03 November, 2011 12:23:00 By Bodwa Mbingo
SOCCER – IT would seem avoiding the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in both the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers will be impossible for Sihlangu.
Having been handed a rather simple draw against Seychelles in the first round of the AFCON qualifiers, the local squad could still face DRC if they beat the Islanders.
Sihlangu will face DRC next week Friday in the 2014 World Cup first leg qualifier at the Somhlolo Stadium.
Information gathered yesterday can reveal that a total of 46 countries have entered for the 2013 African Nations Cup finals, where COSAFA nation South Africa are automatically in the finals as hosts. Qualifying for the event will begin early next year even though the dates for the fixtures are yet to be set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). There will be three separate rounds to determine the 15 teams to join Bafana Bafana in the finals a tiny over a year from now.
For the first time since 1990, all the qualifying matches will be played on a knockout basis without any group action because of the short time between the 2012 finals and 2013 competition. CAF are switching the hosting of the Nations Cup from every even year to every odd year and have to sandwich the 2013 qualifiers into a period of just six months. There will be two ties played in the first round of the preliminaries followed by a further 14 in the second round.
Then, the 14 winners of the second round ties will be joined by 16 finalists from the 2012 African Nations Cup finals which are Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Gabon, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia. They will go into a draw for a third, and last, round of 15 matches and the winners of those ties, to be played over two legs home and away, will qualify for the finals in South Africa.
Sao Tome e Principe v Lesotho
Ties to be played over two legs and the teams mentioned first play at home in the first leg.
Kenya v Togo Winner Sao Tome e Principe or Lesotho v Sierra Leone
Winner Seychelles or Swaziland v DR Congo
Madagascar v Cape Verde Islands
Ties to be also played over two legs and the teams mentioned first play at home in the first leg.
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