Burkina Faso, Guinea qualify for 2021 AFCON finals in Cameroon
London, March 25, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Burkina Faso qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations following a goalless draw against Uganda at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Kampala on Wednesday.
A game of few chances saw Burkina Faso claim a point which left them top of Group B on nine points. Uganda, who came into the match having asked coach Johnny McKinstry to temporarily step aside for the month, is second on eight points.
Malawi is third on seven points after Richard Mbulu’s goal earned a 1-0 win away to bottom-placed South Sudan in Juba.
With Uganda and Malawi facing off in the final group game, both of them cannot overhaul Burkina Faso who booked their place in next year’s tournament as they can finish no lower than second.
In Group F, Lague Byiringiro came off the bench in the second half and scored the only goal of the match as Rwanda breathed life into the qualification campaign with a 1-0 win against Mozambique in Kigali.
The result lifted Rwanda off the foot of the table into second place on five points, one ahead of both Mozambique and Cape Verde, ahead of the latter’s game against tournament hosts and group leaders Cameroon.
Ethiopia went top of Group K with a shock -0 thumping of 2019 AFCON quarterfinalists Madagascar in Bahir Dar. First-half goals from Amanuel Gebremichael, Getaneh Kebede and Abubeker Nassir put the hosts in control before Shimelis Bekele rounded off the scoring.
As a result, Ethiopia leads the group with nine points two ahead of Côte d’Ivoire, who are due to play fourth-placed Niger, and Madagascar respectively.
Meanwhile, Sudan earned a 2-0 win away to Sao Tome e Principe to go level on nine points with Ghana and South Africa, who are scheduled to play against each other, in Group C.
The final group matches will pit Ghana as overwhelming favourites against Sao Tome e Principe who are yet to pick up a single point, while Sudan and South Africa will face off in a six-pointer.
Elsewhere, Seydouba Souma’s 75th minute strike saw Guinea edge already-qualified Mali 1-0 in Conakry and qualify for the tournament from Group A.
Victory moved Guinea to 11 points five ahead of third-placed Namibia who were awarded a 3-0 win against Chad, who had been disqualified. The final group match between Guinea and Namibia will determine the group winners as Mali has 13 points after also being awarded a 3-0 win against Chad.
The 2021 AFCON, which will feature 2 teams, will take place in January next year after the tournament was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.