Nigeria who were in the middle of hosting their first U-17 FIFA world cup (which they lost in the final to Switzerland), had no chance of qualifying for South Africa 2010 as they were two points behind group leader Tunisia with a game to go. They took the advice of former captain and player maker Jay Jay Okocha and focused on their game against Kenya, which they came from behind to win 3-2 thanks to Obefemi Martin’s brace. But that win would have had no effect if Tunisia had done what everybody thought was an easy task for them. To beat Mozambique or draw to qualify, but Mozambique had to quench the thirst of missing out of the African Cup of Nations by producing a great performance to seal their place to Angola coming January which cancels Tunisia’s World Cup hope.
With Cameroon getting the win they needed in Morocco to qualify to the World Cup on the expense of Gabon, who lost to Togo, it was the Arab African nation that had more drama and tasks to do last night. The game between Algeria vs. Egypt started on a wrong foot as the Algerian tour bus was attacked at the airport by Egyptian supporters leaving some players bleeding. But Algeria traveled the Pharaoh's territory with a slight advantages as they only needed a win, draw, or a 1-0 loss to book their plane to South Africa.
For Egypt on the other hand, they had to win by three goals to qualify while two goals would give them a second chance, a one game play-off in a neutral country, Sudan. The game went just halfway in favor of the Egyptian as they scored a goal in the last minute of additional time to earn themselves a play-off in Sudan coming next Wednesday. That means five teams in Africa are through to South Africa 2010 which are Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Cameroon and Nigeria while the faithful of Algeria and Egypt are waiting in the Sudan coming this Wednesday, November 18.
Most African football supporters are praying for Egypt to qualify for one and only one reason: they want the best football nations in Africa to represent the continent on this one chance we have the tournament played on our soil, and the fact that Egypt has been dominating African football for the past six years winning the last two African Cup of Nations, it will be a shame if they would miss out of this one chance to show off against the the likes of Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, etc. … in South Africa where they will have the advantage of the supporters.
Across the ocean, France had won their first leg play-off against Republic of Ireland, thanks to Nicolas Anelka’s goal, and Portugal managed the same margin victory in theirs against Bosnia-Herzegovina, both nations have to produce the same result on Wednesday to ensure their place in South Africa. And remember! These two are among the world giants and great star people want to see coming June 2010. For all the fixture and result go to FIFA.com.