Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania qualify for Africa Cup of Nations finals

Ethiopia was outplayed in its final group game but still qualified, while Mauritania won 1-0 in the Central African Republic to secure its spot at the 2022 AFCON.

Football

Ethiopia and Mauritania secured the runner-up berths in their respective groups to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to be held next year (Representative Image).   -  Getty Images

Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania have become the latest countries to qualify for January’s Africa Cup of Nations as they secured runner-up berths in their groups on Tuesday. Ethiopia lost 3-1 to Ivory Coast but still qualified, while Mauritania won 1-0 in the Central African Republic to secure its spot for a second straight tournament.

Guinea Bissau posted a 3-0 win over Congo to catapult above it into second place in Group I.

It had to win the game while their visitors needed only draw but Piqueti scored in the last minute of the first half and Frederic Mendy and Jorginho Intima added two more after the break to see Guinea Bissau to a third successive finals.

Ivory Coast beat Ethiopia in Abidjan to top Group K with 13 points but Ethiopia, with nine, qualified as runner-up when Madagascar was held to a 0-0 draw by Niger at the same time.

The Malagasy, who made the last Cup of Nations quarterfinals on their debut, needed a home win to usurp Ethiopia in the standings but despite their desperate onslaught at home in Toamasina failed to beat veteran goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda.

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Ethiopia was a goal behind within three minutes as Willy Boly scored for the Ivorians followed by a 19th minute penalty from Franck Kessie. Getaneh Kebede pulled a goal back in the second half but the host quickly re-established a two-goal advantage through Jean Evrard Kouassi.

Former Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara scored on the stroke of halftime to ensure Mauritania qualified with a win in Bangui.

It finished second in Group E behind Morocco, which hosts Burundi later on Tuesday.

French-born Kamara had only agreed to play for Mauritania, where his father hails from, earlier this year and was playing his second international.

Group I winner Senegal, which qualified last November, needed a 96th minute Cheikhou Kouyate equaliser to avoid a home loss to lowly Eswatini for whom Sabelo Gamedze netted a stunning fourth minute volley followed by a frantic defensive rearguard action. Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo and substitute Paul Onuachu scored for already-qualified Nigeria as it beat Lesotho 3-0 in Lagos in Group L.

A total of 22 teams have so far qualified for the finals in Cameroon with the last two places to be settled later on Tuesday.

ALL RESULTS

Algeria 5-0 Botswana

Zimbabwe 0-2 Zambia

Central African Republic 0-1 Mauritania

Ivory Coast 3-1 Ethiopia

Madagascar 0-0 Niger

Guinea-Bissau 3-0 Congo

Nigeria 3-0 Lesotho

Senegal 1-1 Eswatini

Cameroon 0-0 Rwanda

Morocco 1-0 Burundi

Mozambique 0-1 Cape Verde Islands.

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