Thanks to Ghana’s 5-1 victory over the Red Devils of Congo we have moved to third on the league table and will be in with a chance on the last day if we can win against Uganda in Kampala.
Here are the current standings for Group E after four games played:
Egypt: 9 points
Uganda: 7 points
Ghana: 5 points
Congo: 1 point
“The odds are definitely in favor of Egypt, yet this does not confirm a World Cup berth just yet.”
CAF World Cup Qualifying rules for Round 3
This is the final round of qualifying for the World Cup as CAF teams do not play in an intercontinental playoff for a tournament berth. Only the top team from each of the five groups qualify for the final tournament while the remaining three teams do not qualify for the World Cup. If the top teams are tied on points, the first tiebreaker is goal differential. Currently, Egypt has the best goal differential with +3 while Ghana is second with +2, Uganda follows with +1. At that point, if there is still a tie, whichever team has scored more goals will win the group.
What Tuesday’s results mean
Uganda were previously top of the group but Egypt leapfrogged them with their 1-0 win thanks to a Mohamed Salah goal. Ghana then kept their qualifying results alive with their 5-1 demolition of Congo thanks to a hat trick by Thomas Partey. With Congo’s loss they were officially eliminated from contention of making the tournament as it is mathematically impossible for them to get to 9 points (Egypt’s current point total) in the next two games.
Weglobalfootball.com, a website dedicated to FIFA rankings and odds for the World Cup, Euros, and AFCON, have assessed the probability of each team that makes the 2018 World Cup. Egypt are considered a “Near-Lock”, meaning that it is highly likely that they qualify. The website says that the Pharaohs have an 85.68% chance of making the World Cup while Uganda and Ghana are in the “Looking Unlikely” group, with Uganda having an 11.2% chance and Ghana having a 3.12% chance.
October 7: Uganda V Ghana
October 8: Egypt V Congo
November 6: Congo V Uganda
November 6: Egypt V Ghana
Circumstances for Egypt to qualify
- Two wins
- One win and a draw AND Uganda to win one and draw/lose one
- One win and a draw AND Uganda to get two wins but have a lower goal differential than Egypt.
- One win and a loss AND Uganda to not win both games
Egypt V Congo
This November 6 match at the Borg El-Arab Stadium could potentially qualify Egypt for the World Cup. Congo have only gotten a single point (off of Ghana) and have a -6 goal difference; in theory Egypt should win the match. Should the Pharaohs win the match, and Uganda do not beat Ghana, Egypt will have qualified for the World Cup.
If Uganda and Egypt both win, Egypt will be on 12 points, while Uganda will be on 10. After this, Egypt can qualify with: a win over Ghana, Uganda to not win, or a tie with Ghana and Uganda to beat Congo and have a lower goal differential than Egypt.
If Egypt draws against Congo, and Uganda wins against Ghana, the two teams will be tied on points; it will come down to who performs better in November’s matches.
If Egypt draws against Congo, and Uganda draws with Ghana, Egypt can qualify with: a win against Ghana or Uganda to lose or draw.
If Egypt loses both matches, Congo must beat Uganda, AND Uganda must draw with Ghana AND Ghana must have a lower goal difference than Egypt.
Like Hector Cuper said, Egypt’s fate is in their own hands. A win at home against Congo is easily doable, Mohamed Salah has scored the same amount of goals in this qualifying round (3) as the entire Congo team has in total this year. In addition to this, Egypt are playing at the Borg El-Arab where they have not conceded yet in this qualifying round. Winning this match will take the pressure off of Egypt and put it on Uganda and Ghana, where the right results can make it incredibly easy for the Pharaohs.
The odds are definitely in favor of Egypt, yet this does not confirm a World Cup berth just yet. Egypt will have to play their best to keep their destiny in their own control. The last thing the Pharaohs (and Egypt fans) want is for Egypt to advance on a technicality such as goal difference or the result of Uganda and Congo on the last day to determine who wins Group E.
Egypt have not made the World Cup since 1990, should Egypt qualify it will be the first time seeing Egypt at the World Cup in many of our lives. While the next two games will be absolutely crucial, Hector Cuper has organized and led a great team amidst political crisis over the past few years, the National Team has brought together many people and Cuper and the rest of the team should be commended for their efforts regardless of what happens.