After being seeded in Pot 2 for the final round of CAF World Cup qualifying, Egyptian national team manager Bob Bradley knew his side would face strong opposition in the last hurdle to get to Brazil.
But the former U.S. national team manager was handed an extremely tough draw as the Pharaohs face Ghana in a home and away playoff series to play out in October and November.
The winner will make the 2014 World Cup and the loser…. well, that doesn’t bear thinking about.
Bradley’s men won all six of their group stage games, the only nation in the world to have gone through their qualifying group with a 100 percent record. Yet due to their FIFA World Ranking, 50, they were placed outside the top seeds for the playoff draw and now face one of Africa’s strongest teams in a duel that will result in either Ghana or Egypt heading to Brazil 2014.
During his time in charge of the USMNT, Bradley’s men were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by the Black Stars in the last 16 in South Africa. Ghana will prove a massive test for the Egyptians.
However Egypt do have the advantage of playing away from home in the first leg against Ghana between October 11-15 and then hosting the Black Stars between November 15-19 to decide their World Cup fate in front of their home fans.
Elsewhere, two other huge matchups were drawn out as the Ivory Coast will face Senegal and Tunisia square off with Cameroon for a spot at the World Cup. Rounding off the draw surprise package Ethiopia play Nigeria and Burkina Faso clash with Algeria.
All first legs will be played between October 11-15 and the second legs will take place on a date to be arranged between November 15-19.
Here is the CAF World Cup playoff round draw in full:
Ivory Coast v Senegal
Ethiopia v Nigeria
Tunisia v Cameroon
Ghana v Egypt
Burkina Faso v Algeria