Indeed, shortly before the start of this meeting counting for the 6th day of qualifying, six titular players from Benin (including Steve Mounié or Jodel Dossou) received positive results for Covid tests carried out in Freetown.
The Squirrels then cry out for a plot. Because, they argue, the entire delegation had tested negative on Saturday evening in Cotonou. After several hours of misunderstanding, the decisive match was postponed. It will be played “in June 2021
to the next international window of Fifa ”, announced the Organizing Committee of Can 2021.
Except for this hitch, the playoffs delivered their verdict. In Pool A, Guinea (2nd, 11 points) killed all suspense by beating Mali (1st, 13 points) on the 5th day. The setback of the national Syli without its executives in Namibia (2-1) had no impact on the standings.
Malawi (10 points) created the feat in Group B by placing second in the nose and beard of Uganda (3rd, 8 points) yet attractive during the previous final phase of the Can. While they only needed a small point to participate in the high mass of African football, the Cranes were defeated on the score of a goal to zero by the Flames.
After 1984 and 2010, Malawi resurfaced on the mainland. With twelve points on the clock, Burkina Faso finished in first place in the pool. The Stallions thus sign their return since they were not at the Egyptian meeting in 2019.
In Group C, Ghana (1st, 13 points) and Sudan (2nd, 12 points) are qualified. Forced to win, the Nile Crocodiles pulled out all the stops on the final day to beat South Africa (2-0). Executioners of Egypt on its lands two years ago, the Bafana Bafana fall back into their pitfalls.
Gambia, housed in Pool D, caused a sensation in these qualifiers. Independent since 1965, it was until then the only country in West Africa to have never tasted Can. With three wins, a draw and two defeats, the Scorpions folded the case on March 25 in Banjul against Angola (1-0). The pawn of Assan Ceesay (62nd mn) transported a whole people to seventh heaven.
The other qualifying place in this group is occupied by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon. Absent at Can 2019, the Panthers outclassed the Leopards of the Democratic Republic of Congo (3-0) in the penultimate act to stamp their ticket for neighboring Cameroon.
In Pool E, Morocco (1st, 14 points) had a clear course punctuated by four wins and two draws. The Atlas Lions are followed by the Mourabitounes having gleaned nine points. In its remote duel with Burundi, Mauritania did the job by winning (0-1) in the Central African Republic. This is the second qualification in a row for the selection coached by Frenchman Corentin Martins.
Host country of the tournament, Cameroon is the leader of group F with 11 points in its purse. The five-time African champion will nevertheless have to raise his level of play to hope to win back the title. Victorious in Mozambique (0-1) on March 30, Cabo-Verde (2nd, 10 points) nullified Rwanda’s qualification hopes (3rd, 6 points). The Blue Sharks, which will be in their third Can after 2013 and 2017, have regained color following the failures of 2017 and 2019.
Located in South-East Africa, the Comoros (2nd, 9 points) hit hard in Group G to the detriment of Kenya (3rd, 7 points) and Togo (4th, 2 points). On March 25, a goalless draw at the reception of the Sparrowhawks was enough for the happiness of the Coelacanths. This archipelago of the Indian Ocean obtained its very first qualification for the CAN after narrowly missing that of 2019. For its part, Egypt held its rank by settling in first place with three victories and as many zero.
Algeria on its way
The reigning African champions were full at home and snatched two draws and an away victory in Pool H. Algeria of Djamel Belmadi, undefeated for 24 games, concluded his campaign with a convincing success in Blida against Botswana (5-0).
Beaten 0-2 by Zambia the day before yesterday, the Zimbabwe of Lyon striker Tino Kadewere accompanies the Fennecs. The Warriors ensured their presence in Cameroon thanks to their narrow victory in Botswana (0-1) for the account of the 5th day.
In group I, Senegal (1st, 14 points) qualified from the 4th day while Guinea Bissau (2nd, 9 points) had to fight until the end. The equation was simple for the Djurtus: beat the Congo at home (3rd, 8 points). In the end, the proteges of the coach Baciro Candé did it with the manner. Final score: three goals to zero.
Among all the teams involved in these qualifiers, that of Tunisia recorded the most points. The Carthage Eagles won five games and conceded a draw in Pool J. Second with 9 points, Equatorial Guinea acquired their first qualification on the field. In 2012 (with Gabon) then in 2015, the Nzalang nacional had benefited from its status as the host country of the competition.
Ivory Coast and Ethiopia made the difference in Pool K. The Elephants qualified on March 26 in Niger (0-3). The day before, in Addis Ababa, the Walya were not afraid of the Baréa (4-0). Even if a victory against Mena (0-0) would have allowed him to turn things around, Madagascar has never recovered from this heavy defeat. Ethiopia’s last participation in CAN dates back to 2013.
Finally in Group L, Nigeria secured their first place thanks to their triumphs against Benin (0-1) and Lesotho (3-0). Sierra Leone and Benin are fighting for the second ticket.
Initially scheduled for 2021, the flagship football tournament of the black continent has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, the Africa Cup of Nations will be held from January 15 to February 28, 2022 in Cameroon.
List of 23 qualified countries: Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Ghana, Sudan, Gambia, Gabon, Morocco, Mauritania, Cameroon, Cabo-Verde, Egypt, Comoros, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea , Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria.
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