Bafana a win away from Afcon qualification

2011-06-06 07:14

Bafana Bafana are just one win away from qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations after they held seven-time title holders Egypt to a 0-0 draw in Cairo last night.

The tense qualifier produced few clear-cut scoring chances for teams ranked third and fourth respectively on the continent.

Defending champions Egypt are now on the brink of elimination while Ivory Coast secured a place at the finals yesterday with two games to spare.

Although South Africa spent more time defending than attacking at a subdued Military Academy Stadium, they created the best chances but Katlego Mphela and Tlou Segolela failed to score when one-on-one with goalkeeper Essam al-Hadary.

Veteran Al-Hadary became so frustrated with the failure of his teammates to translate plentiful possession into goals that he ventured up the field with the ball late in the second half.

However, he was dispossessed and relieved to see a long range lob from rival captain Siphiwe Tshabalala – standing in for injured midfielder Steven Pienaar – finish well off target.

Defender Ahmed al-Mohamady came close twice for Egypt in the opening half, heading a cross over from point-blank range and having a shot from well inside the penalty area held at the second attempt by impressive Itumeleng Khune.

South Africa lead Group G with eight points followed by Niger (six), Sierra Leone (five) and Egypt (two) with two rounds to be played in September and October.

Ivory Coast triumphed 6-2 in Benin with Didier Drogba and Gervais ’Gervinho’ Kouassi bagging a brace each to take an unassailable eight-point lead in their section.

There was plenty for home supporters to celebrate in other games with Guinea and Tunisia winning decisively and Angola, Central African Republic and Liberia narrowly while Comoros Islands held Libya.

Ivory Coast could hardly have dreamt they would score six goals in Cotonou having won only 2-1 when the countries met in Accra three months ago, but a great start saw them gallop into a three-goal led with 31 minutes gone.

Stephane Sessegnon struck twice to leave the game to offer Benin hope only for Drogba and Gervinho to score a second goal each before Wilfried Bony completed the rout four minutes from full-time.

Issam Jemaa scored a hat-trick as Tunisia thumped 10-man Chad 5-0 in Group K and the other goals in Sousse came from Aymen Abdennour and Oussama Darragi against opponents who had Didier Mbayi sent off just before half-time.

Tunisia shade Malawi on goal difference in the battle for second place behind pool winners Botswana in the only mini-league where two teams qualify automatically because there are five competitors.

Guinea trounced Madagascar 4-1 in Conakry to go three points clear of Nigeria in Group B while Angola kept alive their slender Group J hopes with a 1-0 victory over Kenya in Luanda thanks to a ’Manucho’ goal.

Liberia edged Group A leaders Cape Verde Islands 1-0 for their first win of the competition and the Central African Republic joined Morocco at the summit of Group D with a 2-1 win against Tanzania in Bangui.

Comoros Islands, the youngest member of the African football family, ended a long run of competitive losses by holding Libya 1-1 in Mitsamiouli which left the North Africans a point behind Group C table toppers Zambia.

The 11 group winners qualify for the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next January and February plus the Group K runners-up and the best two second place finishers from the other 10 mini-leagues.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.