2017 AFCON: Algeria seals its place in Gabon

Africa’s top-ranked nation Algeria sealed their place at the 2107 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Thursday fr
The Algerians with interim coaches Yazid Mansouri and Nabil Neghiz at the helm won despite playing with out several key players.

Sporting Lisbon’s Islam Slimani was suspended while English Premier League champion Riyad Mahrez and Porto’s Yacine Brahimi were both injured.

The loss for Seychelles means they are unable to win the group and leave them hoping several other results go their way this weekend to have any chance of a best second-placed spot.

Before the upcoming qualifiers, Benin are the best second-placed side with eight points, while Tunisia, Mauritania, Uganda, Central African Republic all have seven.

However Benin are currently serving a global ban from football imposed by Fifa and if that sanction is not lifted before their match against Equatorial Guinea they will be eliminated from the qualifiers.The group winners and the best two runners-up will qualify for the finals.

table“No decision made [on whether Benin’s game has been cancelled],” the Confederation of African Football told BBC Sport.

“In Mexico the Fifa congress gave the power to its Council to readmit Benin once the conditions are fulfilled – if by the date of their game they are still banned they will be logically eliminated.”

On Friday, Cameroon could join Algeria, Morocco and hosts Gabon at the 2017 Nations Cup if they can win in Mauritania.

The Indomitable Lions are currently one point ahead of their opponents after the first four matches of the campaign.

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos left captain Stephane Mbia out of his squad for the qualifier and Tuesday’s friendly 3-2 loss to France.

Forward Benjamin Moukandjo and Nicolas Nkoulou both missed the France game with injuries too.

Tunisia also play on Friday knowing they could lose the chance of winning Group A if they lose in Djibouti and then Liberia secure a win over Togo on Sunday.

In that scenario Liberia would earn themselves a place at the Nations Cup finals for the first time since 2002.

Djibouti have already been eliminated and have yet to win a single point from their opening four matches, scoring just once and conceding 16 goals.

Friday’s other match sees Morocco take on Libya in Tunisia after the game was moved due to the ongoing problems in Libya.

Morocco have already secured their place in the finals after a 1-0 win away and a 2-0 victory at home over Cape Verde in March maintained their 100 per cent winning record in the qualifiers.

Libya meanwhile realistically need a win to keep alive any hope they have of grabbing second spot in Group F.

 

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