SINAN RAJUB SENOGA
Angola became the 15th nation to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Egypt.
Angola needed a win in the final Group I game against lowly placed Botswana to finish above Burkina Faso who were playing at home against Mauritania.
Braga’s Eduardo Wilson scored the lone goal for the Palancas Negras in the 21st minute and ensured a slim 1-0 win in Francistown.
The second half of the game was delayed by floodlight failure for 30 minutes but that didn’t deter Angola from sneaking into the final tournament.
In the other Group I game played on Friday, Burkina Faso defeated Mauritania 1-0 thanks to Olympique Lyon’s Bertrand Traore who was on target in the 19th minute.
Unfortunately, Burkina Faso finished with 10 points, two behind Angola and Mauritania who had already qualified for the first time in history.
Botswana finished with one point from the six games played.
Elsewhere, Algeria ended Gambia’s AFCON hopes after a 1-1 draw in the Group D game played at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker stadium in Algeria.
Mehdi Abeid scored for the Desert Foxes in the first half before Musa Barrow equalized for Gambia at the hour mark.
Morocco were denied by the woodwork on several occasions and consequently played to a goalless draw in Malawi in Group B.
In Group E, Nigeria were 3-1 winners over Seychelles thanks to Odion Ighalo, Henry Onyekuru and Moses Simon. Rody Melanie scored the lone goal for the Island nation.
Tunisia trounced eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) 4-0 courtesy of goals from Syam Ben Youssef, Anis Badri, Naim Sliti and Yassine Meriah.
The comprehensive victory ensures Tunisia will finish top of Group J ahead of Egypt.
Equatorial Guinea were 4-1 winners over Sudan in a Group A match played in Sudan. Emilio Nsue (brace), Pablo Ganet and Pedro Obiang all scored for the Equatorial Guinea side.
The remaining nine places will be filled on Saturday and Sunday.
• Malawi 0-0 Morocco
• Sudan 1-4 Equatorial Guinea
• Nigeria 3-1 Seychelles
• Botswana 0-1 Angola
• Burkina Faso 1-0 Mauritania
• Tunisia 4-0 ESwatini
• Algeria 1-1 Gambia