The African section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification has now concluded the second round, with the top 10 teams moving into the third and final qualification phase, which will birth the top five countries to represent Africa in the 2022 World Cup at Qatar next year.
40 teams were split into 10 groups of four that competed to advance to the final qualifying round. The winners of each group earned a spot in the last round, in which they will play two-legged ties for five total spots in March 2022.
Which CAF teams have progressed into the Final Stage?
- DR Congo
What comes next?
The final ten teams have been placed into two groups based on their world rankings and then drawn together for a two-legged matchup. The Winners will go to Qatar, and the losers will go home.
Wait, What about the African Cup of Nation?
No worries. The third and final stage of the CAF World Cup qualifier is not scheduled to start until March 2022. In the meantime, the public should be expecting some drama on the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations planned to start in January 2022, as the top 10 teams will be confronting bitter and disqualified teams, for a chance of some revenge.
What are our top picks?
EGYPT - The most successful team in the history of African football, the almighty Pharaohs of Egypt, is definitely the favorite to make it to the World Cup. However, they tend to self-destruct given proper pressure. There is a high chance for Egypt to qualify top of their group.
NIGERIA - The Super Eagles are among the most branded African Football team and also an emerging leader. Nigeria has won the most World Cup games among African teams with 6 wins, and also scored the most goals by an African team in World Cup history with 23 goals in total. There is a high chance for Nigeria to come up on top of their group.
CAMEROON - The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon holds the record for the most World Cup qualifications among African teams, with seven appearances on the big event. Although the team is filled with many talented players, Cameroon will be facing two top African teams (Egypt and Ghana) and may struggle to come on top of the group. Qualification is probable but will require strong performance and coordination.
GHANA - Who can forget Ghana's performance during the 2010 South Africa World Cup? The Black Stars of Ghana almost made it to the 2010 World Cup semi Final when their top player Asamoah Gyan missed the crucial penalty kick against Uruguay. Since then, the Black Stars have struggled to get their thunder back. However, This time, there is a high possibility for Ghana to surprise the crowd with a qualification to Qatar. Very probable.
ALGERIA - The Desert Foxes has been wreaking havoc on the Northern Africa region, and are eager to claim the throne and to come out of the shadow of current super Northern teams such as Egypt and Tunisia. Algeria seems to be in its prime and this is their best opportunity to seize a ticket to the big event. They may not finish on top of the group, but they are high contestants for the fourth African ticket to Qatar. They just have to stay healthy and be ready to deliver.
DR CONGO - I may be biased on this one (being born from the wonderful and amazing country called the "Heart of Africa"), but hey, one can always wish. DR Congo has been ranked as high as 28 in the FIFA Rankings. As Zaire, they were the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and twice won the Africa Cup of Nations.
DR Congo has great talents, but their performance is very sporadic. The Leopards are riding on a golden ticket with a chance to make their dream come true. However, the competition is fierce and it is unlikely that they could quench the ticket to Qatar. However, I have them on my wish list because their victory may serve as a catalyst to bringing positive change in the country. So, I wish on their success.