The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been given a seemingly easy draw in the race for qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.
The Eagles are drawn against Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in the penultimate round of the qualifying race for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In the draws conducted on Tuesday in Cairo, the 40 teams remaining in the race on the African continent were drawn into 10 groups of four teams each, with six-time finalists Nigeria heading Group C.
Just like the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations where the Eagles will fly westward (Freetown, Sierra Leone and Cotonou, Benin Republic)twice in their remaining campaign to, the Eagles will also fly westward twice in the race to Qatar (Praia, Cape Verde and Monrovia, Liberia).
Nigeria’s first game, coming up in October this year, will be against the Lone Star of Liberia, who reached this stage after shoving neighbours Sierra Leone in the first round.
African champions Algeria head Group A and will have two interesting games against the Etalons of Burkina Faso, with the Niger Republic and Djibouti also in the pool.
Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles head Group B which also has Zambia, Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea, but the presence of Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire in Group D makes that pool most interesting. They are joined by Mozambique and Malawi.
Meanwhile, Group E looks the most evenly set, with Mali, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda –none of which has been to the FIFA World Cup previously.
Group G is also mouth-watering, as Ghana, quarter-finalists at the only FIFA World Cup finals to have been hosted on African soil, face the country that hosted that finals in 2010, South Africa, as well as Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.
Certainly, Group J is similarly something to savour, as Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin Republic and Madagascar are joined by Tanzania.
Each of the 40 teams will play two matches each towards the end of this year, with the remaining four matches coming up next year.
The third and final round of the qualifiers will see the 10 winners of the pools drawn into five explosive home-and-away fixtures that will produce Africa’s flagbearers in Qatar. Those knockout games come up in November 2021.
Central African Republic