The final round of qualifiers for the the 2017 African Nations Cup will take place this weekend from September 2nd to 4th, and the good news is that many of the games will be available for viewing in the United States. The current round consists of 13 groups with all group winners qualifying for the final tournament along with the best two second-placed teams. These 15 teams along with hosts Gabon will make up the 16-team tournament.
With only one matchday to go, 10 of the 15 teams have assured qualification. They are: Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Mali and hosts Gabon.
The current standings for the second placed teams is as follows:
Benin – 11 points (+5 GD)
Tunisia – 10 points (+10)
Uganda – 10 points (+3)
Central African Republic – 10 points (+1)
Cape Verde – 9 points (+5)
Swaziland – 8 points (-2)
Ethiopia – 8 points (-4)
Mauritania – 7 points (+1)
beIN SPORTS holds the US TV rights and will present 10 matches over the 3-day period. Most of the matches are live on beIN SPORTS Connect. Here’s the schedule:
All times Eastern USA
Friday, September 2, 2016
Ethiopia vs. Seychelles, 9am, beIN SPORTS Connect (#3) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Group J action with Algeria already assured of the top spot and qualification, Ethiopia needs a win and a lot of help from other teams to overcome its current 7th placed amongst the extra qualifying spot group.
Sudan vs. Gabon, 1:00pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#4) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Even though Gabon are hosts of next year’s tournament, they have been placed in Group I to participate in the qualifying matches (note that their matches are not counted in other teams statistics and only the group winner can advance to the tournament). The match will not have any influence on the final standings in the group.
South Africa vs. Mauritania, 1:00pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#5) and fuboTV (free trial)
– South Africa will be playing for pride as they have been eliminated from playing in Gabon in January. Mauritania would need a miracle to qualify but they are still in it mathematically and should give the hosts a difficult challenge.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Cameroon vs. Gambia, 10:30am, beIN SPORTS Connect (#4) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Cameroon have already assured top spot in Group M and will be in the tournament in Gabon. Gambia are in last (4th) place and cannot advance.
Nigeria vs. Tanzania, 12:00pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#5) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Nigeria were very unlucky in that they were drawn into the same group (G) as Chad who withdrew from the tournament for financial reasons. This left the group with only 3 teams and therefore ineligible for a second-place advancement to the tournament. Egypt have won the group making this a meaningless final match in the group.
Ivory Coast vs. Sierra Leone, 2:00pm, beIN SPORTS, Sling TV (free trial) and fuboTV (free trial)
– A winner-take-all matchup in Group I as the winner advances to the tournament while the second-placed team is ineligible to advance due to the fact that Gabon’s matches do not count toward the statistics and its in essence a three team group. Ivory Coast currently sit on 5 points to Sierra Leone’s 4 points. Ivory Coast need a win or draw to advance.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Tunisia vs. Liberia, 1:30pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#3) and fuboTV (free trial)
Togo vs. Djibouti, 1:30pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#4) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Both matches are from Group A are still wide open as to who advances to the tournament. Currently, Liberia and Tunisia sit atop the group with 10 points (Liberia +5 goal-difference; Tunisia +10 goal difference but Liberia hold a 1-0 head-to-head advantage from their first matchup). Togo have 8 points and need the Tunisia vs Liberia match not to finish in a draw. Djibouti have been the whipping boys of the group with 5 straight losses and a goal-difference of -18.
Morocco vs. Sao Tome and Principe, 3:00pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#5) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Morocco has already assured top spot in Group F while Sao Tome are officially eliminated.
Algeria vs. Lesotho, 3:30pm, beIN SPORTS Connect (#6) and fuboTV (free trial)
– Algeria have already won Group J abd Lesotho have been eliminated.
The draw for the final tournament will take place on October 19, 2016 in Libreville, Gabon. The tournament itself will take place in January 2017.
Ed Perovic is the publisher of soccertvblog.com – a source for schedules and US TV information for major European Leagues and International competitions.
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