The formbooks said Liberia’s Lone Star missed their chance when they allowed Togo to force them to a 2-2 draw; and if they had won that game, it could have earned them 12 points clear. If that had happened, their 4-1 loss to Tunisia yesterday could not have affected their 12 points, and they would have been second in Group A.
And because they failed to beat Togo, they went to Tunisia on a 10 points tie with Tunisia; and so with their last game in favor of Tunisia, the North Africans now topped Group A with 13 points. Togo comes next with 11 points, one point over Liberia, who still remains at 10 points. Lone Star’s disastrous performance was foreshadowed by their friendly against the U-20 national team of Morocco that defeated the national team 4-2.
Meanwhile, there were 14 games held throughout Africa yesterday, with yet five more games to go. Ethiopia fell behind against Seychelles in Hawassa before goals from Getaneh Kebede and Saladin Said either side of half-time brought a 2-1 win and hope of qualification as one of the best two runners-up.
It was the sixth goal of the qualifying campaign for Kebede in Group J and moved him to the top of the scorers’ charts.
Fouad Al Triki scored a late goal as Libya shocked Cape Verde 1-0 in a Group F match interrupted when a dog wandered onto the pitch in Praia.
Defeat eliminated Cape Verde, who were briefly ranked No.1 in Africa this year and had been seeking a third consecutive Cup of Nations appearance.
A brilliant goal from Manchester City teenager Kelechi Iheanacho on 78 minutes earned already-eliminated Nigeria a 1-0 Group G win over Tanzania in Uyo.
The Super Eagles took a short corner and the striker moved across the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a left-foot thunderbolt into the roof of the net.
Group H winners Ghana lacked numerous first choices, including Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan, and were held 1-1 in Accra by Rwanda.
Samuel Tetteh put the Black Stars ahead midway through the opening half with a low shot and Muhadjir Hakizimana leveled off a free-kick seven minutes from time.
Mozambique jumped from fourth to second in the same mini-league after a last-gasp goal earned a 1-0 win over Mauritius in Maputo.
Cameroon cruised to a 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table Group M team Gambia in Limbe.
Benjamin Moukandjo converted a first-half penalty for a foul on Karl Toko Ekambi, who scored the second goal soon after half-time.
A dismal run by Angola in Group B extended to five matches without a win when they were held 1-1 by Madagascar in Luanda.
Bapasy put the visitors ahead during the opening half with a glancing header off a corner and Gelson leveled nine minutes into the second half.
Senegal finished with a perfect Group K record thanks to a predictable 2-0 win over Namibia in Dakar through goals from Balde Keita and Famara Diedhiou.