African champions Senegal headline the five African countries to proceed to the World Cup 2022 alongside Morocco, Ghana, Tunisia and Cameroon.
From Sadio Mane’s decisive penalty to Karl Toko Ekambi’s late winner for Cameroon, the second legs of the play-offs did not disappoint.
However, Egypt and Nigeria will be among the continental heavyweights to be missing out on a spot in Qatar.
Here is a summary of how the return leg matches concluded.
Nigeria 1-1 Ghana (1-1 aggregate)
Ghana qualified for their fourth World Cup after edging out Nigeria on the away goal rule following a 1-1 draw in Abuja. The two sides drew 0-0 in the first leg in Kumasi last week and heading into the return fixture, the Ghanaians only needed a scoring draw to progress.
Thomas Partey had given Ghana an 11th minute lead before William Troost Ekong levelled for the Super Eagles in the 22nd minute.
Senegal 1-0 Egypt (1-1 on aggregate, 3-1 on penalties)
For the second time in as many months, Senegal edged out Egypt on penalties. Having beaten the Pharaohs on spot kicks to clinch their first TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations title, the Lions of Teranga repeated the same feat, this time to seal a place in the World Cup.
Once again, it was Sadio Mane who scored the decisive kick as Senegal progressed to the World Cup for the third time in their history.
Morocco 4-1 DR Congo (5-2 aggregate)
The Atlas Lions were in emphatic form against the Congolese at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, winning 4-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate to sail into their sixth World Cup appearance.
Azzedine Ounahi scored a brace with Tarik Tissoudali and Achraf Hakimi adding one each to the massive victory. Ben Malango scored DR Congo’s consolation, but it was mere statistic as the Moroccans sailed through with ease.
Algeria 1-2 Cameroon (2-2 aggregate)
Karl Toko Ekambi swept home perhaps the most important goal of his career, scoring in the fourth minute of added time as Cameroon beat Algeria 2-1 in Blida to qualify for their eighth FIFA World Cup.
The two teams played to a 2-2 aggregate score, but Cameroon qualify to Qatar on the away goal rule.
Tunisia 0-0 Mali (1-0 aggregate)
Tunisia completed the roster of five for African teams to Qatar despite being held to a 0-0 draw by Mali at home. The 1-0 victory they picked in Bamako last week proved to be vital, as the Carthage Eagles flew to their sixth World Cup appearance.
The African quintet now await Friday’s group-stage draw to discover who they will face in Qatar.
Featured Image Caption: Boulaye Dia got the early goal that forced the match between Senegal and Egypt to extra time [Photo CAF]