African World Cup Qualifying: Analysis for Nigeria vs. Malawi and Other Matches

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African World Cup Qualifying: Analysis for Nigeria vs. Malawi and Other Matches
Steve Haag/Getty Images

Because the Confederation of African Football scheduled three of its Cup of Nations tournaments in just four years, qualification for the 2014 World Cup finals was assigned a hasty, bizarre format.

Following a playoff stage that involved the CAF’s lowest-ranked 24 sides, a 40-team group stage was drawn to determine the 10 participants (one from each bracket) to contest a final playoff round—the five winners of which will progress to Brazil.

Those 10 teams were mostly determined on Friday and Saturday, with a crucial Sunday encounter between Cameroon and Libya scheduled to set up the playoff draw, which will be held on September 18 in Cairo.

Following are brief recaps of some of the weekend’s biggest matches in African qualifying, beginning with a make-or-break contest between Tunisia and Cape Verde and concluding with a look at the teams that have already booked a spot in the playoffs.

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