How can the Black Queens qualify?

AWCON 2018: How can the Black Queens qualify?

Ghana’s Black Queens face an embarrassing first round exit from the ongoing AWCON 2018, if a miracle does not occur in the last round of Group stage matches on Friday.

With only the top two teams in the group guaranteed a place in the semi finals, the Queens are in 3rd place in Group A after a shock defeat against Mali on match-day 2. 

What do the Queens need to do to progress?

The Black Queens MUST first and foremost beat group leaders Cameroon on Friday to have a chance of qualifying. It is also very important they do so with a 2 goal margin (2-0, 3-1, 4-2 etc) Why? Because CAF uses the head to head system in deadlocked cases. If the Queens beat Cameroon, Ghana will be tied with the 2016 finalists on 6 points, and the result between the two will be used to separate the two teams. 

Bashir Hayford, Black Queens Head Coach

If Mali beats Algeria, and Ghana beats Cameroon, the head to head between the 3 teams will be used. Cameroon beat Mali 2-1, Mali beat Ghana 2-1, so it is important Ghana registers a victory of above a two goal margin against Cameroon to secure passage to the semis and leave the struggle for the other qualifying spot to Cameroon and Mali( assuming Mali beats Algeria).

What happens if Ghana draws with Cameroon?

The Black Queens will still have a chance of qualifying, albeit a very slim one. In this scenario, Ghana will need Algeria to do her a favor by beating Mali in order for Ghana to qualify. Anything but a loss for Mali in this situation will see Ghana eliminated.

What happens if Ghana loses against Cameroon?

Sadly, this will spell the end of the road for Ghana. Even if Mali loses by a huge margin against Algeria, they will beat the Black Queens to the qualification spot due to a superior head to head record (Mali beat Ghana 2-1 on matchday 2)

Below is CAF’s format for breaking deadlocked situations:

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. Away goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  5. If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
  6. Goal difference in all group matches;
  7. Goals scored in all group matches;
  8. Away goals scored in all group matches;
  9. Drawing of lot

By: Daniel Koranteng/

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