2013 Africa Cup of Nations 1st leg qualifying results: Cameroon shocked by Cape Verde, Tunisia draw in Freetown

The continent continues its journey towards the 2013 competition in South Africa with a double-header to decide the 16 teams that will be fighting for the title
Cape Verde 2-0 Cameroon

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon travelled to Cape Verde in the first leg of their 2013 Afcon qualification final round tie, and they began the match in enthusiastic fashion, but were surprised to find that their opponents were full of confidence.

It was the Islanders of Cape Verde who took the lead in the 16th minute through Jorge da Silva Ricardo. The home fans could not have expected such a fantastic start for their side, but their countrymen on the pitch pulled the wool over their more illustrious opponents.

Cameroon worked hard but could not produce something for their efforts, and at half time the score remained 1-0 to the home side. The second half in Praia saw more of the same attitude from Cape Verde, in they were rewarded for their efforts with a goal from Djaniny in the 61st minute.

This is how the scoreline remained, and a famous 2-0 victory for Cape Verde over Cameroon will make the Indomitable Lions very nervous about the second leg, and the possibility of missing out on another Afcon competition.
Sierra Leone 2-2 Tunisia

The Carthage Eagles made the trip to to face Sierra Leone with a ticket to the 2013 Afcon on the line.

The north Africans would have been feeling confident going into the tie, although they would have been aware that Freetown is always a difficult city to play in, as the home fans support their team with passion and motivate them.

It was the home side who took the lead, thanks to a goal from Sheriff Suma, and at half time the Leone Stars were in a strong position, winning 1-0 and playing with confidence.

Tunisia were quick to put things on level terms in the second half, however, as Gharbi Fateh scored to give his side a valuable away goal.

The match was far from over at this stage, and a goal from Hassan Camara gave the hosts the lead once more, before starlet Youssef Msakni was able to equalise for the Carthage Eagles, earning the north Africans a very impressive away result in Freetown.
Mali 3-0 Botswana

The Eagles of Mali and the Zebras of Botswana met in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash on Saturday in the first of two legs to determine the team that would progress to the final tournament in South Africa early next year.

It was a battle the home side needed to win, as a tough second leg awaited in Botswana. The Malians did not disappoint their supporters, and Cheick Diabate opened the scoring with a penalty kick to give his team-mates confidence in a positive result.

Botswana struggled to get comfortable in the game, and Mahamadou Ndiaye extended the lead for the Eagles. The Zebras were aiming to score an away goal on the break, but instead they conceeded a third strike from Modibo Maiga in the 70th minute.

The match ended 3-0 for Mali, setting up a difficult task for Botswana at home in the second leg, with Mali surely confident of making it to their opponents' neighbours early next year for the 2013 Afcon.
C.A.R 1-0 Burkina Faso

The Central African Republic came into their encounter with Burkina Faso galvanised by their terrific qualifying victory over former Afcon champions Egypt in the previous round, and they were determined to go one step further and qualify for the tournament.

C.A.R continued their impressive home form by scoring in the first half through Jane Mabide, providing them with a 1-0 scoreline at half time.

Burkina Faso were not able to come back into the match, and the score ended in favour of the Central Africans, who will make the journey to Burkina Faso with a useful 1-0 aggregate to lean on.
Zambia 1-0 Uganda

Zambia, the 2012 Afcon champions played host to Uganda on Saturday afternoon, and the east Africans were in for a tough time as the Chipolopolo made their intentions clear early on, attacking well and creating chances in the first half.

In the 20th minute captain Christopher Katongo was on hand to put the Afcon title holders in the lead, pleasing the local supporters who came out in their numbers to support their national team. The score remained 1-0 until the second half, when Zambia continued to apply pressure while looking for a second goal.

They almost found that two-goal cushion when Katongo hit the post, but it was not to be and Uganda maintained their composure in the match.

After 90 minutes, however, the game ended 1-0 in favour of the home side, meaning that Zambia will travel to Uganda in the second leg in October in search of a draw or better to secure their spot at the 2013 Afcon, where they will defend their title.
Gabon 1-1 Togo

Gabon welcomed a visit from Togo in the first of a two legged qualification battle that would see the winner join 15 other teams in South Africa between January 19 and February 10 next year.

The 2012 Afcon co-hosts were hoping to score an early goal against the visitors, to put them in a comfortable position in the match, but their efforts did not produce any goals, and the half time score was 0-0.

The second half did, however, come alive thanks to a couple of goals. The Panthers were the first to strike, with a Daniel Cousin goal putting them in the lead at home, but Togo would have the last laugh thanks to an equaliser from national hero Emmanuel Adebayor.

The match ended in a score draw, which will favour the away side, as Togo now return home for the second leg confident of being able to win the tie in front of their home support.