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Nigeria qualify for World Cup as Ghana hopes fade

Nigeria qualify for World Cup as Ghana hopes fade
From ESPN - October 7, 2017

Nigeria became the first African team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup on Saturday after a 1-0 victory over Zambia.

Alex Iwobi came off the bench and struck late in the second half as the Super Eagles soared to 13 points in Group B, finishing comfortably above Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria to secure their sixth appearance at the World Cup.

Iwobi latched onto a cutback just inside the box after good interplay between Victor Moses and Shehu Abdullahi, before drilling home with unerring accuracy in the 74th minute.

With one match left to play, Nigeria can begin to look forward to their sixth appearance at the grandest stage of all.

Ghana and Uganda played out a dour goalless draw in Kampala on Saturday which dents the pair's hopes of World Cup qualification and leaves Egypt within one win of a place in Russia next year.

The Black Stars will feel hard done by after replays showed a number of incorrect decisions by the officials.

Nevertheless, the stalemate took Uganda to eight points, one behind Egypt who play their game in hand against already eliminated Congo-Brazzaville in Alexandria on Sunday knowing that a victory would end their 27-year wait for a place at the World Cup.

Ghana, in third on six points, need Egypt to lose against Congo, Uganda to fail to beat the Red Devils next month, and to beat the Pharaohs in their final qualifier to reach a fourth consecutive World Cup.

Clinton N'Jie and the debuting Frantz Pangop fired Cameroon past Algeria as the reigning African champions secured a 2-0 win in Yaounde in a Group B dead rubber.

The heavyweight duo, both of whom were present in Brazil in 2014, were already out of the running for the global showpiece in Russia next summer after taking just three and one point respectively from their opening Group B fixtures.

Senegal are well on course to qualify for the World Cup next year after a 2-0 victory in Cape Verde that took them top of qualifying Group D.

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