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Nigeria, surprising Ethiopia make playoffs

African champion Nigeria and surprising Ethiopia reached the final playoffs for the World Cup after winning last-round African group games on Saturday.

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Burkina Faso also kept its World Cup hopes alive by beating Gabon and overtaking Republic of Congo in the race to make the 10-team matches starting next month. Five teams will eventually emerge from the playoffs in October and November to represent Africa in Brazil next year.

Top-ranked African team Ivory Coast, Egypt and Algeria had already qualified for the playoffs. Tunisia, Cameroon and Senegal are favorites to claim other places.

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