Ghana qualify for 2010 World Cup
Ghana have qualified for the World Cup with two games to spare
Ghana are the first African country to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals after a 2-0 win over Sudan in Accra.
Tunisia remain the top team in Group B as Nigeria fail to overcome the North Africans in Abuja.
Egypt and Cameroon both won away from home to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Cameroon scored two quick goals to beat Gabon 2-0, in what was their first home defeat of the 2010 qualifiers.
African champions, Egypt scored in the second half to edge past Rwanda 1-0 in Kigali.
Ivory Coast moved to within one point of reaching their second successive World Cup with a crushing 5-0 win over visitors Burkina Faso.
The victory does make the Elephants the first side to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.
Malawi earned their first points of the final stage of 2010 qualifying with a 2-1 win over visitors Guinea, but both sides hopes of reaching the World Cup are over.
The five group winners will qualify for the World Cup in South Africa while the top three in each group advance to the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.
Below is a full round-up of Saturday’s results and a look ahead to Sunday’s matches.
Cameroon’s new captain Samuel Eto’o scored against Gabon
Cameroon scored two goals in two minutes to secure a 2-0 win over Gabon in Libreville.
Achille Emana, who plays for Spanish second division side Real Betis, scored the opening goal after 66 minutes.
Samuel Eto’o, who is the new Indomitable Lions captain, made sure of the win moments later.
The goals were Cameroon’s first in the final stage of qualifying and takes them to four points from three games, two behind Gabon.
The two sides meet again on 9 September in Yaounde.
The game went ahead in Libreville despite a backdrop of post-election violence in some parts of Gabon.
Ali Bongo, winner of the presidential election that triggered the civil unrest, was among the 20,000 crowd in a national stadium named after his late father and former ruler Omar Bongo.
The match was due to have been played in June but was postponed because of the funeral of Omar Bongo.
Moustapha Salifou struck early in the first half to give Togo a 1-0 lead over Morocco in Lome.
Togo looked set to claim all three points and go top of Group A, Adel Taarabt scored in injury time to earn a 1-1 draw for the Atlas Lions.
The Hawks are second in Group A with five points, while Morocco remain bottom with three.
Nigeria suffered a huge blow in their bid to take over the top position in Group B after a 2-2 stalemate against Tunisia in Abuja.
Nigerian fans were left disappointed after their side failed to beat Tunisia
Peter Odemwingie opened the scoring for the Supereagles halfway through the first half, but Nabil Taider struck one at the other end for the North Africans almost immediately afterwards.
With ten minutes to go, it seemed victory was within the hosts’ grasp when Michael Eneramo scored.
It was the most cruel of finishes for Nigeria as Oussama Darragi put the ball in the back of the net with a mere minute to go.
The result leaves Nigeria second in Group B with seven points.
Tunisia remain top with two points more.
Mozambique edged out Kenya 1-0 in Maputo on Sunday to keep alive the Mambas slim hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.
Tico-Tico scored the only goal of the game in the 67th minute and that win sees Mozambique leapfrog over Kenya into third place in the group.
But Mozambique have a tough game next up in October when they travel to play Nigeria.
Reigning African champions Egypt got their qualifying campaign back on track with a 1-0 win in Rwanda.
Al Ahly midfielder Ahmed Hassan, who had come on as a substitute, hammered an Ahmed Fathi pass into the net on 68 minutes before a near-capacity crowd at the 35,000-seat Amahoro Stadium in the Rwandan capital.
The win gives Egypt seven points from four matches.
Algeria remain three points clear of Egypt at the top of Group C after beating Zambia 1-0 in Blida in the final game of the weekend on Sunday evening.
Rafik Saifi scored the only goal of the game in the second half.
Ghana have qualified for their second successive World Cup after a 2-0 victory over Sudan in Accra.
The Black Stars reached the 2006 tournament in Germany under Ratomir Dujkovic and another Serb coach, Milovan Rajevac has repeated the feat.
Ghana’s Michael Essien scored the winning goal against Sudan
Ghana knew World Cup qualification was in their hands when Benin scored an equaliser against Mali just a few minutes before the kick-off in Accra.
Sulley Muntari’s strike early in the first half put the hosts in the driving seat.
Michael Essien made sure of the three points and World Cup qualification when he scored just a few minutes after half-time.
Ghana remain unbeaten in Group D.
They are top with 12 points, while Sudan are bottom with just one point.
Mali looked to have spoilt Ghana’s World Cup celebration party when Mamadou Samassa scored on his debut in the 72nd minute.
Samassa is a former French youth international who was only cleared to play for Mali three days ago.
Benin‘s Mohammed Aoudou destroyed Mali’s hopes of an away victory when he fired home an equaliser just three minutes from time to earn the hosts a 1-1 draw.
So Mali remains in second place in Group D with five points, while Benin is third with four.
The Ivory Coast’s 5-0 win over Burkina Faso in Abidjan means the Elephants are just one point away from qualifying for their second successive World Cup.
Didier Drogba scored twice for Ivory Coast as they beat Burkina Faso 5-0
The comprehensive win does mean that the Ivory Coast have qualified for the Nations Cup in Angola next year.
The first goal was an own goal from the Portugal-based Saidou Panandetiguiri after just 12 minutes.
Captain Didier Drogba scored twice in the second half with Barcelona’s Yaya Toure and Turkey-based Abdel Kader Keita also finding the target to secure the emphatic win.
Malawi came from behind to beat visitors Guinea 2-1 to grab their first points of the final qualifying stage.
Oumar Kalabane scored for the Syli Nationale in the 37th minute after Malawi failed to deal with a corner.
Malawi coach Kinnah Phirri then made what proved to be an inspired substitution at half time bringing on Chiukepo Msowoya to replace David Banda.
With virtually his first touch of the ball Msowoya equalised for the Flames just two minutes into the second half as his low, hard shot beat Kemoko Camara in the Guinea goal.
Msowoya, who plays his club football in Mozambique, then headed home the winner from an in-swinging corner from Joseph Kamwendo in the 58th minute.
Malawi captain Peter Mponda was happy with the win.
“This is an exciting win as it shows we are still in contention for Angola,” he said.
The results mean that neither Malawi nor Guinea can qualify for the World Cup but both are still battling for a place at the Nations Cup.
The Ivory Coast need just a single point from their last two games to earn a spot at the World Cup.
Burkina Faso’s only hope is for them to win their last two qualifiers and for the Ivory Coast to lose their last two, even then the Stallions need big wins in order to overhaul the Elephants huge goal difference of plus 12.