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Do or Die game for Bright Stars ahead of a clash against São Tomé e Príncipe

By: Kei Emmanuel Duku


South Sudan National Team’s hopes of reaching the 2025 Total Energies African Cup of Nations hang in balance if they fail to beat São Tomé e Príncipe in a game that would be played in Morocco on Tuesday Evening.

The first league of the Preliminary qualifiers played on Friday last week at Berkane Municipal Stadium in Morocco ended 1:1.

South Sudan Right back Data Joseph who also plays for National Enterprising Cooperation (NEC) in the Ugandan Primer League scored the equalizer for the Bright Stars in the 78 minutes through a free Kick to earn South Sudan a draw ahead of the crucial return league on Tuesday.

Luis Leal who plays his trade football in the Argentinian league with Club Almagro, had opened the score sheet for São Tomé e Príncipe five minutes into the second after the first 45 minutes ended goalless.

The preliminary stage of the qualifiers has a total of eight (8) lowest-ranked nations as per the FIFA Rankings and they will compete in a home and away knockout format, where the four (4) remaining nations will be eligible to join the other 44 nations that will be engaged in the group stages of the qualifiers.

Currently, South Sudan is ranked number 166 in the world according to the latest FIFA ranking released in February 2024, whereas São Tomé e Príncipe is ranked 191.

In African Football the two teams are separated from each other by three points where South Sudan ranked 47 compared to the Opponent at 50.

Head-to-head records between The Bright Stars and São Tomé e Príncipe show yesterday’s match as the second meeting between the two teams where the first match ended in a draw last Friday.

However, South Sudan has better overall records against the opponents in the last 5 matches played in all competitions winning one against Kenya in an International friendly match 1:0, drawing two against São Tomé e Príncipe 1:1 and Mauritania 0:0, and losing both to Mali and Senegal with of score line 4:0.

In contrast, São Tomé e Príncipe lost 4 matches, 0:2 to Namibia, to Tunisia 4:0, and Nigeria 6:0, and Guinean Bissau 1:0, and drew 1 against South Sudan in the last five games they played.

TotalEnergies CAF AFCON Morocco 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers Results:

First Leg Fixtures:

Wednesday, 20 March

Somalia 0 – 3 Eswatini

Djibouti 0 – 2 Liberia

Friday, 22 March

Chad 1 – 0 Mauritius

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