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AFCON qualifiers:Nigeria, Ivory Coast,Zambia suffer shocklosses

By | On June 11, 2017 (1 month ago)


Former African champions Nigeria, Ivory Coast

and Zambia all lost at home Saturday on a day of

upsets in the first qualifying round for the 2019

Cup of Nations.

Three–time champions Nigeria lost a competitive

game against South Africa for the first time when

they fell 2-0 in the southern Nigerian town of Uyo

in Group E.

While in Group H the Ivory Coast, who had vowed

to win in memory of former team-mate Cheick

Tiote, who collapsed and died in China this week,

slumped 3-2 to fellow west Africans Guinea in

Bouake.

Zambia, champions in 2012, fell 1-0 at home to a

daring Mozambican side in Group K.

New South Africa coach Stuart Baxter labelled his

team the underdogs going by their poor head-to-

head record against Nigeria.

But goals by Tokelo Rantie and substitute Percy

Tau in the second half sunk the home team and

the visitors were unlucky not to have scored more

goals in the Group E clash.

“My young team tried their best, there was a

mistake for the first goal and the second goal was

a gift,” admitted Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.

Libya top Group E after a 5-1 spanking of

Seychelles on Friday in Cairo, Egypt.

In Bouake, the Elephants of Ivory Coast went

down to Guinea despite a brace by Seydou

Doumbia.

Germany-based striker Naby Keita fired the

winner for Guinea in the 79th minute.

Zambia also got off to a losing start on the road

to Cameroon 2019 when they lost for the first

time to Mozambique at home.

Stanley Ratifo grabbed the last-gasp match

winner when he stabbed home a low cross.

Before then, Chipolopolo goalkeeper and captain

Kennedy Mweene had to pull off a point-blank

save to deny the visitors.

Guinea-Bissau, shock qualifiers for the 2017 Cup

of Nations, edged past Namibia thanks to a

Jerson goal on 24 minutes in the other Group K

fixture.

Cameroon and Malawi both won in Group B.

Reigning champions Cameroon pipped Morocco

1-0 in Yaounde while Malawi beat the Comoros by

the same scoreline in Blantyre.

In Group I, the Zebras of Botswana lost 1-0 to

Mauritania in front of their fans in Francistown

after they failed to put away many chances.

This gutsy contest was decided on 78 minutes

when substitute Abdoulaye Soudani controlled a

long ball before firing past the Botswana

goalkeeper.

Hosts Burkina Faso won the other Group I tie

against Angola 3-1 with big striker Aristide Bance

bagging a brace.

Burundi beat South Sudan 3-0 in Group C with

Mali fought back from a goal down to beat Gabon

2-1 in Bamako in the other group game.

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