Nigeria’s Super Eagles are the only African side to have qualified with a game to spare, triumphing in the group of death – Group B – over Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria, beating Zambia 1-0 on Saturday to finish the job. Nigeria has indeed made Africa proud because 54 nation in the continent are seeking to take the five spots available to Africa but Nigeria has neatly done their jobs. Thank God for that wonder strike by Alex Iwobi, the Arsenal forward who came off the bench to book Nigeria’s ticket ahead of the mere formality match in Algeria, where Nigeria can afford to field all home-based players just to fulfil all righteousness.
In Group A, Tunisia are one point away from a first World Cup since 2006, and host Libya in the final fixture. A slip up could allow DR Congo in, if they beat Guinea. Group C boils down to a showdown in Abidjan between Ivory Coast – not the force they were in the heyday of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure – and Morocco. The North Africans only need to avoid defeat.
The most controversial pool has been Group D, where Senegal’s 2-1 defeat to South Africa was annulled after the referee, Joseph Lamptey, was banned for life. Should Senegal win the replay, they will qualify. On Sunday, Egypt host eliminated Congo, with a win enough to send them to a first finals since 1990, at the expense of Ghana who are also in Group E. And like the german coach of Nigeria, Gernot Rohr predicted, the Chipolopolo of Zambia actually were the toughest opponents Super eagles encountered on their way to qualification.