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The road to Brazil enters a critical stage for African teams

Africa World Cup 2014 qualifying wrap: Morocco join Burkina Faso, Gabon & Uganda as winners of the day

The road to Brazil enters a critical stage for African teams

FIFA

The fifth match day of the Africa 2014 World Cup qualifying second round phase continues on Saturday across the continent


Morocco 2-0 Gambia


Morocco defeated visiting Gambia 2-0 on Saturday at the Marrakech Stadium to move to second place in Group C with 8 points behind leaders Cote D’Ivoire (10pts) ahead of Sunday’s clash between the Elephants and Tanzania.

The Atlas Lions opened the scoring early in the 4th minute through Getafe’s midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada from a fine assist from Youssef El Arabi while Younes Belhanda claimed the hosts’ double in the 51st minute to bring to an end the Gambians’ run in the qualifying.

Cape Verde 1-0 Sierra Leone


Cape Verde humbled Sierra Leone 1-0 in Praia on Saturday to spoil the World Cup dreams of the Leone Stars and close to handing the group’s spot to current leaders Tunisia, who need only a draw against already eliminated Equatorial Guinea to qualify to the next round of the campaign.

Heldon Nhuck’s opened the scoring in the 12th minute which eventually remained the only goal of the meeting at the Estadio da Varzea in the Praia.

Gabon 4-1 Niger


Gabon bounced back into the campaign on Saturday with a whopping 4-1 win against visiting Niger in Franceville, with the Panthers star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting a hat trick all from the spot kick in the 43rd, 87th and 98thminutes while Bruno Ecuele Manga completed it to four for the home side.

However, the Mena were the first side to find the back net through USM Alger midfielder Ali Yacouba, raising fears of another poor outcome for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosts after they were held at home to a goalless draw last weekend by Congo. Niger are now out of the race while Gabon, with 7 points and third in Group E, vie with Congo and Burkina Faso for the group’s spot.

Congo 0-1 Burkina Faso


Burkina Faso snatched a crucial away win over Group E leaders Congo on Saturday at the Stade Municipal in Pointe-Noire to edge to second place with 9 points, leaving the group’s spot still up for grabs between the two sides and Gabon.

Aristide Bance’s 38th minute strike was enough to seal the Stallions’ win over the highly favoured Red Devils who were yet to lose a match this far in the campaign.

Uganda 2-1 Angola

Uganda defeated Angola 2-1 on Saturday in the 2014 World Cup qualifying fifth match day to topple Senegal from the top of Group J with 8 points ahead of the group’s second match between the Teranga Lions and Liberia later in the day.

The Palancas Negras, who have crashed out of the campaign, opened the scoring against their hosts in the 57th minute through Job, followed by the expulsion of midfielder Hassan Wasswa after a hard tackle on an Angolan striker by the hour mark.

The 10-man Cranes gradually fought their way back and seized domination in the final 20 minutes of the game, with Etoile du Sahel forward Emmanuel Okwi equalising in the 81st minute and Tony Mawejje sealing with a winner a minute to fulltime.

Zambia 1-1 Sudan

Zambia were held at home to a 1-1 draw by Sudan on Saturday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, missing the chance to comfort their lead on top of Group D as second-placed Ghana close in with 9 points and could retake pole position if they beat Lesotho on Sunday.

The Chipolopolo’s misfiring duo captain Chris Katongo and James Chamanga could have handed their side a safe lead on several occasions but bungled their efforts in front of goal.

Utrecht striker Jacob Mulenga broke the deadlock in the 70th minute to put the home side ahead but saw it cancelled out only two minutes later by Malik Mohammed, shattering hopes of a crucial home victory for the 2012 African champions.

Botswana 3-2 C.A.R

Both teams have been eliminated from the 2014 World Cup qualifying, however, Botswana were able to record their first win in five games against visiting Central African Republic, who found the hosts’ back net twice despite losing one man, Ali Calvin Tolmbaye, who was given his marching orders in the 37th minute.

Botswana goals came through Jerome Ramatlhakwane (38th), Mogakolodi Ngele (74th) and Ofentse Nato (86th), while Brice Nicaise Auzingoni scored a brace in the 30th and 52nd minutes for the visitors.

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