(Ben W) #1

South


Africa claim


finals place


Line-up for Nations Cup


in Egypt now complete


outh Africa were the last country
to book a place at this summer’s
African Nations Cup finals, holding
on to win 2-1 “away” to Libya in
Tunisia and salvage what has been
a disappointing decade of results
since they hosted the World Cup in 2010.
Going into the final weekend of Nations Cup
qualifiers at the end of March there were 10 places
yet to be filled in the 24-team field, with 21 countries
still in with a chance – and a fair number of them
looking to qualify for the first time.
In the end, tiny Burundi made it to the finals
but Comoros Islands, Gambia and Lesotho did not.
Tanzania gained their place in emphatic fashion
and will be competing in the finals for only the second
time – and some 39 years since their debut.
Angola, Benin, Cameroon, DR Congo and
Zimbabwe were among the expected qualifiers.
Most dramatic was the progress of Namibia who
lost 4-1 away to Zambia in their last group game but
still managed to qualify when Mozambique conceded
an equaliser deep in stoppage time in their match
against Guinea-Bissau.
Needing a victory for qualification, Mozambique fell

of Canada is returned for a
second term as president of the
North, Central American and
Caribbean confederation.
ENGLAND: Manchester United
appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as
their permanent manager on a
three-year contract.
Friday March 29
AFC: Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim
Al Khalifa will govern Asian football
for another four years after his final
challenger for AFC presidency,
Qatar’s Saoud Al Mohannadi,
withdraws his candidacy.
MOROCCO: Raja win the first CAF
Super Cup to be staged outside
Africa, beating Esperance of Tunisia
2-1 in Qatar.
Saturday March 30
BELARUS: BATE Borisov begin
their quest for a 14th consecutive
league title with a 2-0 win at home
to Dnyapro Mogilev.
ENGLAND: Huddersfield Town are
relegated from the Premier League
with a 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace.
FRANCE: Strasbourg beat
Guingamp on penalties, after a
goalless 120 minutes, to win the
League Cup for a fourth time.
GERMANY: Paco Alcacer scores
twice in the last five minutes as
Borussia Dortmund beat Wolfsburg
2-0 to go above Bayern Munich,
who draw 1-1 at Freiburg. After six
months and 20 games without a
win in the Bundesliga, Nuremberg
beat Augsburg 3-0.
PORTUGAL: Nearly four years after
joining Benfica, Adel Taarabt makes
his first-team debut as a 71st-
minute substitute in a 1-0 win
against Tondela.
SPAIN: Lionel Messi scores both
goals as Barcelona beat Espanyol
2-0 in the Catalan derby.
Sunday March 31
ARGENTINA: Racing Club draw 1-1
with Tigre to secure the league title
with a game to spare.
HOLLAND: Ten-man Ajax beat
Eredivisie leaders PSV 3-1.
ITALY: Napoli win 4-1 at Roma,
while Lazio are 1-0 winners away
to Internazionale.
NEW ZEALAND: Callum McCowatt
scores all three goals as Eastern
Suburbs beat Team Wellington
3-0 to win the Premiership Play-
off Grand Final.
NORWAY: Defending champions
Rosenborg lose their opening game
of the new campaign, going down
2-0 away to Bodo/Glimt.
SCOTLAND: Alfredo Morelos
is sent off for the fifth time this

behind early on in Bissau but rallied to equalise in
the second half through Stanley Ratifio, who plays for
CfR Pforzheim in the fifth tier of German football. Then,
in the last minute of regulation time, they went ahead
through substitute Nelson.
As Namibia were losing in Lusaka to bottom-placed
Zambia, it meant Mozambique would top the group
with Guinea-Bissau second. But sloppy defending at
a set-piece four minutes into stoppage
time ended the dream for coach Abel
Xavier and his team as Frederic Mendy
poked home an equaliser for a 2-2 draw
to send Namibia through.
Burundi needed only to draw at home
to Gabon, who had to win their last
Group C game to usurp their hosts and
had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back
in the side. He, however, played a largely
anonymous role as Burundi opened the
scoring through Cedric Amissi. The hosts
then had to go through an agonising last
eight minutes after an own goal from
Omar Ngandu gave Gabon hopes of
stealing it late, before the final whistle
went at 1-1.
Days later, Gabon coach Daniel Cousin
was sacked.
Cameroon had little problem disposing
of the Comoros Islands with Eric-Maxim
Choupo-Moting, Christian Bassagog and

70 WORLD SOCCER


S


70 WORLD SOCCER


Africa


MARK GLEESON

Through...Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona (left) celebrates