Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Burundi and Tanzania headline CAF's World Cup qualifiers

Burundi and Tanzania will headline the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification (CAF) first-round matches.

The two nations which participated in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt are part of the 28 African teams which will play in the first round.

The 14 winners on aggregate will advance to the second round of qualifiers.

Tanzania assistant coach Seleman Matola is happy with team's preparations for their first-leg clash with Burundi at the Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium in Bujumbura on Wednesday.

“The players did all that we need from them, the squad is good, players are equipped, they all know the importance of this tie,” Matola told Region Week.

"We want all Tanzanians to play for us because Taifa Stars is their Team."

The last meeting between the two teams was in March 2017 and Tanzania emerged 2-1 winners over Burundi in an international friendly match.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be clear favourites to advance to the next round when they face Somali at the El Hadj Hassan Gouled Aptidon Stadium in Djibouti on Thursday.

The Ocean Stars will play their home match against the Warriors of Zimbabwe in Djibouti due to security concerns from the ongoing civil war in Somalia.

Zimbabwe caretaker coach Joey Antipas believes the Warriors are good enough to eliminate the Ocean Stars and go on to qualify for the finals for the first time.

“Most importantly, we have to bring results, the country is craving for success and we have to do wonders to quickly bring that success," Antipas told The Herald.

“Zimbabwe has talent and anything is possible, we just need to work very hard and talking about the World Cup qualification, we have a chance but at times in football you need luck."

The last clash between Somalia and Zimbabwe was in November 1983 and the Warriors won 2-1 in the CECAFA Cup Group B match.

Lastly, Angola will be hoping to go all the way and qualify for the Fifa World Cup finals for the second time when they take on the Gambia at the Independence Stadium in Baku on Friday.

Palancas Negras participated in the 2006 finals in Germany and they will be keen to overcome the Scopians of Gambia without one of their star players, Gelson.

Gelson, who recently joined Turkish side Antalyaspor from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon on loan, explained why he will miss the matches against the Scorpions, but he will be supporting Palancas Negras.

“I don't think I can be part of this game. One reason is the lack of competitive matches. I have already spoken to some Federation leaders," Gelson told TPA.

"But I'm rooting for my national team so we can pass the qualifying round. I hope to be available in the next games so that I can help my colleagues."

The last time Angola faced the Gambia was in December 2012 and the international friendly match ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

First Round First-Leg Fixtures

04.09.2019 - Burundi v Tanzania

04.09.2019 - Dar Ethiopia v Lesotho

04.09.2019 - Eritrea v Namibia

04.09.2019 - Liberia v Sierra Leone

04.09.2019 - Mauritius v Mozambique

04.09.2019 - Sao Tome Sao Tome v Guinea Bissau

04.09.2019 - South Sudan v Equatorial Guinea

05.09.2019 - Somalia v Zimbabwe

05.09.2019 - Chad v Sudan

05.09.2019 - Seychelles v Rwanda

06.09.2019 - Gambia v Angola

06.09.2019 - Comoros v Togo

07.09.2019 - Djibouti v Eswatini

07.09.2019 - Botswana v Malawi


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