AFCON: Nigeria confirmed as Group D winners by CAF’s ranking criteria

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NIGERIA cannot finish below first place in their Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations group after winning their first two games, according to the organisers of the tournament.

The Super Eagles have six points, three more than second-placed Egypt, while Guinea-Bissau and Sudan have one each.

Although it is still possible for Egypt to finish on the same six points as Nigeria if the Pharaohs beat Sudan and the Super Eagles lose to Guinea-Bissau, that scenario would not affect the top of the standings.

The Confederation of African Football clarified on Monday that the head-to-head rule will be used if two or more teams are tied on points after all the group games have been played.

This means that if Egypt and Nigeria both end up with six points, the result between them will be the first criterion used to separate them, and Super Eagles won the fixture 1-0.

As things stand, only Egypt can reach Nigeria’s current tally of six points; the maximum Guinea-Bissau and Sudan can get is four points.

CAF explained the ranking decision in detail on their official website on Monday, writing:

“After the conclusion of the group stage of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021, teams will be ranked in their respective groups according to the competition regulations:

“In case of equality between two teams at the end of the group matches, the teams will be ranked according to the following criteria in the order listed below:

“1 The greatest number of points obtained in the match between the two teams concerned (head-to-head); 2 The goal difference in all group matches; 3 The greatest number of goals scored in all group matches; 4 A drawing of lots conducted by the Organizing Committee.”

If three teams finish on the same number of points, the same process will be used to separate them, with the result of games involving the three teams taking priority.

As group winners, the Super Eagles will face one of the four third-placed teams in the round of 16.

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