With the set up of CAF qualifiers for the World Cup, every tournament we see big names miss out, and this year it is no different as one of Algeria or Cameroon will have to watch the Qatar showpiece from home. Algeria have quietly risen as one of Africa’s top teams in recent years but they did miss out on the 2018 World Cup after qualifying for both 2010 and 2014, and will be hopeful of making a quick return.
The Fennec Foxes topped their second round group unbeaten with four wins and two draws from their six matches, finishing two points clear of second-placed Burkina Faso – with only the group winners advancing to the final stage. With the draw pitting group winners against group winners for Africa’s five spots, Algeria were drawn Cameroon and have the upper hand going into this game thanks to Islam Slimani’s goal in the first leg.
Like Algeria, Cameroon weren’t at the World Cup in 2018, but they are more frequent participants at the quadrennial tournament. Since their first qualification in 1982, Cameroon have missed just three of the past 10 World Cups, never going more than one tournament without appearing – though they have only won four of their 23 World Cup matches.
Cameroon were also given a tough group to top in qualifying but they managed to secure their place in the third round by winning five of their six games and finishing two points clear of second-placed Ivory Coast, who handed them their only defeat. And it was a 1-0 win over Ivory Coast in their final game that kept Cameroon’s World Cup hopes alive, though they will have to come from behind.
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Algeria vs Cameroon: Match Stats
Vincent Aboubakar was the Golden Boot winner at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring eight goals for Cameroon, but the man who stood up when they needed it most was actually Karl Toko Ekambi. The Lyon forward ended the tournament with five goals, three of which came in the knockout stages. Cameroon will be hoping he steps up again with a place at the World Cup on the line.
And Cameroon could do it. They have big players for the big occasion and will be hoping to draw inspiration from their third-placed finish at Afcon. The defeat to Algeria was their first since September, ending an 11-game unbeaten run that helped put Cameroon in the final round of World Cup qualifying.
25 March 2022 – Cameroon 0-1 Algeria – World Cup Qualifying
7 October 2017 – Cameroon 2-0 Algeria – World Cup Qualifying
9 October 2016 – Algeria 1-1 Cameroon – World Cup Qualifying
25 January 2004 – Cameroon 1-1 Algeria – Africa Cup of Nations
6 February 2000 – Cameroon 2-1 Algeria – Africa Cup of Nations
Algeria’s win in the first leg last week was just their second victory in 10 games against Cameroon, ending a five-match winless streak that spanned back to 1995. But Algeria are unbeaten in their two home matches against Cameroon, winning 4-0 in 1995 and earning a 1-1 draw in 2016.