Tuesday , May 18 2021

Nigeria, Uganda, Mali, Morocco qualify for the Nations Cup | News | Sports



Nigeria, Uganda, Mali and Morocco qualified for the 2019 African Cup on Saturday, while Libya scored eight goals to keep their hopes alive as well in the finals.

Nigeria drew 1-1 with Bafana Bafana in Soweto, Uganda beat Cape Verde 1-0 in Kampala, Mali beat Gabon in Libreville and Morocco advanced after Malawi rivals lost in the Comoros.

READ MORE: SA takes the best – twice

Libya won 8-1 in Seychelles and hosted South Africa next March in the last match which needed a victory to accompany Nigeria in qualifying from Group E.

The Libyans were only left behind by equaling the winning victory record for the State Cup qualifier held by Ghana, who won 9-1 in Niger 49 years ago.

As many as nine countries have booked in the final round 24 newly extended teams with hosts Cameroon, Madagascar, Senegal, Egypt and Tunisia securing berths before the weekend.

Nigeria, the former three-time champion who failed to qualify for the last two editions, is ahead in South Africa in nine minutes when Buhle Mkhwanazi scored an own goal.

Superb Percy Tau Bafana Bafana made an equalizer for Lebo Mothiba on 26 minutes, but the hosts were fortunate because of several conflicting offside decisions against Nigeria.

"The draw feels like a victory because of heat (32 degrees Celsius) and a little sleep on our overnight flight," said Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was among those who praised Elang Super for qualification.

"The president joins millions of Nigerians who love football in praising the team for their vibrant performances and discipline against very tough opponents," a statement said.

Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said: "I am proud that we have taken four points from Nigeria in the group and are disappointed that we did not dare during the second half."

Anis Saltou bagged a hat-trick in Victoria when Libya humiliated the Seychelles, which ranked 188 in the world was the lowest among 48 teams in the qualifying competition.

Meanwhile the 79th minute Patrick Kaddu goal not only ensured Uganda in first place in Group L, it opened the door for Tanzania to also qualify.

39 years absent

If Tanzania wins in Lesotho on Sunday, they will return to the African football exhibition after missing 39 years.

The early Moussa Doumbia goal gave Mali a 1-0 victory and left Gabon, who without injury star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, needed a matchday 6 victory in Burundi to qualify from Group C.

A draw will be enough for Burundi, who are ranked 142nd in the world and looking for the first Nations Cup appearance.

Morocco qualify when the Group B team, Malawi rivals lose 2-1 to the unknown Comoros at Mitsamiouli.

Comoran's victory in the multi-island Indian Ocean country gave Morocco an unshakeable six-point advantage over Malawi.

El Fardou Mohamed Ben Nabouhane, who played for Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, gave South Korea the lead in the second minute.

Patrick Phiri equalized after 53 minutes and Nasser Chamed scored the winner in the 70th minute on an artificial pitch.

Moroccan leaders and second-placed Cameroon qualify from the group, with the latter ensuring a place because they host the tournament between 15 June-13 July.

Cameroon were involved in the qualifying competition for training matches before defending the title they won in Gabon last year by beating Egypt 2-1 in the final.

Morocco rose above Cameroon to first place in Group B on Friday after beating them 2-0 in Casablanca thanks to a second-half goal from Judge Ziyech.

Senegal won 1-0 in Equatorial Guinea with Luis Meseguer's own goal after halftime in the first round of Group A match at Bata.

Benin failed to meet qualifications from Group D this weekend after falling towards the end of their match with The Gambia losing 3-1 after leading in Bakau.

Guinea-Bissau imposed a 0-0 Group K draw in Namibia and will compete in successive European Cup tournaments if they beat Mozambique at home in the final round of the match.

© Agence France-Presse

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