Football Football

Eagles barrier placed on Stars route to 2014 World Cup


NAIROBI, Kenya, July 31- Once again, the Nigeria Super Eagles will stand in the way of Harambee Stars and the quest to qualify for a first ever World Cup after the 2014 edition qualifiers were announced in Rio-De-Janeiro on Saturday night.

However, Stars need to navigate a preliminary pre-qualifier two leg tie against Seychelles to take their place in Group F Africa Zone qualifiers.

Malawi and the winner of the other pre-qualifier between Djibouti or Namibia will also stand in the way of Stars should they navigate past the 199th ranked Seychelles.

Kenya, rated 130, found themselves having to navigate a pre-qualifier owing to the fact that the lowest ranked 24 teams were pooled together to fight for 12 slots in the qualifiers proper.

However, while getting through Seychelles presents an attainable task for Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno’s side, the prospect of clipping the Eagles remains a task alien to Kenya.

Nigeria knocked Kenya out of the running of the 1998 World Cup in France with a 3-1 win in Lagos after a 1-1 draw in Nairobi.

Most recently, Nigeria ended Stars interest in the 2010 edition in South Africa with a 3-0 win in Abuja that was followed by a 3-2 victory over the hosts in Nairobi.

Kenya bettered Namibia in the second round qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup with a 2-1 loss in Windhoek and a 1-0 win in Nairobi.

Africa has been divided into ten groups where the winners will face-off against each other to determine the five nations that will represent the continent in Brazil.

African Zone Draw

Group A: South Africa, Botswana, Central African Republic, Somalia or Ethiopia
Group B: Tunisia, Cape Verde Islands, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea or Madagascar
Group C: Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Gambia, Chad or Tanzania
Group D: Ghana, Zambia, Sudan, Lesotho or Burundi
Group E: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, Sao Tome e Principe or Congo
Group F: Nigeria, Malawi, Seychelles or Kenya, Djibouti or Namibia
Group G: Egypt, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Comoros or Mozambique
Group H: Algeria, Mali, Benin, Eritrea or Rwanda
Group I: Cameroon, Libya, Guinea-Bissau or Togo, Swaziland or Congo DR
Group J: Senegal, Uganda, Angola, Mauritius or Liberia

Asian Zone Draw

Group A: China, Jordan, Iraq, Singapore
Group B: Korea Republic, Kuwait, UAE, Lebanon
Group C: Japan, Uzbekistan, Syria, Korea DPR
Group D: Australia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand
Group E: Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia

North, Central America and the Caribbean Zone Draw (Round Two)

Group A: El Salvador, Surinam, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic
Group B: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Bermuda
Group C: Panama, Dominica, Nicaragua, Bahamas
Group D: Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, St Lucia
Group E: Grenada, Guatemala, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize
Group F: Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, US Virgin Islands

North, Central America and the Caribbean Zone Draw (Round Three)

Group A: USA, Jamaica, Winner of R2 Grp E, Winner of R2 Grp F
Group B: Mexico, Costa Rica, Winner of R2 Grp A, Winner of R2 Grp B
Group C: Honduras, Cuba, Winner of R2 Grp D, Winner of R2 Grp C

Oceanian Zone Draw

Group A: Vanuatu, New Caledonia, American Samoa/Cook Islands/Samoa or Tonga, Tahiti
Group B: Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea

European Zone Draw

Group A: Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia, Wales
Group B: Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta.
Group C: Germany, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan.
Group D: Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Andorra.
Group E: Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland.
Group F: Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg
Group G: Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia, Lichtenstein
Group H: England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, San Marino
Group I: Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia, Finland