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AFCON 2019: Group F permutations

Benin vs Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau vs Ghana qualifying chances explained

July 1, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
All has not been decided in Group F just yet as each of the four teams still stands a chance of qualifying to the Round of 16 stage.

The last round of matches in Group F of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations gets underway on July 2. Contrary to predisposed outcomes of a group which features the likes of defending champions Cameroon, four-time winners Ghana as well as Benin and Guinea-Bissau, no team has already confirmed its place in the knockout phase.

A few twists have been on display and the drama could well endured to the very final day. Below are the permutations and combinations higlighting what the fate of all the four participants could be ahead of the last 16:

Cameroon (4 points +2 goals)

After two matches, the Indomitable Lions sit atop Group F with four points and two goals to their advantage. The defending champions won by two goals to nil in their openning group encounter with Guinea-Bissau but were held to a 0-0 scoreline against Ghana in the subsequent encounter.

A win against Benin will seal the fate of Clarence Seedorf's men as group winners as they will finish with seven points, This will set them up to face the second placed team in Group E. A draw could also be enough although a big win for the Black Stars against Guinea Bissau could strip Cameroon of their table-toppers status.

All in all, anything but a defeat against Benin should seal easy progression to the last 16 for the Indomitable Lions. In any case they lose to the Squirrels, they could still qualify in either second or third depending on the outcome of the Guinea-Bissau ve Ghana fixture.

Benin (2 points, 0 goal)

Despite being in second place, Benin is in a sticky situation as the outcome of the upcoming clash with Cameroon will make or break its AFCON 2019 campaign.

After drawing 2-2 with the Black Stars of Ghana in the first game and being held to a 0-0 draw against Guinea-Bissau in the subsequent fixture, the Squirrels need to win against Cameroon in order to be 100 percent safe and progress to the next round.

Should they draw against the Indomitable Lions, they could still qualify depending on these  factors:

1. A win for Ghana or Guinea Bissau will automatically demote Benin to third place. Here the Squirrels could still qualify as one of the best third-placed teams with the three points and zero goal difference although they will face a tougher opposition.

2. A draw for Ghana means Benin will qualify in second position but will play against Nigeria who finished second in Group C.

Benin will be all but out of the tournament should it be defeated by Cameroon.

Ghana (2 points, 0 goal) 

Just as it is the case for Benin, anything but a defeat should keep hopes alive for the Black Stars of Ghana coming up against Guinea Bissau. The four-time AFCON winners are yet to register a win in Egypt as they drew 2-2 in the first game against Benin and were held to a goalless draw against Cameroon in the subsequent encounter.

With two points and no goal, Kwesi Appiah's men sit in third place. For Ghanaian fans, a more favorable scenario will be for their team to beat Guinea-Bissau in the upcoming encounter. Should that be the case, the outcome of the clash between Cameroon and Benin will have no bearing on their qualification chances.

However, should they draw, they will need Cameroon to beat Benin in order to finish in second place. In any case the Squirrels get the better of the Indomitable Lions, Ghana will potentially qualify to the last 16 stage as one of the best third-placed teams with three points and no goal.

Should the Black Stars beat Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon defeat Benin, the former will finish in second place. Still, goal difference will be the determinant for the first and second positions if Ghana beats Guinea and Benin also gets the win against Cameroon.

A defeat will send the Black Stars team packing out of Egypt.

Guinea-Bissau (1 point, -2 goals)

Unlike Cameroon, Benin and Ghana, Guinea-Bissau does not have multiple scenarios at its disposal to retain hope of booking its ticket to the knockout stage. The mission is simple; get the ultimate points against Ghana or go home.

The Djurtus have managed just a point from two matches; losing to 2-0 to Cameroon and drawing 0-0 with Benin. Sitting at the bottom of Group F, a win against Ghana will give them four points and could send them top second position should Cameroon also defeat Benin.

Should they win and Cameroon lose, the second and third positions will be determined by the goal difference between the two teams.

In summary, the game against Ghana is a must win if Guinea-Bissau fancies its chance at the tournament. 


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