Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Mon 7 September 2009

World Cup Round-up: Part 4 - Africa

The first of the five African qualifiers for World Cup 2010 is now known after Ghana got the vital three points they needed in their 2-0 win over Sudan yesterday.

The Ghanaians reached their second successive Finals with a fourth straight win to put them out of reach of second placed Mali in Group D. Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien got the goals in another competent display for the Black Stars, and with Mali only able to draw 1-1 earlier in the day against Benin, Ghana now find themselves seven points clear at the top with only two games remaining.

The next team to reach the Finals should be Ivory Coast who, in real-world terms, are already there but for the technicality of a sizeable goal difference advantage. The Elephants increased their lead at the top of Group E to six points with a 5-0 thrashing of Burkino Faso on Saturday. Didier Drogba picked up two of the goals with Barcelona's Yaya Toure and Galatasaray's new signing Kader Keita getting one each.

That result means Burkino Faso have to win both their last two remaining games and hope that Ivory Coast lose theirs - and they have to bridge a goal difference of fifteen if they're to stand any chance of making it to South Africa next year. Don't hold your breath, folks…

Group A - the Group of Death where this qualifying campaign's concerned - remains wide open after Cameroon picked up their first win of the final round. Samuel Eto'o picked up his seventh goal of the qualifying stages as his side beat Gabon 2-0 at the weekend, and the two teams face each other again this Wednesday in a match Gabon must win to keep alive their chances in the group.

Elsewhere, Togo were denied their second win of the competition thanks to a late, late goal from QPR and Morocco's Adel Taarabt. The 1-1 scoreline means Morocco are bottom of the Group A table, one point behind Cameroon who have a game in hand, and they in turn are one point behind Togo in second who in turn are one point behind Gabon at the top. Hope you followed all that…

In Group B, the top two teams - Nigeria and Tunisia - fought out a 2-2 draw to leave things pretty much as you were after Mozambique got themselves off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 win over Kenya.

Similarly in Group C, the top two remained in situ as leaders Algeria beat Zambia 1-0 and Egypt defeated Rwanda by the same scoreline. Egypt stay three points behind Algeria as the two teams head for a big showdown against each other in mid-November which Egypt will have to win by a healthy score if they're to reach the Finals.

Full results and standings from the African qualifying zone available here.

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