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WRAPUP 1-Soccer-Mali, Tunisia join list of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

SportNov 17, 2020 22:42
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* Mali and Tunisia join Algeria and Senegal at finals
* Egypt and Morocco both move closer to qualifying
* Ghana lose in Sudan, Nigeria held by Sierra Leone

By Mark Gleeson
CAPE TOWN, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Mali and Tunisia added their
names to the list of countries qualified for the next Africa Cup
of Nations finals on Tuesday, joining holders Algeria and 2019
runners-up Senegal who had booked their berths over the last two
days.
Mali made sure of a top two finish in Group A after a 2-1
win in Namibia, where Sekou Koita and Moussa Doumbia scored in
the first half, while Tunisia's 1-1 draw in Tanzania was enough
to ensure they will finish in the top two in Group J.
Tunisia will go to the finals in Cameroon in 2022 for a 15th
successive time.
Egypt and Morocco also moved closer to qualifying after
producing positive performances on the road on Tuesday.
Morocco's Hakim Ziyech was again a major influence as they
won 2-0 away to the Central African Republic and are now a point
off qualifying from Group E.
Ziyech's 39th minute free kick sailed into the net from
outside the box and, while team mate Nayef Aguerd claimed he got
a faint touch, it looked as if the effort went straight in
without any assistance and Ziyech was credited with the goal.
The new Chelsea signing then turned provider in a final
minute breakaway, finished off by Youssef En Nesyri.
Egypt, who are seeking a record-extending 25th appearance at
a Cup of Nations finals, are also on the cusp of qualifying in
Group G after a 3-1 away win over Togo.
Ghana could have qualified but came unstuck against Sudan in
Khartoum where Mohamed Abdelrahman scored in stoppage time for a
1-0 win to put the hosts back in contention for a top two place.
Ghana have nine points and share top spot in Group C with
South Africa, while Sudan are only three points behind.
Nigeria were held for the second time in five days by Sierra
Leone, this time a tepid 0-0 stalemate in Freetown in contrast
to Sierra Leone's thrilling comeback in last Friday's 4-4 draw.
Nigeria top Group L by one point ahead of Benin, who drew
0-0 away to Lesotho earlier on Tuesday, while the other two
countries have two points each.
Pacesetters Madagascar and Ivory Coast have seven points in
Group K after their 1-1 draw in Antananarivo but Ethiopia are
only one point behind having hammered visitors Niger 3-0.
Democratic Republic of Congo won 1-0 away to neighbours
Angola in Luanda after Neeskens Kebano's mazy run and accurate
finish from outside the penalty area in the 63rd minute.
The result revived the Congolese chances of qualifying as
they are now just a point behind Gambia and Gabon in Group D.
The last two rounds of preliminaries will be played in
March. The top two in each group advance to the finals except in
Group F where only the highest placed team besides Cameroon,
qualified as hosts but playing in the preliminaries, qualifies.

WRAPUP 1-Soccer-Mali, Tunisia join list of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers
 

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