ESPN+ and ESPN2 Present 2022 World Cup Qualifying Playoffs in Africa and Europe

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ESPN+ and ESPN2 Present 2022 World Cup Qualifying Playoffs in Africa and Europe

  • All 10 African qualifying playoffs exclusively on ESPN+ on Friday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 29
  • Portugal, Italy on collision course for must-win match en-route to Qatar 2022 on ESPN+/ESPN2

ESPN+ and ESPN2 will present all 16 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Africa and Europe beginning Thursday, March 24, through Tuesday, March 29.

All five teams set to represent the Confederation of African Football (CAF) nations will earn their tickets to the World Cup from this playoff series of home-and-away matches. The 10 games will stream live exclusively on ESPN+.

In Europe, two national teams will earn two of three remaining spots from Europe for the World Cup following the semifinal matches on Thursday and the final games on Tuesday. Due to the war, Ukraine will play the Path B semifinal and final in the June 2022 FIFA International Match Week.

In addition, ESPN+ will livestream 39 international matches featuring European national teams during this FIFA match week (March 23 – 30). Full schedule.

ESPN+ Exclusive: Confederation of African Football Playoffs for Qatar 2022 Qualifying Matches: 

The third and final round of Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification will be played across 10 African countries with 10 group winners in the second round drawn into five home-and-away matches on March 25 and 29. The five winners of each matchup qualify for Qatar 2022.

Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Match Platform(s)
Fri, Mar 25 11 a.m. Congo DR vs. Morocco ESPN+
1 p.m. Mali vs. Tunisia ESPN+
1 p.m. Cameroon vs. Algeria  ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Egypt vs. Senegal ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Ghana vs. Nigeria        ESPN+
Tue, Mar 29 1 p.m. Nigeria vs. Ghana ESPN+
1 p.m. Senegal vs Egypt         ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Algeria vs. Cameroon  ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Morocco vs. Congo DR ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Tunisia vs. Mali                       ESPN+

Key matchups:

  • Egypt vs. Senegal– a rematch of African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final in February: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah leads the Pharaohs against his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mané, Chelsea’s all-world goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, and African champions Senegal
  • Ghana vs. Nigeria: The two West African powerhouse teams renew their rivalry with a ticket to Qatar 2022 on the line
  • Cameroon vs. Algeria: Cameroon looks to extend their African record appearances in FIFA World Cup to eight against the 2019 AFCON champions Algeria, led by Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez.

UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifying Playoffs:

ESPN+ and ESPN2 will provide English-language coverage of all UEFA’s 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff matches beginning Thursday, March 24, with the semifinals. There are three paths in the European playoffs – twelve teams grouped in three (Path A, B, and C). After the semifinals and final matches, the winners in each path earn the remaining three of UEFA’s 13 spots in Qatar 2022.

Key Matchup: Portugal and Italy, top-10 teams in FIFA World Rankings and the last two European Champions (2016 and 2020), are on a course to play in a win-and-qualify match on Tuesday, March 29, on ESPN+ and ESPN2. The two Path C teams are odd-on-favorites to win their semifinal matches: Portugal vs. Turkey in Porto (ESPN2 and ESPN+), Italy vs. North Macedonia in Palermo (ESPN+) on Thursday, March 24.

Led by Manchester United forward and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Portugal won the UEFA European Football Championship in 2016. The team features top soccer stars, such as Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix, Liverpool’s Diogo Jota, etc. Italy won the UEFA European Football Championship 2020 on the strength of stars like SSC Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, Chelsea FC’s Jorginho, Paris St. Germain’s Marco Verratti, defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus F.C..

Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Match Platform(s)
Thu, Mar 24 3:45 p.m. Italy vs. North Macedonia (Path C semifinal I) ESPN+
3:45 p.m. Portugal vs. Turkey (Path C semifinal II) ESPN2, ESPN+
3:45 p.m. Sweden vs. Czech Republic (Path B semifinal) ESPN+
3:45 p.m. Wales vs Austria (Path A semifinal) ESPN+
Tue, Mar 29 2:35 p.m. Path C Final ESPN2, ESPN+
  2:35 p.m. Path B Final (Poland vs. Sweden/Czech Republic) ESPN+

Path B Final: The winner of the Sweden-Czech Republic semifinal will face Poland on Tuesday, March 29, at 2:35 p.m. to determine who will earn a spot in Qatar 2022. Poland advances due to Russia’s disqualification from the playoffs.

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Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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