In search of their first win in Group I of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Sudan and Guinea face off at the Stade de Marrakech on Wednesday.
The hosts failed to pick up a point from their first two games, while the visitors will be keen to bounce back from a relatively disappointing opening-day draw with Guinea-Bissau
Sudan kicked off their quest for a maiden World Cup appearance on a good note as they eased past Chad in the first round of qualifiers courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate victory.
However, they were sent crashing back to earth in their Group I curtain-raiser when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Morocco on September 2.
After falling behind inside the first 10 minutes to Nayef Aguerd’s opener, Abuaagla Abdalla scored a 54th-minute own goal as the Atlas Lions cruised to all three points.
Sudan’s hopes of making it to the final round of qualifiers took a huge blow in their subsequent outing when they were beaten 4-2 by Guinea-Bissau on home turf five days later.
Hubert Velud’s men, who now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the group after two games, are on a run of three straight defeats and have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions, with June’s 1-0 win over Libya in the Arab Cup qualifiers being the only exception.
Guinea, on the other hand, were denied a third consecutive win when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Guinea-Bissau in their group opener on September 1.
After heading into the break with a one-goal lead through Francois Kamano’s 15th-minute strike, Joseph Mendes restored parity in the 46th minute to force a share of the spoils.
Prior to that, Didier Six’s side claimed a 2-1 friendly victory over Kosovo on June 8 to end their three-game winless run before seeing off Niger by the same scoreline three days later.
While the Syli Nationale will feel somewhat disappointed by their draw against Guinea-Bissau, they will fancy their chances against an out-of-sorts Sudan side who have shipped six goals in their first two games.
However, their Northeast African counterparts claimed a 2-1 win in their last encounter, when Omer Dafalla and Saif Tere scored either side of Sekou Amadou Camara’s 55th-minute leveller in the African Nations Championship back in 2018.
Sudan World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
Sudan form (all competitions):
Guinea World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
Guinea form (all competitions):
We say: Sudan 1-2 Guinea
Sudan have endured an underwhelming start to their quest for a World Cup ticket and will head into this game seeking to pick up a morale-boosting win and get their campaign back on track. However, they face a superior Guinea side who are currently 51 places above them in the FIFA World Rankings. We predict the visitors will bounce back from their opening-day draw and pick up their first win in Group I