Ziyech’s Morocco qualify for Africa Cup of Nations as Mane’s Senegal retain top spot

Hakim Ziyech Morocco 2019

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech helped Morocco qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon following their 0-0 draw with Mauritania on Friday.

The 28-year-old featured prominently in the encounter, playing for 88 minutes before he was replaced by Soufiane Rahimi.

The draw ensured the Atlas Lions took their points to 11 from five games which assured them of finishing either as the winner of Group E or runners-up.

Mauritania are second in the group with six points and are followed by Burundi with five while the Central African Republic are at the base of the table with four points.

Since missing out on the biennial tournament in 2015, the Atlas Lions reached the quarter-finals of the 2017 edition and were eliminated in the Round of 16 of the 2019 edition. 

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, meanwhile, was in action for Senegal as they played out a 0-0 draw against Congo in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game. 

The 28-year-old featured for the duration of the game but could not add to his tally for the Teranga Lions as the Leopards frustrated their efforts to try and break the deadlock.

Senegal have already qualified for the continental tournament and with the draw, they are now winners of the group after gathering 13 points from five games.

Aliou Cisse’s men finished as runners-up in the 2019 edition of the tournament in Egypt, losing the title to Algeria.

Ivory Coast also booked their place in the 2022 edition of the competition after securing a 3-0 victory over the Republic of Niger.

Goals from Serge Aurier, Max Gradel and Wilfried Kanon ensured the Elephants clinched victory in the encounter and progressed in Group K.

Patrice Beaumelle’s men have now accrued 10 points from five games and are guaranteed of finishing either as the winner of the group or runners-up.

Ethiopia have nine points from five matches, Madagascar seven while Niger are now eliminated following their defeat after gathering three points from the same number of matches.

In Group F, Cape Verde stunned Cameroon 3-1 to brighten their chances of qualifying for the biennial tournament.

Bubista’s side is now second behind the already qualified Indomitable Lions with seven points, Rwanda have five while Mozambique are at the bottom of the group with four points.