Ghana’s Black Stars have qualified for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tagged Cameroon 2021.
They are joined by Gabon who have also qualified as well as debutants, Comoros and Gambia.
The Black Stars booked their berth after holding their hosts South Africa to a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg on Thursday. Ghana raised their tally to 10 points, same as South Africa but led the Bafana Bafana on head-to-head rule. Sudan are third with nine points while Sao Tome and Principe are out of the race with no point earned.
With Sudan hosting South Africa in the last match day; Ghana are assured of one of the top Group C spots, as they also lead Sudan on head-to-head rule.
South Africa were the better side in the first half, with chances falling to Percy Tau and Themba Zwane; while Kwame Opoku and Emmanuel Boateng led the visitors’ attack. Four minutes after the restart, Ghana took the lead through Mohammed Kudus who concluded a nice collective work. Kudus who plays for Norwegian club FC Nordjaelland found his way through three defenders before scoring. Just two minutes later, Percy Tau took advantage of a nice counter-attack to restore parity for the hosts.
Gabon booked their AFCON ticket after a well worked 3-0 victory over DR Congo. The match was played at the Stade de la Renovation de Franceville. Aaron Boupendza, Denis Bouanga and skipper Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored the goals for The Panthers.
Gabon duly went to the break one goal up after dominating play in the opening 45 minutes; creating most of the goalscoring chances. Boupendza broke the deadlock for the Gabonese with their first shot on target.
Meanwhile, Gambia’s Scorpions qualified for the AFCON for the first time ever; after a slim 1-0 victory over Angola in Banjul on Thursday.
The victory sees Gambia move to 10 points with one round of matches left. Assan Ceesay scored the lone goal for the Gambians in the 62nd minute to give the Gambians the vital victory. The feat is another feather to the footballing cap of the Gambians; following the recent performance of their Under-20 team in Mauritania.
Equally important, Comoros also joined Gambia in qualifying for the AFCON for the first time in their history.
Their qualification came after they picked up a point in a 0-0 draw with Togo at home on Thursday. The final whistle drew wild celebrations in the stadium; with the players and coaches hugging, jumping and dancing. The result in Moroni sees Comoros move to nine points ahead of their final match against Egypt. This means the worst they can finish is second spot.
Egypt won the remaining qualification slot after picking a point against Kenya in the other group match in Nairobi.