Nigeria and Cape Verde will face off on Tuesday in what will be a grand finale of Group C in the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup after both won their matches on Saturday.
Nigeria beat Liberia 2-0 to remain top of the group with 12 points while Cape Verde came from a goal down to beat Central Africa Republic 2-1 to remain second with 10 points, two behind Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Pablo Ganet scored with six minutes remaining as Equatorial Guinea beat Tunisia 1-0 in Malabo on Saturday to throw Group B wide open heading to the final match day.
Nigeria needed to win away to Liberia in Tangier to remain in contention and protect their place on top of the log. And they beat the fellow West Africans courtesy of a pair of penalties scored by Victor Osimhen and skipper Ahmed Musa.
Osimhen broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when he converted from the spot. The Nigerians calmly controlled the game and guarded their lead.
They doubled the tally with virtually the last kick of the game, substitute Musa converted a penalty after Osimhen was pulled down by the keeper inside the box.
In Mindelo, the hosts were stunned early when Isaac Ngoma gave the Central Africans an 11th minute lead, one which they guarded till halftime.
However, Cape Verde came off the break a different side and it took them just six minutes to get back to level terms, Julio Tavares finding the back of the net. They kept the push and got the winner with quarter of an hour left after Ianique dos Santos Tavares netted the second.
Heading to the final match in Lagos on Tuesday, Cape Verde are in a must win situation to progress to the play-off round while Nigeria, who have a two-point lead, just need in the least a draw.
Heading into the final round of matches, Group B will go down to the wire after Equatorial Guinea stunned Tunisia. Saturday’s result means the two sides are both on 10 points, but the Carthage Eagles have a better goal aggregate.
Zambia who earlier on thrashed Mauritania 4-0 are on seven points and also have an outside chance of qualification.
Tunisia will host Zambia on the final match day while Equatorial Guinea is away to Mauritania, who are out of contention. Tunisia only need to win against Zambia to be sure of qualification.
The Equatoguineans will have to beat Mauritania and hope Tunisia drop points against The Chipolopolo.
Equatorial Guinea were rewarded for their industry and never say die attitude as they scored an 84th minute goal to give themselves a lifeline in the group.
Ganet scored the solitary goal with a thunderous shot from inside the box after Iban Salvador teed the ball up for him, off a cross from the left. They had been knocking on the Tunisian door especially in the second half and got the most desired result to send the stadium into frenzy.