FIFA World CUP 2022: D-day as Bright Star battle tricky Equatorial Guinea

South Sudan’s Bright Star will this afternoon host Equatorial Guinea in the first leg of the preliminary round of FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

The South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) opted to have the game at Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman, Khartoum because the Juba Stadium is undergoing renovation.

Ashu Cyprian Besong, the South Sudan coach has made it clear it is very important to win the first leg before they travel to Equatorial Guinea for the return leg.

“We need to apply a very cautious approach to look for goals, but also defend well. Winning the first leg will set a good ground ahead of the return leg,” added the coach.

The Bright Star is expected to be a changed squad with the attack led by Dominic Abui who scored in the 1-0 win over Sudan’s U-23 team in a build-up last week.

But Equatorial Guinea’s coach Angel Lopez has also made it clear they will be all out to pick a vital win away from home.

“We need to make our work easy by winning away from home. But we cannot underrate any team playing where they have fans,” added Lopez.

Teenage striker Luis Miguel Nlavo (16) who has been in good form this season and netted a brace in both legs of their 5-4 aggregate win over Chad in the 2020 Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers is expected to have a chance to feature.

The winner between South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea over two legs will advance to the group stage where they will be drawn in with the 26 top-ranked countries given a bye into the second round.

Other fixtures for teams in Cecafa region

Ethiopia v Lesotho

Somalia v Zimbabwe

Eritrea v Namibia

Burundi v Tanzania

Djibouti v Eswatini

Seychelles v Rwanda


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