Defending champions Senegal, South Africa, and Burkina Faso qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2023 on Tuesday, while Namibia is on the verge of joining them after a stunning victory over Cameroon.
Sadio Mane, the reigning African Footballer of the Year, set up Boulaye Dia in the first half, giving Senegal a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and an eight-point advantage in Group L.
South Africa defeated Liberia 2-1 in Monrovia, with Mihlali Mayambela scoring the winner. South Africa now joins shock 2022 World Cup semifinalists Morocco as Group K qualifiers.
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Burkina Faso needed one point from a trip to Togo to qualify, and they drew 1-1 in Lome, with Dango Ouattara handing the visitors an early lead that Kodjo Laba cancelled out.
Namibia supplanted Cameroon as Group C table-toppers with a 2-1 victory in Soweto, near Johannesburg, led by captain Peter Shalulile.
Senegal extended its perfect group record to four wins with a penalty shootout triumph over Egypt last year, which brought the Cup of Nations trophy to Dakar for the first time.
Yet, the game against Mozambique was considerably closer than the Teranga Lions’ 5-1 victory at home last week.
Mozambique is still second, but will be overtaken if Rwanda defeats Benin at home on Wednesday.
South Africa prevailed after Zakhele Lepasa put them ahead, but William Jebor equalized for Liberia before halftime following a gaffe by captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
Morocco, the first African or Arab country to reach the World Cup semifinals, did not play since planned opponents Zimbabwe were forbidden from participating owing to government intervention in sport.
Cameroon football boss and former star Samuel Eto’o watched from the stands as his club came in second place despite missing injured attackers Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Karl Toko Ekambi.
Shalulile and Absalom Iimbondi scored for the Brave Warriors in the second half, before Vincent Aboubakar secured an extra-time consolation goal for the Indomitable Lions.
Namibia has five points, Cameroon has four, and both must face Burundi, who has one point but is still in contention for a top-two finish.
Algeria qualified from Group F on Monday, but who joins them as runners-up is up in the air after Uganda defeated Tanzania 1-0 in Dar es Salaam thanks to a late Rogers Mato goal.
Tanzania and Uganda both have four points, while Niger has two, with two rounds remaining in June and September.
Egypt defeated Malawi 4-0 in Lilongwe, joining Guinea at the top of Group D. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored twice.
On Tuesday night, Ivory Coast defeated Comoros 2-0 at the Stadium Omnisports de Malouzini in Moroni in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification Group H match.
As a result, the Elephants, who had already qualified as tournament hosts, climbed to the top of the group standings, while the Coelacanths stayed third – six points behind second-placed Zambia with two games remaining.