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
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
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.