AFCON 2023 Group B Permutations: What Egypt and Ghana Must Do to Qualify for the Last 16

AFCON 2023 Group B Permutations: What Egypt and Ghana Must Do to Qualify for the Last 16

Joel Reyes
January 20, 2024 at 6:50 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
CAF AFCON
Africa
Ghana logo
Ghana
Ghana
24
Egypt logo
Egypt
Egypt
30
Cape Verde logo
Cape Verde
Cape Verde
24
Mozambique logo
Mozambique
Mozambique
23
Mohamed Salah logo
M. Salah
Liverpool logoFEgypt logo
Mohammed Kudus logo
M.Kudus
West Ham United logoMGhana logo
  • Cape Verde secured the top spot after winning their first two matches in Group B
  • Egypt are currently in second place with two points after recording a pair of draws
  • Ghana and Mozambique still have a shot at advancing despite having just one point each

The second round of fixtures has been completed in Group B.

Cape Verde became the first team to qualify for the knockout round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after winning their first two matches against Ghana and Mozambique.

What do the other teams in Group B need to progress to the last 16?

Mohamed Salah, Mohammed Kudus, Egypt, Ghana, AFCON, AFCON 2023, Group B, Mozambique, Cape Verde
Mohamed Salah and Mohammed Kudus in action at AFCON 2023. Images: Visionhaus/ ISSOUF SANOGO.
Source: Getty Images

AFCON 2023 Group B Permutations

After two games for each team in Group B, there is a three-way battle between Egypt, Ghana, and Mozambique for second place and the final automatic qualification position.

Cape Verde currently hold the top spot with six points after beating Mozambique 3-0 on Friday.

They have already locked up first place, with Egypt trailing them by four points heading into their final group match, per the BBC.

The Blue Sharks and the Pharaohs will face each other on Matchday 3. Mohamed Salah will miss that contest after picking up a hamstring injury, per The Guardian.

Egypt will qualify for the last 16 if they beat Cape Verde in that contest.

The Blue Sharks can choose to rest their starters in that game as they are already guaranteed a spot in the round of 16 as Group B winners.

A draw may also be enough for Egypt to advance to the last 16. They will finish in second place with such a result if the other game between Mozambique and Ghana ends in a draw as well.

If the Mozambique vs. Ghana match results in a victory for either team, a draw or a loss for Egypt will see them drop to third place. They will still advance to the knockout round if two third-placed teams in the other groups fail to match their total.

For Ghana and Mozambique to have a shot at advancing to the round of 16, they will need to win in their showdown on January 22.

A third-placed team with four points may be enough to grab a spot in the last 16. The loser of that contest will be eliminated.

If the Pharaohs fail to beat Cape Verde in their group finale, the winner of the Ghana vs. Mozambique contest will advance to the last 16 as the second-placed team in Group B.

There is a possibility that Group B will finish with a three-way tie for second place.

A loss by Egypt to Cape Verde and Ghana vs. Mozambique ending in a draw will result in that wild scenario. Egypt, Ghana, and Mozambique will end up with two points apiece.

The side with the most goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams will finish in second place.

In case there is still a tie, the next tie-breaker is goal difference in all group matches.

Current AFCON Group B table

Country

Win

Draw

Loss

Goal Difference

Points

Cape Verde (Q)

2

0

0

4

6

Egypt

0

2

0

0

2

Ghana

0

1

1

-1

1

Mozambique

0

1

1

-3

1

Q - qualified for the last 16

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Salah suffers hamstring strain

Sports Brief previously reported on the Egyptian FA revealing Mohamed Salah's injury status.

He suffered a hamstring injury in Egypt's 2-2 draw with Ghana on Thursday.

The Egyptian FA revealed that Salah will miss their next two games (Group B finale and round of 16 match in case of qualification) because of a hamstring strain.

Authors
Joel Reyes photo
Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at Sportsbrief.com with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.