June, 14 2023.
It’s crunch time again, as penultimate fixtures of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Côte d'Ivoire are decided across the continent, starting from Wednesday.
So far, only seven teams have earned themselves tickets to the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, joining hosts the Elephants of Côte d'Ivoire for the platinum African football extravaganza next January.
There are 16 more tickets up for grabs with one round of games to be played this international window this week.
www.ckdmedia.ng is focused on Group A, where it's a three-way battle for two tickets from this group, which has Nigeria sitting at the top of the log with 9 points, Guinea Bissau are second with 7 points, while Sierra Leone are on 5 points.
Bottom placed São Tomé & Principe have one point and are already out of contention, even before they lost to Guinea Bissau on Wednesday.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will play away to the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Monrovia, on Sunday at 5pm Nigerian time.
Nigeria laboured to beat them 2-1 in Abuja, on Day 1, but just a draw will guarantee the three time African Champions, a place in the tournament next year.
Conversely, Sierra Leone are in a must win situation to keep their hopes alive and they will look to make the most of their home ground advantage.
Guinea Bissau played away to Sao Tome in the other match on Wednesday, and the Djurtus won the tie 1-0 to pocket all 3 points, that saw them the seventh side to qualify for the finals.
The win took them to 10 points, thereby leapfrogging Nigeria to top Group A with 10 points, one ahead of Nigeria who are on 9 points, with a game in hand.
Substitute Zinho Gano scored the solitary goal for Guinea Bissau in a closely fought match, but the points were enough to hand them a ticket to next year’s extravaganza in Côte d’Ivoire.