The last three of Africa’s five World Cup qualifiers will be settled in the final round of group games, although Senegal and South Africa will squeeze in an extra match on Friday.
Showdown for Morocco
In Africa, Nigeria and Egypt have booked their tickets but three of the five group winners are still to be decided.
In Group A, Tunisia is almost there. It leads Congo by three points and faces last-place Libya at home. The Carthage Eagles could even qualify if they lose and Congo beats Guinea in Kinshasa, provided both games are low-scoring and decided by just one goal.
Group C is finely balanced. Morocco travels to Abidjan for a game that will decide who qualifies. Ivory Coast has home advantage but Morocco has a one-point edge in the table and will qualify with a draw.
“We need a team that will go to war and every player to be ready to give 200 percent,” said Ivory Coast manager Marc Wilmots.
In Group D, Senegal leads by two points and plays South Africa home and away, needing two points to be absolutely sure.
Senegal’s likely progress has been delayed because its defeat in South Africa last November was scrubbed out. That match was decided by a bizarre penalty which led to a life ban for the referee, Joseph Lamptey.