Mixed fortunes in AFCON race

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Harare - South Africa were full value for their class as back-to-back victories over São Tomé and Príncipe catapulted them to within shouting distance of qualification for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Bafana Bafana secured the six points on offer in the double-header with 2-0 and 4-2 victories, with both matches played in South Africa after São Tomé and Príncipe agreed to that arrangement as opposed to the regular home-and-away format.

The two wins saw the AFCON 1996 champions rise to second place in their qualification group on nine points, behind Ghana on goal difference after four rounds of fixtures and with two remaining.

Elsewhere in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe fell 1-3 away to Algeria and then rallied to force a 2-2 draw at home against the reigning African champions.

Zimbabwe remained second in their group with five points, while Algeria booked their place in next year’s tournament with their tally of 10 points.

In the same group, Botswana and Zambia jousted for honours. In the first encounter, Chipolopolo overcame the Zebras of Botswana 2-1 at home. Tables were turned in the reverse fixture as Botswana triumphed 1-0.

The results mean Botswana now have four points while Zambia anchor the group with three points and two matches to go.

The Brave Warriors of Namibia have a shot at qualification but they will have to be clinical in their remaining pair of matches as Mali top the group with 10 points. Guinea are second on eight points; followed by Namibia with three and Chad on one. To qualify, Namibia needs to win its remaining two matches and hope that Guinea loses both.

Mozambique have destiny in their own hands after taking their tally to four points in the last two rounds of qualification. The Mambas sit second in the group behind already qualified Cameroon, but the threat from Cape Verde on four and Rwanda on two points is still real.

But it is Comoros who are weaving the fairy tale of this qualification campaign.

Comoros, for long the whipping boys of African football, have amassed eight points in their group, the same as giants Egypt and well ahead of Kenya on three points and Togo on one.

Eswatini have a single point from four games and need a miracle in Group I where leaders Senegal have already qualified and second-placed Congo can eliminate the Southern Africans if they draw their next match in March 2021.

Lesotho are also in a tight spot in Group L, where they have just two points and trail Nigeria (eight points), Benin (seven) and Sierra Leone (three).

Contenders for the 2019 African Team of the Year, Madagascar are sitting pretty in their group with seven points on second place, behind Cote d’Ivoire on goal difference only, and ahead of Ethiopia and Niger.

Group A

P W D L GD Pts

Mali 4 3 1 0 +4 10

Guinea 4 2 2 0 +3 8

Namibia 4 1 0 3 -3 3

Chad 4 0 1 3 -4 1

 

Group B

P W D L GD Pts

B/Faso 4 2 2 0 +3 8

Uganda 4 2 1 1 +2 7

Malawi 4 1 1 2 -3 4

  1. Sudan 4 1 0 3 -2 3

 

Group C 

P W D L GD Pts

Ghana 4 3 0 1 +4 9

  1. Africa 4 3 0 1 +3 9

Sudan 4 2 0 2 +2 6

São Tomé 4 0 0 0 -9 0

 

Group D

P W D L GD Pts

Gambia 4 2 1 1 +2 7

Gabon 4 2 1 1 +1 6

DRC 4 1 3 0 +1 6

Angola 4 0 1 3 -4 1





Group E

P W L D GD Pts

Morocco 4 3 1 0 +8 10

Mauritania 4 1 2 1 0 5

Burundi 4 1 1 2 -3 4

CAR 4 1 0 3 -5 3

 

Group F

P W D L GD Pts

Cameroon 4 3 1 0 +6 10

Mozambique 4 1 1 2 -3 4

Cabo Verde 4 0 4 0 0 4

Rwanda 4 0 2 2 -3 2

 

Group G

P W D L GD Pts

Egypt 4 2 2 0 +3 8

Comoros 4 2 2 0 +2 8

Kenya 4 0 3 1 -1 3

Togo 4 0 1 3 -4 1

 

Group H

P W D L GD Pts

Algeria 4 3 1 0 +8 10

Zimbabwe 4 1 2 1 -1 5

Botswana 4 1 1 2 -1 4

Zambia 4 1 0 3 -6 3





Group I

P W D L GD Pts

Senegal 4 4 0 0 +8 12

Congo 4 2 1 1 +3 7

G/Bissau 4 1 0 3 -3 3

Eswatini 4 0 1 3 -8 1

 

Group J

P W D L GD Pts

Tunisia 4 3 1 0 +5 10

  1. Guinea 4 2 0 2 0 6

Tanzania 4 1 1 2 -1 4

Libya 4 1 0 3 -4 3

 

Group K

P W D L GD Pts

Côte d'Ivoire 4 2 1 1 +1 7

Madagascar 4 2 1 1 +4 7

Ethiopia 4 2 0 2 +2 6

Niger 4 1 0 3 -7 3

 

Group L

P W D L GD Pts

Nigeria 4 2 2 0 +3 8

Benin 4 2 1 1 +1 7

S/Leone 4 0 3 1 -3 3

Lesotho 4 0 2 2 -3 2

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