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Group D tickets up for grabs

All the attention at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations shifts to Group D this evening, where each of the four teams –  Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea – stand a chance of progressing into the knockout stages.

The eventual two sides to qualify for the quarter finals could however be determined by a special sitting of the tournament organizers, in a scenario – as is the case after two rounds of matches – that the four teams tie on goals scored, conceded and number of points accumulated at the end of the final games of this group, which kick off at 9pm.

“In such an unlikely scenario that all the numbers in that pool are equal, the organizing committee will sit to decide on which factors such as fair play, or even the toss of a coin, to separate the teams,” Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye, who is part of this competition’s organizing committee, told Nairobi News.

The final matches will commence concurrently, with Cameroon engaging Ivory Coast at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in the country’s capital, while Guinea play Mali in the other match in Mongomo.

Automatic qualification

A win will secure either team of automatic qualification while a loss guarantees elimination.

Local and visiting supporters here are bracing for close contests and have even been discussing the possibility of an upset, with few fans seemingly not disappointed to see the back of Ivory Coast from this competition.

“The most important thing here is everything (pertaining qualification) remains in our hands. We need to approach the remaining game(s) with the all the experience that we have got,” Ivory Coast skipper Yaya Toure told the media after his side’s one all draw against Guinea in the group opener.

Mali are in the meantime considered slight favourites to edge Guinea in Mongomo, in what skeptics still consider as the battle of the underdogs in this pool.