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FIFA WORLD CUP 2002 - REVIEW OF MATCHES
IN JULY 2001
Reviewed by PETER GODFREY
The three remaining places in World Cup 2002 from the CAF (African) Confederation were decided during June with Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia all booking there places in the finals.
CAF (African) Confederation
With Cameroon already on their way to the finals, their final match away to Zambia proved to be an anti climax when they shared four goals with the home side. Libya had two matches during the month but lost both of them, going down at home 4 - 2 to Zambia and 2 - 0 in Togo. Togo also managed to share two goals in Angola.
Liberia finished their qualifying matches in the first half of the month winning by the only goal of the match in Sierra Leone after suffering a shock 2 - 1 defeat at home to Ghana.
Having already defeated Sudan by 4 - 0 earlier in the month, Nigeria were left with having to win at home to Ghana to overtake Liberia and book their place in the finals. This they duly did winning by 3 - 0.
In the other two matches played in this group during the month Sudan were beaten by a single goal in Ghana but then went home and beat Sierra Leone by 3 - 0.
This was undoubtedly the toughest group in the CAF Confederation and when over the weekend of 13th/14th July Egypt defeated Namibia by eight goals to two and Senegal beat Morocco by a single goal it was all down to the last two matches to decide which of three countries went on to the finals.
Egypt needed a win in Algeria to go through ahead of Morocco on goal difference whilst Senegal needed to win by three goals more than Egypt to go through.
In the end it was a win by five clear goals that saw Senegal progress to their first ever World Cup finals on goal difference, while Egypt shared two goals with Algeria in an ill-tempered match that suffered a 15 minute delay due to crowd trouble, and saw the visiting country finish third in the table.
On the 15th July a penalty to Congo just four minutes from the end of their match at home to Cote d'Ivoire, and a win by Tunisia in Congo DR, meant that undefeated Tunisia progressed through to the finals.
A surprise defeat later in the month at home to Congo DR, left Cote d'Ivoire five points adrift in second place. In the final match in this group Madagascar scored the only goal of the match at home to Congo.
In the final matches in this group, already qualified South Africa maintained their undefeated record with a 2 - 0 win at home to Malawi. Two single goal wins for Zimbabwe at home to Burkina Faso and away to Malawi, left them four points adrift of South Africa in second place.
Matches played on 1st July in the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL Confederations have already been covered in the June review.
August sees the next round of five matches in the CONMEBOL Confederation being played and two matches in Europe.
The final rounds of the AFC (Asian) Confederation also gets underway with the winners of the two groups progressing through to the finals.