match day in November.
The African qualifiers come from the five group winners.
Alex Iwobi’s second-half winner ensured Nigeria became the first
African nation to qualify for the 2018 World Cup when their 1-0 home
victory over Zambia on Saturday moved them into an unassailable
lead in their group.
Iwobi netted with a neat finish inside the box in the 73rd minute of an
open contest in Uyo after both Wilfred Ndidi and Moses Simon had
squandered earlier chances.
Zambia were the only country still capable of catching Nigeria in
Group B but needed an unlikely away win against the Super Eagles,
who have now qualified for six of the last seven World Cup finals,
missing out only in 2006.
Nigeria advanced to 13 points with Zambia on seven, one ahead of
third-placed Cameroon, who beat Algeria 2-0 in Yaounde earlier on
Egypt will return to the finals for the first time since 1990 if they beat
the bottom-placed Congolese in Alexandria after their closest rivals in
Group E, Uganda, were held at home to a goalless draw by Ghana in
Kampala on Saturday.
Victory would see the Egyptians move into an unassailable four-point
lead and render their last match away in Ghana of academic interest
Youssef Msakni’s hat-trick saw Tunisia come from a goal down to
beat Guinea 4-1 away in Conakry and stay three points ahead of the
Democratic Republic of Congo in Group A.
Liverpool-bound Naby Keita scored first for Guinea but Msakni
equalized in stoppage time at the end of the first half and added two
more after the break with Mohamed Amine Ben Amor also scoring.
Tunisia need just a point from their last game at home to neighbors
Libya next month to qualify.
Firmin Mubele scored a 74th-minute winner for DR Congo as they
beat Libya 2-1 in Monastir, Tunisia, where the Libyans have been
forced to host matches because of a FIFA ban dictated by safety
concerns in their strife-torn country.
Morocco will also need only a draw from their last game to finish top
of Group C after they beat Gabon 3-0 in Casablanca on Saturday to
set up a showdown with Ivory Coast, who are a point behind them.
Victory for the Elephants would take them to the finals instead – for a
fourth successive tournament.
Senegal moved to the top of Group D with a 2-0 away win over the
Cape Verde Islands as England-based Diafra Sakho and Cheikh Ndoye
scored late, while 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa remained in the
race by beating Burkina Faso 3-1 at Soccer City.
A disputed goal after just 48 seconds set South Africa on their way to
a 3-0 half-time lead as they looked to bounce back from the
embarrassment of double defeats by the Cape Verde last month.
Senegal have eight points, Burkina Faso and the Cape Verde six and
South Africa four, but Senegal and South Africa have an extra game to
The last round of World Cup qualifiers will be played between Nov. 10