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Players

Wins for Tariqe and Saïd but late heartbreak for Patrik

Thursday's international action for our players

13 November 2020

Both Tariqe Fosu and Saïd Benrahma are now just one win away from securing their place in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations following victories last night.

Tariqe played the full 90 minutes for Ghana at the Cape Coast Stadium as they beat Sudan 2-0. Swansea City striker Andre Ayew netted either side of the break as The Black Stars continued their perfect start to qualifying. Six points clear at the top of Group C, without conceding a goal so far, Ghana travel to Khartoum on Sunday for the reverse fixture, scheduled for the National Stadium on Tuesday, 17 November, kick-off 1pm. Tariqe has now started Ghana’s last three matches, opening his account with a goal against Qatar last month.

It’s a similar story for Saïd Benrahma and Algeria with Les Fennecs also perfect in their group following last night’s 3-1 win over Zimbabwe. Saïd was an unused substitute in Algiers as Baghdad Bounedjah, Sofiane Fegouli, and Riyad Mahrez fired the reigning Champions into a 3-0 lead. Tino Kadewere pulled one back late on but it made no difference to the result. At the midway point of qualifying, Algeria are five points clear of Zimbabwe in Group H ahead of Monday’s return game in Harare.

Regardless of results elsewhere, a pair of victories next week will see both sides book their spots in Cameroon in 2022.

In Under-21 European Championship Qualifying, an 88th minute goal denied Patrik Gunnarsson, who was earning his ninth Under-21 cap, and Iceland a crucial point against Italy. Just a point separated first and fourth in Group A going into last night’s game in Reykjavic and that looked like how it would stay after Willum Þór Willumsson and Tommaso Pogeba traded goals. However, with just two minutes to play Pogeba grabbed his second to put a huge dent in Iceland’s qualifying hopes.

The maths in Group A is complicated by the fact both Sweden, in third, and Iceland have had games against Armenia cancelled this break. With no further international windows before the group stages for the tournament are held in March, it is widely expected both sides will be given the points. If so, Iceland’s game against Ireland, and Sweden’s trip to Italy on Wednesday, become winner-takes-all shootouts for a top two spot. A draw against Ireland would only be good enough for Patrik and his teammates should the Boys in Green then fail to beat bottom-of-the-table Luxembourg, and Sweden lose to Italy. Victory may still not be enough should Italy beat Luxembourg and then Sweden beat Italy, as the Swedes possess a far better goal difference.


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