Saturday, November 16, 2013

African sides: 2014 World Cup qualifiers playoff

This weekend in Africa, six teams including current African champions, Nigeria will fight for a ticket to Brazil for next year’s World Cup in the second leg of the World Cup qualifier player-offs.The Super Eagles and Ethiopia will  kick off the first game on Saturday, while Senegal will host Ivory Cost later in the same day as Tunisia round off the day in Cameroon. The other two ties of the round will continue on Tuesday and will be between North African country Egypt VS West African side Ghana, still from the North, Algeria will take on Burkina Faso later in the same day.

The 5 aggregate winners of the ties will qualify for next year's tournament in Brazil.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to clinch a ticket to Brazil ahead of Ethiopia as they hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg of the play-offs which was held in Addis Ababa. Nigeria will host Ethiopia later today in Calabar, Nigeria as they hope on booking their 5th ticket to the World Cup.
Keshi is without Real Betis midfielder Nosa Igiebor and Uche Nwofor, from Dutch club Heerenveen, who dropped out of the squad because of injury. However, the Eagles will be playing with 3 Chelsea starlets including new signing Kenneth Omeruo, Blues midfielder Mikel Obi, and Victor Moses who is on loan to Liverpool FC. MLS striker Bright Dike and Gabriel Rueben will be returning to the team after a long halt due to long-term injuries
For Ethiopia, they are hoping to turn things around this time in Calabar, Nigeria and despite what may seem like obvious obstacles, head coach Sewnet Bishaw is %100 confident his side will make this one count. The return of South African based Getanah Kebede has spurred the team on even further as they get set to face the current African champions later today.
"The return of Getaneh is really great news. I've seen him in training. He's fit and will definitely have a role in the battle," said Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw.
"I'm 100% confident of overturning the result. I'll only play for a win. Football involves a defeat and a win. We're defeated in the first leg doesn't mean we'll be defeated in the second leg.

After their 3-1 victory in Abidjan, Ivory Coast seem even closer than before to reserving their spot at Next summer’s World Cup.  The African ‘favorites’ won 3-1 in the first leg of the play-offs against Senegal, the match was played in Abidjan. Due to the riot last year during the African Cup of Nations qualifiers, this Saturday’s game will be held in Casablanca, Morocco. The Toure’s will be playing in Saturday’s game along former Chelsea star Didier Droghba, however, due to injuries the Elephants of Ivory Coast will be playing without key defenders Siaka Tiene and Arthur
Senegal released their squad for the match and to everyone’s surprise, Demba Ba was not included in the game following rumors that the Chelsea striker and team’s head coah Alain Giresse have some differences.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will be playing the second leg of the play-offs with new Chelsea signing and one of Africa’s current football legend, Samuel Eto’o who made the new recently after scoring 2 goals in one night for his side in the English Premier League. Stephane Mbia will join the former Anzhi Makhachkala striker to boost the team to win Saturday’s game after a goalless match in the first leg of the play-offs.

Fixtures: 2nd leg of the African 2014 World Cup qualifiers playoff (16-19 November)
First leg results in parentheses
(All Times GMT)
Saturday 16 November
15:00 Nigeria vs. Ethiopia (2-1)
19:00 Senegal vs. Ivory Coast (1-3)
Sunday 17 November
14:30 Tunisia vs. Cameroon (0-0)
Tuesday 19 November
16:00 Egypt vs. Ghana (1-6)
18:15 Algeria vs. Burkina Faso (2-3)

Good-Luck and may the best  sides win