The qualification phase for the 2019 AFCON is nearing its end, and there have been a couple of surprises in terms of the teams which have qualified and those that got eliminated. There are still many spots up for grabs as the qualification stage is getting to its end.
Mauritania booked their place for AFCON 2019 with a 2-1 victory over Botswana. This is the first time which Mauritania will be playing at such a big football stage. They came from a goal down to edge Botswana 2-1 and the feeling of their qualification was euphoric. Mauritania top Group I with 12 points, and Angola come in second with 9 points.
In Group H, Guinea and Ivory Coast qualified for AFCON 2019. Guinea's match with Ivory Coast ended with a 1-1 draw. However these two teams qualified after Rwanda held Central African Republic (CAR) to a 2-2 draw, automatically giving Guinea and Ivory Coast a superior and unbeatable mathematical advantage. Guinea are top of Group H on 11 points with Ivory Coast second on eight points. CAR are three points further adrift having played one game more and Rwanda are bottom on two points.
The biggest surprise of the day came through Zambia who were eliminated from the race to qualify for AFCON 2019. The former AFCON champions won't grace the tournament next year after they lost 1-0 to Mozambique. Zambia won the tournament in 2012, but Reginaldo Faife's goal for Mozambique extinguished Zambia's hopes for qualifying, while keeping those for Mozambique alive in Group K. There is one qualifier match left and Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Namibia will fight out to qualify for AFCON 2019.
Zimbabwe missed a chance to qualify after they lost 1-0 to Liberia, although a draw against DRC will be enough for them to qualify. Ghana defeated Ethiopia 2-0, a match that saw Jordan Ayew flourishing. In Group L, Tanzania missed a chance to qualify for their first Nations Cup finals after a 39 year absence as they lost 1-0 to Lesotho.
Egypt and Tunisia qualified after a match they played on Friday in which Egypt won 3-2.
Uganda qualified on Saturday after beating Cape Verde 1-0.
Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifying results:
|Group A||Madagascar 1-3 Sudan|
|Group D||Togo 1-4 Algeria|
|Group F||Ethiopia 0-2 Ghana|
|Group G||Congo 1-1 DR Congo|
|Group G||Liberia 1-0 Zimbabwe|
|Group H||Rwanda 2-2 Central African Republic|
|Group H||Guinea 1-1 Ivory Coast|
|Group I||Angola 2-1 Burkina Faso|
|Group I||Mauritania 2-1 Botswana|
|Group J||eSwatini 1-2 Niger|
|Group L||Lesotho 1-0 Tanzania|
|Group K||Mozambique 1-0 Zambia|
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