African Cup Of Nations Qualifiers: Last Round Overview
The African Cup of Nations is one of the most-expected competitions in the African continent. Throughout this article, we’ll cover the situation of some nations in Group H and D.
The games we’ll give you a general overview are the following:
- Algeria 2-2 Zimbabwe
- Botswana 1-0 Zambia
- Gambia 2-1 Gabon
Also, before getting to the games, we’d like to reinforce the importance of our author, Kate Richardson, who dug deep into this amazing competition to write this piece of content. You can check her out here!
Algeria 2-2 Zimbabwe (Group H)
Algeria, who are the current Champions of the competition, were able to get a lead of two goals against Zimbabwe. However, the visitors were able to score too and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Despite the final result, Algeria confirmed their qualification to the final phase of the African Cup of Nation, which will happen in 2022 in Cameroon.
It was expected that Algeria would win their fourth match in the competition, specially after two goals in 4 minutes before the half-time, but that was not what happened.
Opening the scoring, at the 34th minute, Reda Halaimia received a long cross and assisted Andy Delort, who headed the ball into the back of the net.
Just 4 minutes later, at the 38th minute, Manchester City’s star Riyad Mahrez showed all his skills and intelligence on an individual play before putting the ball into the back of the net.
Zimbabwe were able to score their first goal still in the first half, with striker Knowledge Musona on a free-kick, beating goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi.
In the second half, the visitors started creating more chances and were awarded with an equalizer near the end of the match, at the 82nd minute, with a strong shot from Prince Dube. No chances to Algerian goalkeeper.
A great match and performance from Zimbabwe, who were able to get one point against the leaders of the group.
Botswana 1-0 Zambia (Group H)
For Group H, the match between Botswana and Zambia ended in a surprising 1-0 victory to the hosts.
The first and only goal of the match happened at the 6th minute and scored by Mosha Gaolaolwe, a player from Gilport Lions F.C., a club from the second division of the South African league.
This helped Botswana to reach the third place in Group H, being now with 4 points, just one behind the second place Zimbabwe. Zambia, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the table with the same three points. At the top of Group H, with 10 points and already qualified, there is Algeria.
Gambia 2-1 Gabon (Group D)
In a match that had a lot of controversy, and even the opening of an investigation, Gambia beat Gabong by 2-1 in Group D.
The first big problem came before the match even started, when the players and confederation from Gabon couldn’t leave the airport and had to sleep on the floor. Gabonese captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang even took some pictures of the situation and complained about it on social media.
The second problem came with the match, that started 20 minutes later than what was expected and there was no official explanation for that.
The first half showed a boring match that ended in a draw without goals. However, the second half had three goals.
The first one came at the 49th minute, after a terrible mistake from Gabon’s goalkeeper, Anthony Mfa Mezul. He received a pass and tried to clear the ball, but ended up missing it, allowing Modou Barrow to take the ball and put it into the back of an empty net.
20 minutes later, it was time for Musa Barrow to score his goal of the night and the second one from Gambia.
Before the end of the match, Gabon was able to score at least a consolation goal thanks to Bruno Ecuele’s strong header.
After the match, however, the African Confederation confirmed that they will start investigations on all the situations that happened before the match with the Gabonese Confederation.
Anyway, with the result, Gambia are currently in the first place of the group, with the same 7 points as Gabon. The only thing that helps Gambia remain on top is the goal difference, as they have two more than their opponents.
The African Cup of Nations is in 2021, and we’ll surely have some great games. Nations such as Senegal are attracting eyes from the world due to world-class talents such as Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy.
There’s also Egypt with Mo Salah, Algeria with Riyad Mahrez, Gabon with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and so on.
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