Cape Verde, surprise qualifiers after outing Cameroon
Sunday was another crucial day of qualifying for the final round pf the African Cup of Nations in South Africa. It was do-or-die for a number of top sides, including Cameroon who needed to come back from 0-2 down against Cape Verde. They failed and Cape Verde qualified for their first ever AFCON finals by beating Cameroon 3-2 on aggregate, despite falling 2-1 in Yaoundé on Sunday.
Cape Verde, the West African nation of just half a million people knocking out big gun Cameroon out of the 2013 African Nations Cup must be one of the greatest upsets in Africa's football history. They become one of the the last 15 nations to qualify and therefore will be joining host South Africa.
As it turned out, the return to action in the national team of the Indomitable Lions’ legendary skipper Samuel Eto’o has proved insufficient as they failed to overturn the 2-0 defeat suffered in Praia in September.
New coach Jean-Paul Akono’s men tried to push right from kick-off, but it was Cape Verde who silenced the crowd at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in the 11th minute when Heldon scored with a freekick into the top left corner of Kameni’s net.
It left Cameroon with four goals to score in order to book their ticket for South Africa in January.
They tried hard and regained some form of hope when 10 minutes later they managed to level the score through Achille Emana who netted from close range.
The increased their efforts even more after that goal. They created chances, but failed miserably on front of goal with Idrissou and Womé missing two very good chances towards the end of the first half.
Cape Verde were being dominated but they managed to hold back for long stretches by camping in their own half in the second half, denying several attempts by Webo, Emana and Eto’o.
Four-time African champions Cameroon did manage to score again in the dying minutes of the match, through substitute Fabrice Olinga, but it was much too late and never looked likely to obtain the goals that would have seen them through. As a result, they miss out for the second successive time to reach the final stage of the continental event after their failure to qualify for the 2012 finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Stoppage Time Goal Gets Burkina Through
A stoppage time goal by Alain Traore denied the Central African Republic of a spot in next year’s African Cup of Nation’s tournament when they lost 3-1 allowing Burkina Faso to qualify.
Central African Republic could have made history by securing a spot in next year’s tournament for the first time in their history. But it was not to be.
Their 1-0 win over Burkina in the first leg in September, gave them a helping hand in making their dream a realisation. It was further aided by David Manga who scored a vital away goal just seven minutes into the second leg of their game Sunday.
But Manga’s effort was cancelled out just eleven minutes later when Alain Traore levelled at 1-1 as the hosts responded well confirming that they won't be backing down so easily.
Their comeback into the game was further emphasized when they made it 2-1 through a Moumouni Dagano penalty in the 40th minute. But they still needed another due to Manga’s away goal.
It almost seemed as if the away goal would prove to be decisive but a late stoppage time last-gasp goal by Traore saw threw the hosts into jubilation by handing them a victory to edge out CAR on a 3-2 aggregate.
Ethiopia Return After 31 Years
After a 31-year absence, Ethiopia clinched a historic qualification to the 2013 African Cup of Nations with a 2-0 home win against Sudan on Sunday. They had to recover from a 5-3 loss suffered in the first leg last month to clinch qualification in Addis Ababa on the away goals rule.
Ethiopia obtained their success with two goals in a three-minute spell from Adane Girma and Egypt-based Saladine Said in the 61st and 64th minutes. They ensured Ethiopia's return to the competition since 1982.
Ethiopia recovered from a 5-3 loss suffered in the first leg last month to clinch qualification ahead of the Nile Crocodiles before a packed home crowd in Addis Ababa.
Previous Competition's Hosts Both Out
Angola ousted COSAFA rivals Zimbabwe thanks to the goals scored away counting double rule, while Togo make a return to the continental finals after beating the last competition's joint hosts Gabon. In fact, both the 2012 hosts have been eliminated, with Equatorial Guinea losing out to DR Congo despite winning 2-. DR Congo however, had won the first leg 4-0, that enables them to advance.
First leg result in brackets
ALGERIA v Libya 2-0 (3-0)
ETHIOPIA v Sudan 2-0 (first leg 3-5)
Cameroon v CAPE VERDE 2-1 (0-2)
ANGOLA v Zimbabwe 2-0 (1-3)
NIGER v Guinea 2-0 (0-1)
TOGO v Gabon 2-1 (1-1)
Eq. Guinea v DR CONGO 2-1 (0-4)
BURKINA FASO v Central Africa 3-1 (0-1)
Following this past weekend's results the 15 teams to qualify to the finals of next year's African Cup of Nations competition in January where they join hosts South Africa are: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia.