Cameroon take major step toward World Cup

2009-10-12 00:00

HAMBURG — The Ivory Coast on Saturday became the 12th country to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals after playing to a 1-1 draw in Malawi, while Cameroon moved a step closer after beating Togo 3-0.

Ivory Coast’s win sees the Elephants top Group E with 13 points from Burkina Faso, who have six, but only two matches to play.

Jacob Ngwira gave the visitors the lead in the 64th minute, prompting Ivorian coach Vahid Halilhodzic to bring on Chelsea’s Didier Drogba, and the striker took just two minutes to make his presence felt with an equaliser that guaranteed his side a place at next year’s finals.

Ivory Coast face Guinea in their final game in November, but can no longer be overtaken by any of the other teams in the group.

The only other African teams to have made sure of a place at the finals are hosts South Africa and Ghana, who were already assured of winning Group D ahead of their penultimate game, a 1-0 defeat to Benin yesterday.

Of last night’s results, the most interest will have been in Group B, where Nigeria kept alive their very slim chances of qualifying with a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Abuja.

The Super Eagles are on nine points, two behind Tunisia who maintained their lead of the group with a 1-0 home win over Kenya. Nigeria play Kenya away in their final game on November 14, while Tunisia travel to Mozambique.

In Group A, Cameroon took a major step towards qualifying after beating Togo 3-0 on Saturday to move to 10 points at the top of the group, with one game to play.

Newcastle midfielder Geremi gave the Indomitable Lions the lead in the 32nd minute, before Jean Makoun and Achille Emana added two more soon after the break.

Gabon, who managed a 3-1 victory at home against Morocco, are second with nine points.

Moroccan midfielder Hicham Mahdoufi opened the scoring for Gabon with an own goal a minute before the break. Substitute Eric Mouloungui gave the West Africans a two-goal cushion in the 71st minute and Daniel Cousin added a third just five minutes later.

Adel Taarabt scored a late consolation goal for Morocco in injury time.

Cameroon, though, face a tough away fixture against Morocco in their final game on November 14, while Gabon travel to Togo.

In another match on Saturday, Hosny Abd Rabou scored in the second half to keep alive Egypt’s hopes of qualifying for the finals with a 1-0 victory over Zambia.

The win takes the Pharaohs to 10 points in Group C, equal on points with North African rivals Algeria.

African 2010 World Cup qualifying results

Saturday: Cameroon 3 Togo 0, Gabon 3 Morocco 1, Malawi 1 Côte d’Ivoire 1, Zambia 0 Egypt 1

Yesterday: Tunisia 1 Kenya 0, Nigeria 1 Mozambique 0, Benin 1 Ghana 0


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