Ethiopia meets Madagascar in hard qualification


Ethiopia drew in group (K) along with former two time champions Ivory Coast, 2019 Egypt Cup final surprise package quarter finalist Madagascar and Niger. With the Elephants stand as favorites to win the group, Ethiopia appears to have humble adversaries (Madagascar and Niger) to contend for the runner-up spot.
Algeria who meets Senegal on Friday in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final in Cairo, must travel virtually the length of the continent for all their matches in the 2021 qualifying campaign. The Desert Foxes were drawn to play in Group H alongside three southern African teams, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Senegal, Algeria’s opponents in Friday’s final, will feature in Group I against Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau and eSwatini formerly Swaziland. Nigeria, who beat Tunisia 1-0 on Wednesday in the third place play-off, will meet fellow west African nations Benin and Sierra Leone plus Lesotho.
Ghana and South Africa are in Group C and both should qualify at the expense of Sudan and the winners of a preliminary round tie between Mauritius and Sao Tome e Principe. Although automatic qualifiers as hosts, Cameroon will take part to gain competitive match practice, leaving Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda to contest the other Group F place.
Uganda, the strongest of the east African nations at the 2019 tournament, are with Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Sudan or the Seychelles in Group B. The four preliminary ties will be played in October and the group phase kicks off the following month with two rounds.
The winners and runners-up will qualify from each group except in Group F where Cameroon automatically qualify as hosts with the highest placed of the other three teams.
Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/Chad
Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles
Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti/Gambia
Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi
Cameroon (hosts), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda
Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros
Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana
Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)
Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea
Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia
Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho