Minnows cause SWC qualifying surprise

Juventus earn a point
Juventus earn a point

Cape Town - The tiny island nation of the Comoros and conflict-riven Chad both unexpectedly advanced to the second round of Africa's World Cup preliminaries with away goal triumphs in qualifying matches on Tuesday.

They were joined by Botswana, Burundi, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, Niger and Mauritania while Djibouti failed to arrive for their tie in Swaziland.

Comoros booked a second round knockout tie against Ghana next month after they held Lesotho to a 1-1 draw in Maseru, netting a vital away goal after a 0-0 draw in last week's first leg.

French-born Mohamed Mchangama scored 20 minutes from time for the Indian Ocean island nation.

Chad, where civil conflict has held back the game's development, qualified despite losing 2-1 to Sierra Leone in the second leg of their preliminary round tie.

The match was played in Port Harcourt, Nigeria because there is a ban on international football in the Ebola-affected Sierra Leone.

Chad had won last week's first leg 1-0 and doubled the aggregate score when Leger Djimrangar netted just before half-time.

Sierra Leone left it late with two goals but needed a third to advance.

Mauritania and Niger both won 4-0 at home to dispatch South Sudan and Somalia respectively while William Jebor scored a hat-trick as Liberia won 3-1 away in Guinea Bissau for a 4-2 aggregate triumph.

Swaziland, who were 6-0 winners away in Djibouti last week, were left twiddling their thumbs after Djibouti were stranded in Nairobi with visa problems.

"We are going to discuss the way forward concerning the match but it is likely to be played within the next 48 hours," said Frederick Mngomezulu, the chief executive of the Swaziland football association.

If Djibouti do not arrive by Wednesday, however, Swaziland will get a walkover to confirm their second round meeting with giants Nigeria, officials added.

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