Togo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe advance to final round

Togo squeezed through to the final round of qualifiers for next

year’s African Cup of Nations after Serge Gakpe’s second-half

strike gave it an away-goals victory over Kenya on Sunday.

Mozambique beat Tanzania 8-7 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1

draw in the second leg. Zimbabwe forced its way past Burundi, also

on away goals, after Knowledge Musona scored in the first half for

a 1-0 victory in Harare.

Musona also scored in the 2-1 loss in Burundi in February for

Zimbabwe’s decisive away goal. The Zimbabweans battled through

after Willard Katsande was sent off for an apparent head-butt early

in the return leg.

Congo thumped Seychelles 7-0 on aggregate with a 3-0 home win,

and Ethiopia’s 1-1 draw in Benin took it through with another

away-goals victory.

Thirteen countries have progressed from this stage to the second

and final round, with only Egypt’s clash against Central African

Republic to be settled. The qualified teams will play off against

the 16 nations that contested this year’s African Cup for a place

in the 2013 tournament in South Africa.

Gakpe’s 61-st minute goal in Lome gave Togo a 1-0 win and some

cheer after the 2006 World Cup team failed to reach the African Cup

of Nations and World Cup in 2010 and this year’s Cup of Nations.

Kenya had coach Francis Kimanzi sent off in the 77th for entering

the field of play in a two-legged playoff that finished 2-2 on

aggregate.

Tanzania scored in stoppage time to take the match in Mozambique

to penalties after both legs finished 1-1, but Mozambique prevailed

in a tense shootout to keep alive its hopes of reaching the

tournament in South Africa.

Congo comfortably cruised past Seychelles to stay on track,

winning 4-0 and 3-0 in the two legs.

Former African champions Nigeria and Cameroon progressed on

Saturday, while Egypt must turn around its playoff in Central

African Republic after a surprise 3-2 home defeat on Friday.

The first leg was delayed from February because of the violence

at a league game in Port Said that left 74 people dead.