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Permutations ahead: Why Group A could go down the wire

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The last matches of Group A are scheduled for this evening at the two stadiums in Abidjan. While group leaders, Equatorial Guinea take on hosts, and third placed Cote d’Ivoire at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face the already-eliminated Guinea Bissau at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium.

What is only certain ahead of the two matches is the elimination of Guinea Bissau. But the final order of the other three teams is still swinging and the decider may go down the wire.

Possibility exists for two teams to finish at four-point appease should Nigeria lose to Guinea Bissau and the possible low margin win of Cote d’Ivoire over Equatorial Guinea. That takes the hosts to the top while Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea get stocked at four points and requiring goal difference to decide the order. Both teams may however still scale the group stage as the third placed side with four points will qualify.

But the Greek puzzle can only be avoided if Nigeria win their match against Guinea Bissau. They will spare followers the resort to calculators headache inducing arithmetic.

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