This will be “War”
In the beginning there were 40 ,now they are down to 10. 10 African nations have made it to the final round to decide who gets to be the Fortunate 5 who will represent Africa at the next FIFA world cup 2014 in Brazil.
The prospects of fierce battles are everywhere as the 10 best Nations in Africa, square it out to qualify and participate in the greatest, most lucrative and most followed sporting event in the world!
African nations as evidenced by the just concluded AFCON 2013 have come of age tactically and technically. All of a sudden we do not have “small nations” anymore. Gone are the fluke results (5-0 etc) and as we can see by some of the qualifiers to the final round, some of the erstwhile smaller nations are here at the expense of the former big guns!
Who are the fabulous 10? Who are the favourites? Who are the Underdogs or Who are the Clear outsider giant killers? etc
THE FABULOUS LUCKY 10
Algeria, Burkina Faso,Cameroun,Cape Verde,Egypt,Ethiopia,Ghana,Ivory Coast, Nigeria And Senegal.
These are the Giants of Africa and on paper are the clear favourites ,though reality on the pitch has not been in agreement with this ascertion lately.
Nigeria: Reigning African champions, both on paper and on the pitch, a solid team and short of a disaster should be In Brazil. Star players back in the side should tilt things in their favour
Ghana: With their exiled players back in the fold and their house looking back in order they are favourites.
Ivory Coast: though underachieving as regards trophy conquest, they rest as Africa’s most talented team on paper in virtue of the clubs their players play!
Algeria: This is one rare Nothern nation that has succeeded in escaping the Arab spring crisis effect on its sporting atmosphere (relatively) and with its players mostly based in France and Europe they qualify to be favourites!
Cameroun: Dare bet against Cameroun? though regressive in fortunes lately they are gradually crawling their way back and With leader ,Eto’o, back in the fold they are clear favourites and should be threatening!
Giant Killers (Teams to Be Dreaded by the Big Boys)
Ethiopia: They are the most improved African Nation of the decade so far. The just concluded Nations Cup in South Africa helped showcase how strong they have become and could shock any Big Five that falls their way. Technically and Tactically they are solid as South Africa found out unfortunately too late!
The Coach, Sewnet Bishaw, is one of Africa’s best in my opinion (if not the Best at the moment) judging with the materials he has to work with and what he has achieved!
Cape Verde: They are in the same situation as the Ethiopians. Quite impressive asTunisia found out ! They are Giant Killers as they went to Tunisia to book their place for the Final Rounds off a 0-2 away victory
Now I feel the “real” World cup qualifiers Proper starts in Africa. Certain major brain teasers are up in the air. Tension is already building.
First as to regards who the 5 pairs will be and who gets to avoid Ethiopia and ivory coast for example.
Who wants to have to fly to Crisis torn Egypt to Qualify ? (hopefully not Algeria judging from their violent past encounters etc.)
Who will face African Champions ,Nigeria and face the huge task of stopping this great nation of 160 Million people from going to the promised land 2014 (Brazil)?
Will Cameroun finally take back its place amongst Africa’s best?
These and more are the questions that only this last round of Football “warfare” will answer us football lovers . Do you know the answers?