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September 7, 2015 | Cup of Nations

Afcon 2017 qualifiers wrap: Sellas dances, Lions roar and Egypt on form

MyJoyOnline
Afcon 2017 qualifiers wrap: Sellas dances, Lions roar and Egypt on form

Some classic games were played across the continent this weekend as Afcon qualifying for 2017 reached matchday 2. Gary Al-Smith has more.

Once Ghana had won on Saturday, many local interests were on the other group game played on Sunday.

Mauritius , victims of a mauling in Accra three months ago, picked up a vital win after securing a 1-0 victory over Mozambique thanks to a solitary strike from Louis Desire Fabien Pithia.

But Ghana still remain top of the pile with six points, Rwanda are second with a point, Mauritius are third and Mozambique are bottom.

Elsewhere in Africa, there was plenty action to go round.

Knowledge Musona (below pictured) cancelled out Washington Arubi's first-minute goal, as Zimbabwe and Guinea played out to a 1-1 draw in the Afcon qualifier on Sunday afternoon.

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A brace from El Arbi Soudani and a solitary strike from Faouzi Ghoulam handed Algeria a 3-1 win over Lesotho on Sunday afternoon.

Swaziland and Malawi were forced to settle for a point, after the two sides played out to a 2-2 draw. Gerlad Phiri and Chiukepo Msowoya were on target for the visitors, while Felix Badenhorst and Sifiso Mabila were on target for the Swazis.

Egypt gaining momemtum
Emerging young star Bassem Morsi scored a hat-trick as Egypt replaced Nigeria as Group G leaders with a show of force in N'Djamena.

Mohamed Salah (below pictured) and Kahraba, real name Mahmoud Abdel Moneim, got the Pharaohs' other goals and Nadjim Haroun scored for Chad.

Morsi struck twice during a first half that ended with the visitors leading 3-1 and completed his hat-trick with the last goal on 62 minutes.

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Record seven-time African champions Egypt are chasing a place at the Cup of Nations in Gabon after failing to qualify for the past three tournaments.

They have shown a clinical streak in qualifying under Argentina-born former Valencia manager Hector Cuper, trouncing Tanzania 3-0 three months ago in the opening round.

Egypt have six points, three-time champions Nigeria four, Tanzania one and Chad are pointless with just the group winners guaranteed a finals spot.

Elephants stumble
Sierra Leone coach Sellas Tetteh (below pictured) was seen dancing in the rainy conditions of Port Harcourt after he superintended a very creditable 0-0 draw for the Leone Stars with reigning African champions, Ivory Coast.

For the Ivorians, it is a disappointing start to their defence of a title won in Equatorial Guinea last February after a penalty shootout against Ghana.

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An Elephants team lacking unavailable Toure and injured striker Wilfried Bony struggled in heavy, wet Port Harcourt conditions against combative opponents.

A home fixture for Sierra Leone , it was switched to southern Nigeria because of the Ebola epidemic.

The match marked the debut of Michel Dussuyer as coach of the Ivorians after fellow Frenchman Herve Renard quit to join Ligue 1 outfit Lille.

Sudan head Group I – the only mini-league containing three nations – with three points followed by Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone with one each.

The Lions roar again
Vincent Aboubakar (pictured in main photo) was the Cameroon match-winner for the second matchday running with his mid-second half goal sufficient to beat Gambia in rain-drenched Banjul.

Four-time African champions Cameroon top Group M with six points, Mauritania have three and Gambia and South Africa one apiece.

Upset and missed chances
Central African Republic recovered from a matchday 1 mauling in Angola three months ago to upset 2015 Cup of Nations bronze medalists DR Congo 2-0 in Bangui.

Both goals came during the opening half with Vianney Mabide converting a penalty and Junior Gourrier doubling the advantage of the hosts.

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Angola are the Group B pacesetters with four points, Central African Republic and DR Congo have three each and Madagascar one.

Abdoulaye Diaby put Mali ahead in Cotonou and Jordan Adeoti equalised before halftime for Benin .

Mali top Group C with four points followed by South Sudan (three), Benin (two) and 2015 Cup of Nations semifinalists Equatorial Guinea (one).

Ryan Mendes (below pictured) scored in the final minute to grab a 2-1 victory for Cape Verde over Libya , who staged the home fixture in Cairo because of post-Moamer Kadhafi-era violence.

Carlos da Graca put the island state ahead in the second half and Almaetasm Al Mosrati levelled four minutes from time.

Libya failed to convert two penalties with Hamdo Al Masri and Mohamed Zubya the culprits.

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Joy Sports brought you live updates on Saturday and Sunday with correspondents across Africa. Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag

Story by Ghana/Joy Sports/Gary Al-Smith

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