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Published On: Wed, Oct 17th, 2018

How Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal, Madagascar qualified for Africa Cup of Nations

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Madagascar has qualified for the African Cup of Nations finals for the first time by beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Vontovorona.
Thailand-based midfielder Njiva Rakotoharimalala, 26, scored the only goal.
They became the first team to qualify for a place in the finals that have now been expanded from 16 teams to 24.
They were later joined by Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia in qualifying for the finals in Cameroon next June/July.
Madagascar’s win moved them to 10 points in Group A with two matches left to play.
The games were played in Vontovorona after Madagascar was banned from using the Mahamasina Stadium in Antananarivo for “three matches or three months”.
The suspension was imposed by the Confederation of African Football following a stampede at the national stadium in September, when one person was killed and nearly 40 others were injured.
Madagascar becomes the 40th different nation to qualify for the Nations Cup finals.
Senegal left it late to get the win they needed in Sudan to clinch a place in the finals alongside Madagascar from the group.
Lorient’s Sidi Sarr scoring in the 86th minute just three minutes after coming on in Khartoum as a substitute.
West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazi scored for Egypt to help them qualify for the Nations Cup finals
Egypt and Tunisia helped each other to qualify for next year’s expanded finals as they both won in Group J.
Egypt secured a 2-0 win over eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) thanks to a header from Ahmed Hegazi after 19 minutes and a well-worked team goal finished by Marwan Mohsen early in the second half.
The Pharaohs’ qualification was confirmed later on Tuesday as Tunisia maintained their 100% winning record with a 2-1 victory over Niger in Niamey.
Sfaxien’s Firas Chaouat scored two goals in a four-minute period in the first half on his international debut for Tunisia.
Niger’s Youssef Oumarou grabbed what turned out to be a consolation for the hosts.
There were two drawn matches in Group B as Comoros grabbed a 2-2 draw against visiting Morocco and Malawi held Cameroon to a goalless draw in Blantyre.
El Fardou Ben Mohamed, who plays for Serbian side Red Star Belgrade, opened the scoring after just eight minutes to give Comoros a shock lead.
The Moroccans then fought back with two second-half goals from Khalid Boutaib and Nordin Amrabat to take the lead.
The hosts kept battling and Ben Mohamed was on target again in injury time to earn a point for Comoros.
The results means that Cameroon top the group with eight points, but they qualify automatically as hosts, leaving just one more place up for grabs from the group.
Morocco lead the way in the race to the finals on seven points, Malawi move to four points and Comoros are on two – with all the teams having played four matches.
Three teams remain in contention to qualify from Group C after Gabon beat hosts South Sudan 1-0 and Burundi held visiting Mali to a 1-1 draw.
Midfielder Andre Biyogo Poko, who plays in Turkey for Goztepe, won the match for Gabon with a goal five minutes after half-time.
Gabon played without Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he did not travel with the team to Juba. No official reason has been given for his absence.
Burundi took the lead in Bujumbura through striker Fiston Abdul Razak before Mamadou Fofana levelled the score for the visitors.
Algeria missed out on the chance of qualifying from Group D as they lost 1-0 in Benin.
The match-winner was scored by Sessi D’Almeida, who plays in the fourth tier of English football with Yeovil Town, after 16 minutes.
Benin held on for the win despite playing the final 35 minutes of the match with 10 men after veteran Stephane Sessegnon was shown a red card.
Togo managed to take advantage of Algeria’s slip with a late 1-0 win in The Gambia – Fulham’s Floyd Ayite with the winner in injury time after they had Djene Dakonam sent off with 15 minutes left.

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