Clinton Njie on target. Comoros had needed to win
away to create what would have been one of the
all-time upsets in Nations Cup history, but it was
never realistically on the cards.
Lesotho needed to win in the Cape Verde Islands
to write their own piece of history, and they were
always in the hunt, but their dream ended as they ran
out of time in a goalless draw.
That meant Tanzania were able to advance from
Group L along with Uganda, who they beat 3-0 in
Dar-es-Salaam. The country’s president, John Pombe
Magufuli, offered parcels of land to Tanzania’s players
and their coach Emmanuel Amunike in recognition of
the team’s achievement.
Benin went through by edging neighbours Togo
2-1 with Steve Mounie scoring a late winner.
Emmanuel Adebayor, who has played for Togo for
some 15 years and proven to be their talisman time
and again – including a surprise qualification for the
2006 World Cup in Germany – scored their goal but
it was not enough.
“Today is the most important game of my life
because it’s the last one,” he told his team-mates in
the changing room after the defeat. “I had the chance
to compete in some African Cup of Nations and a
World Cup, and there is nothing more extraordinary
than to play a Nations Cup. Unfortunately, we will not
be here in 2019. But it’s up to you to do everything
and to bounce back, it’s an obligation.”
Angola qualified by winning away at Botswana with
season as Rangers lose 2-1 away
Monday April 1
CROATIA: UEFA order Dinamo
Zagreb to play their next home
European match behind closed
doors following racist behaviour by
their fans during the Europa League
game against Benfica on March 7.
ENGLAND: Former national-team
manager Steve McClaren is sacked
by Championship side Queens Park
Rangers after just one win in 15
SOUTH AFRICA: Free State Stars
winger Sinethemba Jantjie, who had
agreed to join Bidvest Wits next
season, is killed in a car accident.
Tuesday April 2
ECUADOR: LDU Quito’s Cesar
Mena is the first player to score
two own goals in a Libertadores
Cup game as his side draw 3-3
with San Jose in Bolivia.
ENGLAND: Fulham lose 4-1 at
Watford and are relegated from
the Premier League.
GERMANY: Dieter Hecking is
informed that he will not be coach
of Borussia Monchengladbach as of
ITALY: Serie A will scrap Boxing
Day football from its calendar as
next season marks the return of
a festive winter break.
SPAIN: Two-nil up in just over
quarter of an hour, Barcelona trail
Villarreal 4-2 going into the 90th
minute but fight back to draw 4-4.
Wednesday April 3
ENGLAND: Tottenham Hotspur
mark the opening of their new
stadium with a 2-0 victory over
HOLLAND: Ajax end a 1,060-day
wait to top the Eredivisie table by
winning 5-2 away at Emmen.
MEXICO: Tigres beat Santos
Laguna 3-0 in their CONCACAF
Champions League semi-final
SPAIN: Real Madrid are beaten for
the first time since the return of
Zinedine Zidane as coach, losing
2-1 at Valencia.
Thursday April 4
Wanderers make Raul Jimenez’s
loan deal from Benfica permanent
for a club record £32m.
MEXICO: Monterrey have one foot
in the CONCACAF Champions
League final after winning 5-0
against Sporting Kansas City in
the first leg of their semi-final.
QATAR: Al Sadd clinch the title
the only goal of the match in Francistown being
scored on his debut by 28-year-old Wilson Eduardo,
who has switched his international allegiance after
winning caps at youth level for Portugal. He is the
brother of Portugal international Joao Mario, who
these days plays his club football in Italy with
In Group G, Zimbabwe finished top by beating
Congo 2-0 at home while DR Congo were runners-
up after edging out Liberia with China-based Cedric
Bakumbi scoring seven minutes into the second half
in a nervy victory in Kinshasa.
South Africa played Libya on neutral turf in Sfax,
where a large contingent of Libyans crossed the
border to cheer on their team.
It was an intimidating atmosphere as the Libyans
had to win while South Africa needed to hold out for
Percy Tau netted a stunning opener for South
Africa but the lead lasted just minutes before Libya
were awarded a penalty, which was successfully
converted by Manchester-born Ali Benali. However,
Tau came up with another sumptuous goal some
20 minutes from time to ensure progress for his side.
The tournament’s 147 qualifying games produced
a total of 350 goals and there will be nine former
winners in the field for the finals from June 21-July 19
in Egypt – including the hosts, Algeria, Cameroon,
Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia
and South Africa.
WORLD SOCCER 71
Percy Tau (left)
WORLD SOCCER 71