Connect with us


AFCON final qualifiers: Five matches to keep an eye on



The Black Stars, leaders of the group, have nine points but could be eliminated on goal difference if Angola beat Madagascar and the Ghanaians lose in their home match in Kumasi.

There are only nine places left in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 and the slots will be filled in this week’s final round of qualifiers.

At the end of the sixth and final day of the qualifiers this week, all 24 African nations qualified for Africa’s biggest football spectacle will be officially confirmed.

CAFOnline takes a look at five key fixtures where the stakes are at an all-time high.


Cameroon – Burundi


Two teams with a contrasting record when it comes to the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Cameroon are five-time winners of the tournament while Burundi are dreaming of a second appearance at the competition.

Closely tied on 4 points, any loser between this tie will automatically lose out on a trip to Cote d’Ivoire.

The Indomitable Lions will count on the goalkeeping presence of André Onana. The Cameroonian shot-stopper, who has come out of international retirement to bolster Rigobert Song’s squad.

Veteran striker, Vincent Aboubakar will also draw confidence from playing in front of his home crowd  Garoua.


Looking at into the nest of the Swallows, Étienne Ndayiragije will be counting on dangerman, Bon Fils Caleb and Saido Berahino to get the result for the east African side.



DR Congo – Sudan

The Democratic of Congo were languishing at the bottom of Group I with 0 points after their first two games of the qualifiers.


This prompted emergency changes for the Leopards which saw Hector Cuper being replaced by Sebastien Desarbre.

The change immediately brought results with the Leopards getting a 3-0 win over Mauritania and 2-0 win over Gabon.

Facing Sudan will not be easy for the west Africans but will be hoping that home ground advantage plays to their favour in Kinshasa.


Another crucial fixture is in Group I that will be closely contested by two sides.


Equal on points and just separated by goal difference, Mauritania and Gabon will leave everything on the field when they meet in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

The Panthers will be relying on the experience of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but will be without the services of Andre Poko as well as Lloyd Palun.


Ghana – Central African Republic

A tricky assignment awaits the Black Stars. Even though Ghana top Group E with nine points, Chris Hughton’s men face a Central African Republic (CAR) side that is just two points behind them.


CAR will be gunning for a full haul of points to secure their first ever  CAF AFCON appearance while the four-time champions Black Stars need just a draw at home in Kumasi to advance.

Angola – Madagascar

One of the key fixtures of the group decider will be Angola against Madagascar. With the islanders already out of contention, Angola could spoil the party for the Black Stars.

The Palancas Negras are a point behind Ghana and should they win and the Black Stars lose to CAR, it could spell disaster for the west Africans in what would be a huge upset in the group.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.


Nigeria’s AFCON 2025 fixtures almost in same pattern with World Cup qualifiers



Confederation of African Football (CAF)  has now released the full fixtures of the qualifying series for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures for the Nigerian team is almost in the same pattern with that of the 2026 World Cup qualification which has seen the Super Eagles wobbling.

Like that of the World Cup, the Super Eagles will begin their quest for qualifcation for AFCON with a home game in Uyo as they will host Benin Republic.

As it was in the World Cup, they will then head to Rwanda. Last November, their second match was played in Rwanda which hosted Zimbabwe home match. This time the Super Eagles will be facing Rwanda, the same team they will meet when the World Cup qualification series resume in March next year.

On Match Day 3, the Super Eagles will host Libya and will have the reverse fixture immediately after that of Match Day 3.


Later they travel to Benin for Match Day 5 before hosting Rwanda on the last match day.

The Fixtures

  • September 2 – Nigeria vs Benin Republic; Libya vs Rwanda
  • September 6 – Rwanda vs Nigeria; Benin Republic vs Libya
  • October 11 – Nigeria vs Libya; Benin Republic vs Rwanda
  • October 16 – Libya vs Nigeria; Rwanda vs Benin Republic
  • November 11 – Benin Republic vs Nigeria; Rwanda vs Libya
  • November 15 – Nigeria vs Rwanda; Libya vs Benin Republic

The top two teams qualify for AFCON 2025

Continue Reading


Rohr roars warning to Benin; Nigeria, Rwanda will not be easy




Former Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr now handling Benin Republic has warned The Cheetahs of Benin not to expect an easy match when the team meet Rwanda and Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

 Last month, he led his team to defeat both Rwanda and Nigeria in World Cup qualifying duels in Abidjan, where Benin Republic are compelled to play their home matches following inadequate facilities at home.

 Benin’s 1-0 defeat of Rwanda was Rohr’s first victory with the team. Days later, he followed up with a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria, the first Benin Republic victory in over 65 years.

 Those wins have put Benin in the frame of possible qualification for the World Cup. They are now to meet Nigeria and Rwanda again in World Cup qualifiers.


 It won’t be easy, remarked Rohr.  Hear the Franco-German as he spoke in French but translated into English for the Sports Village Square: “From September we will play against Nigeria before facing Libya and Rwanda.  

“These are three difficult opponents.  We had already played Rwanda and Nigeria but be careful, it’s not because we won Rwanda and Nigeria that it will be easy matches.

“ We know that it is possible to achieve good performances again.  We know that Nigeria with its great players will want to take revenge against us.

“ I think it will probably be an interesting match in Uyo before continuing against Libya.  I suppose in Abidjan because in September the Mathieu Kerekou friendship stadium  will not be ready.  

“Everything will be decided in three months in September, October and November.  It’s a difficult group but it’s playable.  


“You have to finish in the top two.  We had a team that is becoming solid, where the players are like brothers, accomplices.  I hope we will recover the players who were absent.  We are confident.”

Continue Reading


Coaches react after intriguing Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers Draw



The journey towards qualification to the  Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 shifted a gear higher on Thursday, after CAF officially conducted the draw of the qualifiers in Johannesburg South Africa.

A total of 48 nations will vie for the 24 places that will contests the 35th edition of Africa’s most prestigious competition.

This is what some of the coaches has to say in reaction to the draw outcomes.

Emerse Fae, Cote d’Ivoire coach

“I am satisfied because we are going to play against Zambia, a team that we know very well. In our last qualifying campaign, we lost against them. We know what mistakes to avoid.


“I am also satisfied because I did not want to have countries geographically far from Cote d’Ivoire which will lessen the travel load. That said, in Africa, there are no longer small teams. All the teams will want to challenge us because we are the reigning champions”

Leslie Notši

“The draw is very interesting because when you have the host in your group, it means they qualify automatically for the tournament, and you have to double your efforts to secure the remaining qualification spot which will be contested by the three other teams in the group.

“We will work very hard to see to it that we are competitive side and try as much as we can to get maximum points in matches against countries that are with us in our group. It will be very important to do well in our home games and I know all eyes will be on “Morocco as the hosts and a powerhouse in our group. We will draw inspiration from recent games where we played the likes of Nigeria as well as Cote d’voire and were able to frustrate them”

Amir Abdou, Mauritania Coach


“Quite a complicated draw. Egypt will be the big contender for qualification. They have a good track record that speaks volumes.

“Seven times African champions – that’s no small thing. We also have Cape Verde who eliminated us during the last AFCON.

“This team is made up of many quality players. We have Botswana, they are having a good qualifying campaign for the World Cup. We have a pretty strong group. It’s up to us to believe in ourselves. We will do everything we can to achieve our fourth participation in the AFCON”.

Kévin Nicaise, Chad coach

 “We are already having the reigning African champions facing the last qualified team in the FIFA rankings. These will definitely be very difficult matches played at high intensity. We will fight to defend our nation’s pride. The group remains relatively open, and we will approach these qualifications with humility and ambition”.


 Badou Zaki, Niger coach

“We have every chance of qualifying. For me, Ghana is a football country with a team that is blessed with great professionals. But this is not the team of 5 or 6 years ago. Even at home, they can lose.

“Angola had a good showing at the last AFCON with their beautiful, modern and fast football. It’s a team that shook up the big teams in Cote d’Ivoire.

“I know Sudan very well. They are first in their World Cup qualifying group. They are going to be dangerous, but we know our strengths and we know we can go far”


Continue Reading

Most Viewed