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Chipolopolo handed tough World Cup draw

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Zambia

Zambia celebrating after scoring

faces an uphill battle to qualify for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup after they were drawn in a group containing three of Africa’s biggest teams.

The Chipolopolo have been drawn in Group B along with Africa’s highest ranked team Algeria and seasoned campaigners Cameroon and Nigeria. All three teams have been at the past two World Cup finals

This was revealed following a draw for the third qualification round of the African Zone qualifiers conducted in Cairo on Friday.

All three of Zambia’s opponents were at the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals hosted in Brazil where both Nigeria and Algeria made it to the knockout stage while Cameroon were eliminated at the group stage.

There are five groups of four teams with only the winners of each group making it to the showpiece in Russia.

Zambia will begin their journey with a match at home to Nigeria while the next match will be a visit to Cameroon followed by back-to-back fixtures against Algeria.

Zambia will travel to Nigeria in the group’s penultimate match before hosting Cameroon.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) General Secretary Ponga Liwewe described the draw as tough.

“It’s a tough draw and all our opponents have been to the FIFA World Cup before,” said Liwewe.

“It will take a concerted effort to qualify but if we approach the matches with a well prepared team, play to the best of our ability and keep focused we can qualify.”

Algeria is the best ranked team in Africa placed in position 32 globally. Cameroon is placed in 58th position with Nigeria ranking at 61st globally.

According to the latest Fifa ranking published in June,  Zambia is placed in 79th position in the World.

 

Zambia’s Group B fixtures for the 2018 World Cup

Matchday 1: Zambia vs Nigeria, Algeria vs Cameroon

Matchday 2: Nigeria vs Algeria, Cameroon vs Zambia

Matchday 3: Nigeria vs Cameroon, Zambia vs Algeria

Matchday 4: Cameroon vs Nigeria, Algeria vs Zambia

Matchday 5: Nigeria vs Zambia, Cameroon vs Algeria

Matchday 6: Zambia vs Cameroon, Algeria vs NigeriaNigeria

 

African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup:

Group A

Tunisia, Libya, DR Congo, Guinea

Group B

Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria, Nigeria

Group C

Gabon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Morocco

Group D

Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde

Group E

Ghana, Egypt, Congo, Uganda

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31