AFCON Group D: Quartet hoping to avoid coin toss qualification
All four teams in Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea, are exactly equal on points and goals scored (both two, after four 1-1 results). Another two draws with the same scorelines from the final round of this pool could see the teams’ qualification fate decided by a coin toss or drawing of lots.
One famous occasion that has happened at a major tournament, was at the European Championship, after the semi between Italy and the Soviet Union finished 0-0. Eventual winners and hosts the Azzurri reached the final after their captain Giacinto Facchetti correctly called tails.
Guinea v Mali
One of these pre-tournament group outsiders will qualify, though, with a win, and Mali are slight 11/8 favourites to do so. Guinea are 11/5 chances, meanwhile.
However, their head-to-head record with each other don’t look too promising with the duo managing 16 draws from their 38 matches. On eight occasions, they claimed 1-1 results too. A share of the spoils once more, therefore, is priced at 2/1, while that scoreline is 5/1.
Powerful Borussia Monchengladbach winger Ibrahima Traore and young Lyon forward Mohamed Yattara have got Guinea’s two goals this tournament so far, and are 3/1 and 15/8 chances respectively to net again anytime.
Mali, meanwhile, will be hoping that Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Bakary Sako, who scored against Ivory Coast, can be on target again. He is 7/4 in the anytime market, while former Barcelona star Seydou Keita is a 15/8 chance.
Cameroon v Ivory Coast
African titans Cameroon (9/4) and Ivory Coast (13/10 favourites) meet too. Coincidentally, their last meeting ended in a draw, in the AFCON qualifiers, and a share of the spoils again is priced at 21/10, and 11/2 for a 1-1 scoreline.
Premier League target Seydou Doumbia and former Leeds United winger Max Gradel have got the goals for the Elephants at this tournament so far, and they are respective 7/4 and 7/2 shouts to net anytime once more.
Other English top-flight stars Wilfried Bony (6/5 in the same market) and Yaya Toure (9/4), both of Manchester City, should also feature.
For the Indomitable Lions, Benjamin Moukandjo (11/4) got their goal against Guinea, while Schalke’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (15/8) will be hoping to get on the scoresheet too.