AmaZulu captain Tapuwa Kapini believes there will be no runaway winners this weekend when the final stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the African zone gets underway.
Ten sides are scheduled to play each other on a home and away basis, with the first legs set to take place across the continent over the next few days.
The five overall winners from the playoff stage will go through to represent Africa in Brazil next year.
Although he is disappointed with the lack of representation for the Southern region, Kapini believes it’s vital to have the five strongest African teams at next year’s World Cup.
“It’s disappointing that Zimbabwe, South Africa and other Southern African countries did not make it to this stage, but there are always lessons to learn from such setbacks,” said the Zimbabwe international.
“Amongst other things, I believe that our region needs to be exposed more to world football like our counterparts from West and North Africa who have plenty of players who star in the biggest leagues across Europe and all over the world.
“That said, I hope we’ll see the best teams going through based on merit because we want to see an African country going far in Brazil; Ghana came very close to reaching the semi-finals in 2010 and who knows what can happen next.”
The Usuthu goalkeeper has provided us with predictions for all the first-leg encounters and he believes all matches will be tightly-contested.
Burkina Faso 1-2 Algeria (12 October – Stade du 4-Août, Ouagadougou)
Ivory Coast 2-2 Senegal (12 October – Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan)
Ethiopia 2-3 Nigeria (13 October – Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa)
Tunisia 2-1 Cameroon (13 October – Stade Olympique de Rades, Rades)
Ghana 2-3 Egypt (15 October – Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi)Share