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07/09/2019 News

Weekly digest #2

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TOTAL AFCON 2019 Week 2 Roundup

After 36 games and 68 goals, 16 teams are through to the next round of the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2019. The new 24-team format, with additional spots for third-placed teams, meant that most teams went into their final games with the hope of qualifying, and the draw for the knockout phase wasn’t decided until the last group match. 

DR Congo bounces back from two defeats to beat Zimbabwe and qualify for the knockouts

Who would have thought that after losing to Uganda in its opening game and to Egypt in its second, both by two goals, DR Congo could possibly qualify for the last 16? Well, thanks to the new format, anything was possible. On zero points after two games with a goal difference of minus four, DR Congo needed to win and win big. And the team did win big, producing an excellent match to beat Zimbabwe 4-0 and qualify for the knockouts. 

Madagascar stuns Nigeria to top its group   

DR Congo will face debutants Madagascar—who are unbeaten so far—in the knockout phase. Madagascar was already on four points and was almost assured of a place in the knockouts before its game against Nigeria. Ranked 108th in the FIFA rankings, Madagascar trounced mighty Nigeria 2-0, to make it through to the last 16 of their very first AFCON—in style.  

Morocco, Egypt and Algeria are all through to the last 16 with the full nine points

Three of the four North African teams in the competition, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, finished on nine points each with three wins from three games. While host Egypt won its matches comfortably—as expected—Algeria has exceeded all expectations and put on a splendid show so far, scoring six goals, conceding none, and outperforming pre-tournament favorites Senegal. Morocco won all of its Group D matches by a 1-0 margin, while Tunisia qualified in second place from Group E, with three draws. 

Here are the final standings after the group stage:

 

Group A

Egypt (Q): Points: 9, Wins: 3, Goal difference: 5 
Uganda (Q): Points: 4, Wins: 1, Draws: 1, Goal difference: 0
DR Congo (Q): Points: 3, Wins: 1, Goal difference: 0
Zimbabwe: Points: 1, Draws: 1, Goal difference: -5

Group B

Madagascar (Q): Points: 7, Wins: 2, Draws: 1, Goal difference: 3 
Nigeria (Q): Points: 6, Wins: 2, Goal difference: 0
Guinea (Q): Points: 4, Wins: 1, Draws: 1, Goal difference: 1
Burundi: Points: 0, Goal difference: -4

Group C

Algeria (Q): Points: 9, Wins: 3, Goal difference: 6 
Senegal (Q): Points: 6, Wins: 2, Goal difference: 4
Kenya: Points: 3, Wins: 1, Goal difference: -4
Tanzania: Points: 0, Goal difference: -6

Group D

Morocco (Q): Points: 9, Wins: 3, Goal difference: 3 
Ivory Coast (Q): Points: 6, Wins: 2, Goal difference: 3
South Africa (Q): Points: 3, Wins: 1, Goal difference: -1
Namibia: Points: 0, Goal difference: -5

Group E

Mali (Q): Points: 7, Wins: 2, Draws: 1, Goal difference: 4 
Tunisia (Q): Points: 3, Draws: 3, Goal difference: 0
Angola: Points: 2, Draws: 2, Goal difference: -1
Mauritania: Points: 2, Draws: 2, Goal difference: -3

Group F

Ghana (Q): Points: 5, Wins: 1, Draws: 2, Goal difference: 2
Cameroon (Q): Points: 5, Wins: 1, Draws: 2, Goal difference: 2
Benin (Q): Points: 3, Draws: 3, Goal difference: 0
Guinea-Bissau: Points: 1, Draws: 1, Goal difference: -4