At the end of Matchday 5 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, four countries booked their places on Sunday. They are Nigeria, Cape Verde, Mali and Guinea-Bissau. They join Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea and Egypt.

20th appearance for Nigeria

Nigeria have confirmed their ticket for the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. The Super Eagles came from behind to beat Sierra Leone in Group A. In this match, the Nigerians took an early lead thanks in particular to Victor Osimhen (19th). The Napoli striker even scored twice 11 minutes later (32nd).

Despite the 2-0 scoreline, the Leones Stars did not give up. They even came back to equalise with the Nigerians. Bundu reduced the deficit (41st) before Kargbo equalised on 84 minutes. Just as Sierra Leone were holding out for a draw, Iheanacho dashed the hosts’ hopes. He scored the winner in stoppage time (90+5) to send his country through to their 20th Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles top Group A with 12 points ahead of Guinea-Bissau (10 pts). The Djuturs have also qualified for the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Cape Verde on top against Burkina
Another side to qualify for the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations is Cape Verde. The impressive Blue Sharks made light work of Burkina Faso in Pool B. Bebé gave his side the lead in the 7th minute. However, the Stallions equalised at the end of the first half through Dayo (45+3). Both teams returned to the dressing room with the score level.

After the break, the Cape Verdeans, determined to win the match, mounted a series of attacks. It wasn’t long before they added to their tally. Joao Paulo scored his side’s second in the 67th minute. Tavares Andrade made it 2-0 late on (90+5). Despite this big win, Cape Verde (10 pts) are second in Group B, behind Burkina Faso (10 pts). The two teams will contest the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Togo’s 2-0 defeat of Eswatini means they will not be going to Côte d’Ivoire. The same goes for their opponents of the day.

Congo sink at home
Congo no longer have their fate in their own hands. The Diables Rouges will play for qualification for the 2023 African Cup of Nations on the final matchday. They lost 2-0 at home to Mali. Ibrahima Koné and Dorgeles scored for the Eagles. The Eagles top Group G with 12 points and are guaranteed a place at the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Gambia are second with 9 points, ahead of Congo (7 pts). The Congolese have their backs against the wall.

DRC hold off Gabon

The DRC are still in the running to qualify for CAN 2023. The Leopards recorded a fine victory over Gabon (2-0) on Sunday. Tshibola and Fiston Mayele were the Congolese heroes. The former scored the goal of hope in the 34th minute, while Mayele made the breakthrough at the end of the game (83rd). The win on Gabonese soil propels the Congolese to the top of Group I, level on points with the second-placed Panthers. Sudan (6 pts) and Mauritania (5 pts) meet on Tuesday 20 June. But everything remains open in this group. The qualifiers will be known at the end of the final matchday.

Ghana not yet qualified

Ghana had the chance to confirm their ticket for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday. To do so, they had to beat Madagascar in their match on Matchday 5 of the qualifiers. But the Ghanaians shared the points (0-0) with the Madagascans, who had already been eliminated.

With 9 points on the board, Ghana may lead Group E but they are not yet through. The Black Star, who host the Central African Republic (7 pts) on the final day in September, could be overtaken by the Fauves, as well as Angola (8 pts), who take on Madagascar (2 pts).

Algeria still unbeaten, Tanzania back on track
Algeria have yet to suffer a single defeat in the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Against Uganda on Sunday 18 June, the Greens picked up their 5th victory. They beat the Cranes 2-1, thanks in particular to a brace from Mohamed Amoura (42nd, 66th). Fahad Bayo reduced the deficit late on (88th).

With 15 points, Algeria are well clear at the top of Group F ahead of Tanzania (7 pts). The Tanzanians won decisively against Niger (1-0). Msuva scored the only goal of the game. A draw on the final day would be enough to keep the Tanzanians happy. They could return to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations for the third time in their history. Their last appearance was in Egypt in 2019.

Source: SNA

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