Football / World Cup: Morocco end the Zambian dream: America beckons the elite of Africa after a weekend of passion and pain. Chris Maume reports

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The Independent Online
FOR Europe a busy, and perhaps decisive, week on the road to America is about to begin, but a weekend of fervent activity in Africa has brought to an end the continent's qualification series, with the names of its three representatives in next year's World Cup finals inked in.

The great Zambian mission to honour their dead is over, at least for now, after yesterday's 1-0 defeat to Morocco. For Cameroon, though, 3-1 winners over Zimbabwe, the story continues, while for Nigeria, who qualified on Friday, it is just beginning.

In April, 18 members of the Zambian national squad and their coaches were killed in a plane crash off the coast of Gabon on their way to a World Cup match in Senegal. In one of football's more remarkable comebacks, a team rebuilt around the country's handful of European-based players, who were making their own way to Senegal in April, needed only a draw in Casablanca yesterday.

Ian Porterfield, sacked by Chelsea in February, went out to Lusaka after the crash on a British Council contract (which came to an end yesterday). Together with the coach, Fred Mwila, who was on Chelsea's books in the late Seventies, he rebuilt morale and put a new squad together, scouring the country for talent.

A 4-0 win in Senegal a fortnight ago - the postponed match the squad had been travelling to in April - was the high point on the comeback trail, and the Moroccans were underdogs yesterday.

The Zambians soaked up pressure until the 50th minute, when Abdeslam Laghrissi's goal put Morocco into their third finals. The last time they made it was in 1986, when they held England to a goalless draw and reached the second round against West Germany.

Morocco were criticised for their negativity in 1986, which makes it all the more sad that Zambia's free- flowing, attacking style will not grace next year's tournament.

In Yaounde, Cameroon's Indomitable Lions also needed a single point, against Zimbabwe. As is their habit, they did what they had to do in style, qualifying for their third finals with a 3-1 victory.

The Lens midfielder, Francois Omam Biyick, whose goal took the football world aback when Argentina were dispatched in the opening game of Italia '90, beat Bruce Grobbelaar, in the Zimbabwe goal, twice. Mabouang Kessack got the other, with Adam Ndlovu, brother of Coventry's Peter and a trialist with several FA Premiership clubs, replying for Zimbabwe.

Cameroon and Morocco follow on the heels of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, who booked their transatlantic crossing with a 1-1 draw on Friday against Algeria.

So Africa will provide one newcomer. The European groupings are likely to provide more new faces, with some familiar ones not invited to the party.

Take Group Two, for example: Norway's first appearance since 1938 (when they played only one match under the knock-out system used that year, losing to Italy) would mean that either England or the Netherlands will miss out.

Similarly, wins for the Republic of Ireland and Denmark on Wednesday would make it impossible for Spain to qualify from Group Three, and if Wales make it from Group Four, either Belgium, the RCS or Romania will not.

Group Five has already given us one surprise, when the expulsion of Yugoslavia gave Greece the chance to join Russia as the first group qualifiers from Europe. Like Nigeria, it will be their first finals.

The Rotterdam police may think they have problems as they prepare for the English invasion on Wednesday, but spare a thought for the constabulary of Doha.

It is there, in Qatar, that the six- team final Asian qualifying group is based, and next week, five years after a United Nations ceasefire ended nearly a decade of war between the two countries, Iran and Iraq meet in what could be the mother of all grudge matches.

----------------------------------------------------------------- THE QUALIFIERS SO FAR ----------------------------------------------------------------- COUNTRY HOW QUALIFIED United States Hosts Germany Holders Russia European Group 5 winners Greece European Group 5 runners-up Nigeria African Group A winners Morocco African Group B winners Cameroon African Group C winners Mexico CONCACAF winners Colombia S American Group A winners Brazil S American Group B winners Bolivia S American Group B r-up STILL TO QUALIFY Europe 10 more countries Asia Two from final group (North Korea, South Korea, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Japan) S Am/Oceania Argentina or Australia -----------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------- THE STORY SO FAR IN DETAIL ----------------------------------------------------------------- EUROPE (Top two teams from each group qualify for next year's finals in the United States) GROUP ONE Estonia (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Switzerland (2). . . . 6 Switzerland (1). . . . . . . .3 Scotland (1). . . . . .1 Scotland. . . . . . . . . . . 0 Portugal. . . . . . . .0 Italy (0). . . . . . . . . . .2 Switzerland (2). . . . 2 Malta. . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Estonia. . . . . . . . 0 Switzerland (2). . . . . . . .3 Malta (0). . . . . . . 0 Scotland. . . . . . . . . . . 0 Italy. . . . . . . . . 0 Malta (0). . . . . . . . . . .1 Italy (0) . . . . . . .2 Malta (0). . . . . . . . . . .0 Portugal (0). . . . . .1 Scotland (1). . . . . . . . . 3 Malta (0). . . . . . . 0 Portugal (0). . . . . . . . . 1 Italy (2). . . . . . . 3 Italy (2). . . . . . . . . . .6 Malta (0). . . . . . . 1 Switzerland (1). . . . . . . .1 Portugal (1). . . . . .1 Italy (1). . . . . . . . . . .2 Estonia (0). . . . . . 0 Malta (0). . . . . . . . . . .0 Switzerland (2). . . . 0 Portugal (2). . . . . . . . . 5 Scotland (0). . . . . .0 Switzerland (0). . . . . . . .1 Italy (0). . . . . . . 0 Estonia (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Malta (1). . . . . . . 1 Estonia (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Scotland (1). . . . . .3 Scotland (2). . . . . . . . . 3 Estonia (0) . . . . . .1 Portugal (3). . . . . . . . . 4 Malta (0) . . . . . . .0 Estonia (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Portugal (0). . . . . .2 Scotland (0). . . . . . . . . 1 Switzerland (0) . . . .1 Estonia (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Italy (1). . . . . . . 3

P W D L F A Pts Switzerland 8 5 3 0 19 5 13 Italy 8 5 2 1 18 6 12 Portugal 7 4 2 1 14 4 10 Scotland 8 3 3 2 11 10 9 Malta 9 1 1 7 3 21 3 Estonia 8 0 1 7 1 20 1 Remaining fixtures: Wednesday: Portugal v Switzerland, Italy v Scotland. 10 Nov: Portugal v Estonia. 17 Nov: Italy v Portugal, Switzerland v Estonia, Malta v Scotland.

GROUP TWO Norway (4). . . . . . . . . .10 San Marino (0). . . . .0 Norway (1). . . . . . . . . . 2 Netherlands (1). . . . 1 Poland (1). . . . . . . . . . 1 Turkey (0). . . . . . .0 San Marino (0) . . . . . . . .0 Norway (2). . . . . . .2 England (0). . . . . . . . . .1 Norway (0). . . . . . .1 Netherlands (1). . . . . . . .2 Poland (2). . . . . . .2 Turkey (1) . . . . . . . . . .4 San Marino (0). . . . .1 England (2). . . . . . . . . .4 Turkey (0). . . . . . .0 Turkey (0). . . . . . . . . . 1 Netherlands (0). . . . 3 England (2). . . . . . . . . .6 San Marino (0). . . . .0 Netherlands (2). . . . . . . .3 Turkey (1). . . . . . .1 San Marino . . . . . . . . . .0 Turkey. . . . . . . . .0 Netherlands (2). . . . . . . .6 San Marino (0). . . . .0 Turkey (0) . . . . . . . . . .0 England (2). . . . . . 2 England (2). . . . . . . . . .2 Netherlands (1). . . . 2 Norway (2) . . . . . . . . . .3 Turkey (0). . . . . . .1 Poland (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 San Marino (0). . . . .0 San Marino (0) . . . . . . . .0 Poland (0). . . . . . .3 Poland (1) . . . . . . . . . .1 England (0). . . . . . 1 Norway (1) . . . . . . . . . .2 England (0). . . . . . 0 Netherlands. . . . . . . . . .0 Norway. . . . . . . . .0 England (1). . . . . . . . . .3 Poland (0). . . . . . .0 Norway (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 Poland (0). . . . . . .0 San Marino (0) . . . . . . . .0 Netherlands (3). . . . 7

P W D L F A Pts Norway 8 6 2 0 21 3 14 Netherlands 8 4 3 1 24 8 11 England 8 4 3 1 19 6 11 Poland 7 3 2 2 8 7 8 Turkey 8 1 1 6 7 17 3 San Marino 9 0 1 8 1 39 1 Remaining fixtures: Wednesday: Netherlands v England; Poland v Norway. 27 Oct: Turkey v Poland. 10 Nov: Turkey v Norway. 17 Nov: San Marino v England; Poland v Netherlands.

GROUP THREE Spain (1) . . . . . . . . . . 3 Albania (0). . . . . . 0 Northern Ireland (2) . . . . .2 Lithuania (1). . . . . 2 Rep of Ireland (0) . . . . . .2 Albania (0). . . . . . 0 Albania (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Lithuania (0). . . . . 0 Latvia (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 Lithuania (1). . . . . 2 Latvia . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Denmark. . . . . . . . 0 Rep of Ireland (1) . . . . . .4 Latvia (0). . . . . . .0 Northern Ireland (3) . . . . .3 Albania (0). . . . . . 0 Latvia . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Spain. . . . . . . . . 0 Lithuania. . . . . . . . . . .0 Denmark. . . . . . . . 0 Denmark. . . . . . . . . . . .0 Republic of Ireland. . 0 Northern Ireland . . . . . . .0 Spain. . . . . . . . . 0 Lithuania (0). . . . . . . . .1 Latvia (1). . . . . . .1 Albania (0). . . . . . . . . .1 Latvia (1). . . . . . .1 Northern Ireland (0). . . . . 0 Denmark (0). . . . . . 1 Spain. . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Rep of Ireland. . . . .0 Spain (0). . . . . . . . . . .5 Latvia (0). . . . . . .0 Albania (0). . . . . . . . . .1 N Ireland (2). . . . . 2 Spain (3). . . . . . . . . . .5 Lithuania (0). . . . . 0 Denmark (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Spain (0). . . . . . . 0 Rep of Ireland (3) . . . . . .3 N Ireland (0). . . . . 0 Denmark (0). . . . . . . . . .2 Latvia (0). . . . . . .0 Lithuania (2). . . . . . . . .3 Albania (0). . . . . . 1 Rep of Ireland (0) . . . . . .1 Denmark (1). . . . . . 1 Spain (3). . . . . . . . . . .3 N Ireland (1). . . . . 1 Latvia . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Albania. . . . . . . . 0 Lithuania (0). . . . . . . . .0 Northern Ireland (1). .1 Albania (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Rep of Ireland (1). . .2 Denmark (4). . . . . . . . . .4 Albania (0). . . . . . 0 Latvia (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 N Ireland (2). . . . . 2 Lithuania (0). . . . . . . . .0 Spain (0). . . . . . . 2 Latvia (0) . . . . . . . . . .0 Rep of Ireland (2). . .2 Lithuania (0). . . . . . . . .0 Rep of Ireland (1). . .1 Denmark (2). . . . . . . . . .4 Lithuania (0). . . . . 0 Albania (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Denmark (0). . . . . . 1 N Ireland (1). . . . . . . . .2 Latvia (0). . . . . . .0 Rep of Ireland (2) . . . . . .2 Lithuania (0). . . . . 0 Albania (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Spain (3). . . . . . . 5

P W D L F A Pts Rep of Irl 10 7 3 0 17 2 17 Denmark 10 6 4 0 14 1 16 Spain 10 6 3 1 23 3 15 N Ireland 10 5 2 3 13 11 12 Lithuania 12 2 3 7 8 21 7 Latvia 12 0 5 7 4 21 5 Albania 12 1 2 9 6 26 4 Remaining fixtures: Wednesday: Republic of Ireland v Spain, Denmark v Northern Ireland. 17 Nov: Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland, Spain v Denmark.

GROUP FOUR Belgium (0). . . . . . . . . .1 Cyprus (0). . . . . . .0 Romania (5). . . . . . . . . .7 Faroe Isles (0). . . . 0 Romania (5). . . . . . . . . .5 Wales (0). . . . . . . 1 Faroe Isles (0). . . . . . . .0 Belgium (1). . . . . . 3 Faroe Isles (0). . . . . . . .0 Cyprus (1). . . . . . .2 RCS (0). . . . . . . . . . . .1 Belgium (1). . . . . . 2 Wales (3). . . . . . . . . . .6 Faroe Isles (0). . . . 0 RCS (1). . . . . . . . . . . .4 Faroe Isles (0). . . . 0 Belgium (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Romania (0). . . . . . 0 Cyprus (0) . . . . . . . . . .0 Wales (1). . . . . . . 1 Romania (0). . . . . . . . . .1 RCS (0). . . . . . . . 1 Belgium (0). . . . . . . . . .2 Wales (0). . . . . . . 0 Cyprus (1) . . . . . . . . . .1 Romania (2). . . . . . 4 Cyprus (0) . . . . . . . . . .0 Belgium (2). . . . . . 3 Cyprus (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 RCS (1). . . . . . . . 1 Wales (2). . . . . . . . . . .2 Belgium (0). . . . . . 0 Romania (1). . . . . . . . . .2 Cyprus (1). . . . . . .1 Cyprus (2) . . . . . . . . . .3 Faroe Isles (0). . . . 1 RCS (1). . . . . . . . . . . .1 Wales (1). . . . . . . 1 Belgium (1). . . . . . . . . .3 Faroe Islands (0). . . 0 RCS (2). . . . . . . . . . . .5 Romania (1). . . . . . 2 Faroe Isles (0) . . . . . . .0 Wales (2). . . . . . . 3 Faroe Islands (0). . . . . . .0 RCS (3). . . . . . . . 3 Wales (2). . . . . . . . . . .2 RCS (1). . . . . . . . 2 Faroe Islands (0). . . . . . .0 Romania (1). . . . . . 4

P W D L F A Pts Belgium 8 7 0 1 15 3 14 Romania 8 5 1 2 25 10 11 RCS 8 3 4 1 18 9 10 Wales 8 4 2 2 16 10 10 Cyprus 8 2 1 5 8 13 5 Faroe Islands 10 0 0 10 1 38 0 Remaining fixtures: Wednesday: Romania v Belgium, Wales v Cyprus. 27 Oct: RCS v Cyprus. 17 Nov: Wales v Romania, Belgium v RCS.

GROUP FIVE Greece (1). . . . . . . . . . 1 Iceland (0). . . . . . 0 Hungary (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Iceland (0). . . . . . 2 Luxembourg (0) . . . . . . . .0 Hungary (1). . . . . . 3 Iceland (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Greece (1). . . . . . .1 Russia (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 Iceland (0). . . . . . 0 Russia (2) . . . . . . . . . .2 Luxembourg (0). . . . .0 Greece . . . . . . . . . . . .0 Hungary . . . . . . . .0 Greece (1) . . . . . . . . . .2 Luxembourg (0). . . . .0 Hungary (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Greece (0). . . . . . .1 Luxembourg (0) . . . . . . . .0 Russia (1). . . . . . .4 Russia (0) . . . . . . . . . .3 Hungary (0). . . . . . 0 Luxembourg (0) . . . . . . . .1 Iceland (1). . . . . . 1 Russia (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 Greece (1). . . . . . .1 Iceland (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Russia (1). . . . . . .1 Iceland (1). . . . . . . . . .2 Hungary (0). . . . . . 0 Hungary (1). . . . . . . . . .1 Russia (1). . . . . . .3 Iceland (0). . . . . . . . . .1 Luxembourg (0). . . . .0

P W D L F A Pts RUSSIA 7 5 2 0 15 3 12 GREECE 6 4 2 0 6 1 10 Iceland 8 3 2 3 7 6 8 Hungary 7 1 1 5 5 11 3 Luxembourg 6 0 1 5 1 13 1 * Yugoslavia expelled by Fifa. Russia and Greece qualify for finals. Remaining fixtures: Tomorrow: Luxembourg v Greece. 27 Oct: Hungary v Luxembourg. 17 Nov: Greece v Russia.

GROUP SIX Finland (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Bulgaria (0). . . . . .3 Bulgaria (2) . . . . . . . . .2 France (0). . . . . . .0 Finland (0). . . . . . . . . .0 Sweden (0). . . . . . .1 Sweden (0) . . . . . . . . . .2 Bulgaria (0). . . . . .0 France (1) . . . . . . . . . .2 Austria (0). . . . . . 0 Austria (2). . . . . . . . . .5 Israel (0). . . . . . .2 Israel (1) . . . . . . . . . .1 Sweden (1). . . . . . .3 France (2) . . . . . . . . . .2 Finland (0). . . . . . 1 Israel (0) . . . . . . . . . .0 Bulgaria (0). . . . . .2 Israel (0) . . . . . . . . . .0 France (1). . . . . . .4 Austria (0). . . . . . . . . .0 France (1). . . . . . .1 Austria (2). . . . . . . . . .3 Bulgaria (0). . . . . .1 Bulgaria (2) . . . . . . . . .2 Finland (0). . . . . . 0 France (1) . . . . . . . . . .2 Sweden (1). . . . . . .1 Bulgaria (1) . . . . . . . . .2 Israel (0). . . . . . .2 Finland (2). . . . . . . . . .3 Austria (0). . . . . . 1 Sweden (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 Austria (0). . . . . . 0 Sweden (2) . . . . . . . . . .5 Israel (0). . . . . . .0 Finland. . . . . . . . . . . .0 Israel. . . . . . . . .0 Sweden (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 France (0). . . . . . .1 Austria (2). . . . . . . . . .3 Finland (0). . . . . . 0 Finland (0). . . . . . . . . .0 France (0). . . . . . .2 Bulgaria (1) . . . . . . . . .1 Sweden (1). . . . . . .1

P W D L F A Pts France 8 6 1 1 14 5 13 Sweden 8 5 2 1 15 5 12 Bulgaria 8 4 2 2 13 8 10 Austria 7 3 0 4 12 10 6 Finland 8 1 1 6 4 14 3 Israel 7 0 2 5 5 21 2 Remaining fixtures: Wednesday: France v Israel, Bulgaria v Austria, Sweden v Finland. 27 Oct: Israel v Austria. 10 Nov: Austria v Sweden, Israel v Finland. 17 Nov: France v Bulgaria.

AFRICA SECOND ROUND GROUP A FINAL TABLE P W D L F A Pts NIGERIA 4 2 1 1 10 5 5 Ivory Coast 4 2 1 1 5 6 5 Algeria 4 0 2 2 3 7 2 Nigeria qualify for finals.

GROUP B YESTERDAY Morocco (0) . . . . . . . . . .1 Zambia (0). . . . . 0 Laghrissi 50 80,000 (in Casablanca)

FINAL TABLE P W D L F A Pts MOROCCO 4 3 0 1 6 3 6 Zambia 4 2 1 1 6 2 5 Senegal 4 0 1 3 1 8 1 Morocco qualify for finals.

GROUP C YESTERDAY Cameroon (2). . . . . . . . . .3 Zimbabwe (0). . . . .1 Omam Biyick 15 pen, 28 A Ndlovu 85 85,000 Kessack 90 (in Yaounde)

FINAL TABLE P W D L F A Pts CAMEROON 4 3 0 1 7 3 6 Zimbabwe 4 2 0 2 3 6 4 Guinea 4 1 0 3 4 5 2 Cameroon qualify for finals.

CONCACAF

Mexico won final group and qualify for finals. Canada finished as runners-up of final group and lost two-leg play-off with Australia.

SOUTH AMERICA

Colombia qualify for finals as winners of second round Group A. Argentina, the runners-up, play Australia in two-leg play-off for a place in the finals. Brazil and Bolivia, winners and runners-up of second round Group B, qualify for finals.

OCEANIA

Australia won play-off with New Zealand and play Argentina in two-leg play-off for a place in the finals.

ASIA

Second-round group consisting of North Korea, South Korea, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Matches to be played in Doha, Qatar between 15 and 28 October. Top two qualify.

Fixtures: 15 Oct: North Korea v Iraq, Saudi Arabia v Japan. 16: Iran v South Korea. 18: North Korea v Saudi Arabia, Japan v Iran. 19: Iraq v South Korea. 21: North Korea v Japan. 22: Iran v Iraq, South Korea v Saudi Arabia. 24: Iraq v Saudi Arabia. 25: Japan v South Korea, Iraq v North Korea. 28: South Korea v North Korea, Saudi Arabia v Iran, Iraq v Japan.

(Photograph omitted)

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