Morocco has become the first to qualify for the 2023 African Cup of Nations in football, which will be held in Ivory Coast early next year, taking advantage of its direct chasers South Africa and its host Liberia 2-2 on Friday in the third round of the eleventh qualifying group competitions.
South Africa missed a victory within reach when it advanced to its host Liberia with two clean goals scored by Burnley striker Lyle Foster (11 penalties and 22), before the guests responded with a brace in the second half through Tonya Teasdale (68) and a wonderful long-range missile shot by Muhammad Sangareh ( 90+1).
Morocco qualified for the finals, securing one of the first and second places from the group, which includes only three teams, after the exclusion of Zimbabwe by the International Federation of the game “FIFA” due to the government’s interference in the affairs of the local federation.
Morocco leads the group with six points, five points ahead of South Africa and Liberia, who will meet next Tuesday in Morocco, which Liberia has taken as a home ground for not adopting its national stadium that does not conform to FIFA standards.
It has become impossible for both the South African and Liberian teams to collect six points together, as they are playing face to face in the fourth round, and each of them faces Morocco in the last two rounds. If they tied Tuesday and beat Morocco in the fifth and sixth rounds.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo regained its balance and achieved its first victory in the qualifiers when it defeated its guest, Mauritania, 3-1, on Friday, in Lubumbashi, at the end of the third round of the ninth group competitions.
Mauritania received an early painful blow by expelling its striker Idrissa Thiam in the 22nd minute, so the Democratic Republic of the Congo took advantage of the numerical shortage and settled the first half in its favor with two goals scored by French Nice midfielder Gael Kakota (37) and French Marseille striker Cedric Bakambo (42).
French Valenciennes striker Ali Abeid brought the Al Mourabitoun team back into the match by reducing the difference at the beginning of the second half (55), but Turkish Besiktas defender Artur Masuaku restored the difference to its former state and secured the first victory for his country after two consecutive losses, by scoring the third goal in the 67th minute.
The Congolese national team remained in last place with three points, on goal difference, behind Sudan, who lost 1-0 to Gabon on Thursday in the opening of the group competitions.
On the other hand, Mauritania suffered its first loss after a victory and a draw, so its score stuck at four points and failed to regain the lead from Gabon (7 points).
Mauritania has the opportunity to rehabilitate the Democratic Republic of the Congo when it hosts it next Tuesday in the fourth round, while Sudan hosts Gabon next Monday.
In Group F, Tanzania followed the example of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and achieved its first victory when it defeated its host Uganda 1-0, scored by Saudi Al-Qadisiyah striker Simon Msufa in the 68th minute.
Tanzania took advantage of Niger’s loss against Algeria, the leader with a full score, in three rounds (1-2) on Thursday, and took second place with 4 points, compared to two points for the latter.
Guinea-Bissau detonated a heavy-caliber surprise by defeating its host Nigeria 1-0 at the National Stadium in Abuja in Group A competitions.
Guinea-Bissau owes its victory to Troyes’ French striker Mama Balde, who scored the only goal in the 29th minute.
Nigeria’s star-studded offensive line, especially Napoli’s top scorer and Italian international Victor Osimhen, and Leicester City’s English striker Kelechi Iheanacho, were unable to dismantle Guinea-Bissau’s defensive bloc. The “Excellent Eagles” suffered the first loss after two consecutive victories, and its score froze at six points and fell to second place, one point behind Guinea. Bissau took the lead.
Ivory Coast regained the top spot in Group Eight from Zambia by defeating its guest, Comoros, 3-1, with three goals for Italian Fiorentina strikers Christian Kwame (29), Borussia Dortmund, German Sebastien Haller (61), and French Saint-Etienne, Jean-Philippe Crasso (89), against a goal by Ibrahim Youssef Juda (90). ).
Ivory Coast, which automatically qualifies as the host country for the continental wedding, raised its score to 7 points, one point ahead of Zambia, which beat Lesotho with the same result on Thursday, while Comoros stuck at three points in third place.
Cape Verde tied negatively with Eswatini in the second group, which includes Burkina Faso and Togo, who will meet later.
Egypt will also play Malawi, Guinea with Ethiopia in Group D, Mali with Gambia in the seventh, Senegal with Mozambique in the twelfth, Equatorial Guinea with Botswana, Tunisia with Libya in the tenth, and Cameroon with Namibia in the third.