Wednesday Mar 31, 2021. 00:01
Four countries punched their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) ticket on Tuesday’s final round of qualifiers with Mauritania, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde to participate at next year’s tournament in Cameroon.
But the day’s action wasn’t without controversy with the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to decide who of Sierra Leone or Benin will advance to next year’s finals after the cancellation of the Group L fixture. .
The Squirrels, who needed to avoid defeat in Freetown to join group winners Nigeria in qualifying for the Afcon, refused to play in protest after several of their players were alleged to have returned positive Covid-19 tests.
Mauritania will take part in only their second Afcon tournament next year after finishing behind Morocco in Group E. The West African country defeated Central African Republic 1-0 in Bangui to book their spot at the upcoming showpiece.
Ethiopia lost 3-1 to Ivory Coast in Abidjan but will play at an Afcon tournament for the first time since 2013 after Madagascar failed to beat Niger on home soil.
Guinea-Bissau took matters into their own hands with a 3-0 thumping of Congo to advance at the Red Devils expense, while Cape Verde beat Mozambique 1-0 in Maputo to book their Afcon return after finishing behind hosts Cameroon in Group F.
Elsewhere, Nigeria thumped Lesotho 3-0 as Victor Osimhen moved up to five goals to end the qualifying campaign as the joint top-scorer alongside Zambia’s Patson Daka.
Morocco edged past Burundi 1-0 thanks to a first international goal for Munir El-Haddadi while Senegal needed a stoppage-time goal from Cheikhou Kouyate to draw 1-1 with Eswatini.
Full list of results, Tuesday 30 March:
Central African Republic 0-1 Mauritania
Ivory Coast 3-1 Ethiopia
Madagascar 0-0 Niger
Guinea-Bissau 3-0 Congo
Nigeria 3-0 Lesotho
Senegal 1-1 Eswatini
Cameroon 0-0 Rwanda
Mozambique 0-1 Cape Verde
Morocco 1-0 Burundi
Sierra Leone C-C Benin