Abdoulaye Gaye Sileye of Mauritania
Sunday Nov 18, 2018. 21:19
Mauritania have secured a first-ever qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations after they defeated Botswana 2-1 at Stade Cheikha Ould Boïdiya in Nouakchott on Sunday evening.
The result ensures that ‘Al Murabitan’ will finish in the top two of Group I and they become the latest team to secure a place at the finals. From their group, either Angola or Burkina Faso will join them in Cameroon.
Botswana got off to a perfect start and opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Keeagile Kobe, silencing the crowd in Nouakchott.
Yet the home supporters were back in good voice by the 20th minute, with Moctar Sidi El Hacen drawing ‘Al Murabitan’ level at 1-1.
Mauritania went on to dominate the remainder of the first half but they were unable to find another way past Kabelo Dembe in the Zebras’ goals, leaving the game locked at 1-1 at the interval.
The second half saw Mauritania gradually build the pressure in search of a second goal, but Botswana’s defence held firm.
With a draw looking the likely result, the hosts finally found a cure for their frustration when Ismael Diakite struck in the 84th minute.
The late goal secured a famous victory for Mauritania, who will make their major tournament debut in Cameroon midway through next year.
Mauritania (1) 2 (El Hacen 20’, Diakite 84’)
Botswana (1) 1 (Kobe 4’)
Mauritania: Diallo, Diaw, Diakite, El Hacen, Abeid, Camara, Sarr (Guidileye 46’), Ba (Gaye 58’), Yali, N’Diaye, Ahmed (Tanji 78’)
Botswana: Dembe, Maikano, Sosome, Gaolaolwe, Seforo, Kobe, Mathumo, Ramoraka, Seakanyeng, Boy (Kgaswane 45+2’), Makgantai (Orebonye 55’)