The last games of CAF world cup 2022 qualifiers just ended with the disappointing results for Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria while the unconvincing Tunisia sealed the ticket.
Tunisia, which only won through a ridiculous own goal from Malian defender’s back pass mistake in the reverse fixture, managed to hold on and muster a goalless draw while playing at home. They barely had any decent chances during the game. On the contrary, Mali had their goal disallowed. Yves Boussuma and Co had been knocking on the door at Tunisia’s defence line but none succeeded. They deserved to win but ladyluck did not smile at them at all.
The fortune was not on Algeria and Egypt’s side either. The former, which had a narrow win against Cameroon on the road last week, was stunned on 22nd minute as Erick Chopo-Moting found the back of the net. Their loss forced the game to go on to the extra time. Just two minutes before the final whistle, their hearts lifted up as Ahmad Touba found the equaliser. Sadly, it did not last long as The Indomitable Lions responded by Lyon man Karl Toko Ekambi’s goal right at the death and instantly booked their flight to Qatar through an away goal rule, which is still imposed in the international fixture. It was definitely heartbreaking for Riyad Mahrez and Co while Cameroon eventually returns to the world cup after missing Russia 2018.
Algeria vs Cameroon 1-2
Goals: Ahmed Touba (118); Erick Choupo-Moting (22), Karl Toko Ekambi (120)
Algeria: Rais Mblohi – Aissa Mandi, Djamel Benlamri, Abdelkader Bedrane – Youcef Atal (Ahmad Touba 98) , Houcine Benayada, Ramiz Zerrouki (Bendebka 76), Ismael Bennacer – Youcef Belailli (Rachid Ghezzal 109), Islam Slimani (Ishak Belfodil 120), Riyad Mahrez
Cameroon: Andre Onana – Michael Ngadeu, Ambroise Oyongo (Kunde 87) , Collins Fai, Jean-Charles Castelletto – Martin Hongla, Gael Ondoua (Ignatio Ganago 111) , Karl Toko Ekambi, Samuel Oum Gouet (Vincent Aboubakar 102) – Leandre Tawamba (J Onana 111) , Erick Choupo-Moting (N Tolo 63)
Meanwhile, in Dakar, Senegal once again showed their quality as the African Champions by beating Egypt. Boulaye Dia scored an early goal which put them in a tie against The Pharaohs. They had plenty of chances but Mohammed El-Shanawy once again was solid between the sticks. Unfortunately, his luck ended in the penalty shootout. Despite being able to deny one shot, Egypt executors mostly failed to score, including Mo Salah. Senegal once again triumphed in this tight duel.
In Abuja, Nigeria had to give up their dreams to play in the world cup final round. They were held in a 1-1 draw versus The Black Stars at their home turf and lost on away goal rule. Ghana did prove to be better than the home side as Arsenal’s Thomas Partey netted the opener. Super Eagles could only score from the penalty spot. Victor Osimhen had two shots on target but flew high and wide. It was anticlimactic end for them. The team has been in chaos since sacking Gernot Rohr, followed by the football federation’s indecisiveness regarding the German boss’s successor. This is their second failure to qualify since their debut in USA 1994. Their previous one was when Nwankwo Kanu and Co missed out Germany 2006.