Liberia Meets Guinea Bissau In 2018 World Cup

African sides have learned who they will face in 2018 World Cup qualifying following Saturday’s draw in St Petersburg, Russia.

Fifty-three African countries were in the draw, with only Zimbabwe missing following their expulsion by Fifa for failing to pay a former coach.

Africa has been allocated five spots in the finals, which will be played in Russia from 14 June to 15 July.

There will be three rounds of qualifying for the African sides.

Round one features the lowest 26 ranked countries on the continent in Fifa’s July rankings. The winners of those ties advance to round two where they will join the remaining 27 highest-ranked teams.

In the final round, five groups of four teams will meet both home and away and the winner of each group will qualify for Russia 2018.

Former Cameroon striker, Samuel Eto’o was on stage in Russia to help with the Africans draw, and pull out his own nation.

The Indomitable Lions will feature in round two and will take on the winners of the tie between Somalia and Niger.

In the pick of the other ties, 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa face a tough second round meeting against Angola; the African champions Ivory Coast will play either Liberia or Guinea Bissau, and the 2015 runners-up Ghana will face either Comoros or Lesotho.

Nigeria, under new coach Sunday Oliseh, will play either Djibouti or Swaziland, and Algeria – Africa’s highest ranked nation – will play the winners of Tanzania v Malawi.

First round:

13 two-legged ties, play home and away between 5-13 October 2015.

First Round Matches

Somalia v Niger

Eritrea v Botswana

South Sudan v Mauritania

Seychelles v Burundi

Gambia v Namibia

Liberia v Guinea Bissau

Sao Tome e Principe v Ethiopia

Central African Republic v Madagascar

Chad v Sierra Leone

Mauritius v Kenya

Comoros v Lesotho

Tanzania v Malawi

Djibouti v Swaziland

Second Round:

The winners of the first round plus 27 highest-ranked teams in Africa with all 40 teams paired into 20 ties, play home and away between 9-17 November, 2015.

Second Round Matches

Somalia/Niger v Cameroon

Central African Republic/Madagascar v Senegal

South Sudan/Mauritania v Tunisia

Mauritius/Kenya v Cape Verde Islands

Gambia/Namibia v Guinea

Tanzania/Malawi v Algeria

Sao Tome e Principe/ Ethiopia v Congo Brazzaville

Sudan v Zambia

Chad/Sierra Leone v Egypt

Libya v Rwanda

Comoros/Lesotho v Ghana

Morocco v Equatorial Guinea

Djibouti/Swaziland v Nigeria

Mozambique v Gabon

Eritrea/Botswana v Mali

Benin v Burkina Faso

Seychelles/Burundi v DR Congo

Togo v Uganda

Liberia/Guinea Bissau v Ivory Coast

Angola v South Africa

Third round:

20 winners of the second round will form five groups of four teams who will meet both home and away. Matches to be played between 3, October 2016 and 14 November 2017; the five group winners qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Full Draw

The FIFA confederations of Africa, Oceania, South America, Concacaf (North, Central America and the Caribbean) and Europe were drawn. Qualifying has already started in Asia.


Group A

Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg

Group B

Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra

Group C

Germany, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino

Group D

Wales , Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, Georgia

Group E

Romania, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan

Group F

England, Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Malta

Group G

Spain, Italy, Albania, Israel, FYR Macedonia, Liechtenstein

Group H

Belgium, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus

Group I

Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland;

Nine group winners qualify. Eight runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups proceed to play-offs. Russia automatically qualifies as host.