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Africa Cup of International locations qualifying: Five talking points

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Africa Cup of International locations qualifying: Five talking points

After 539 days, 150 matches and 331 goals, the 2021 Africa Cup of International locations (AFCON) qualifying has been done, bar one match.

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Sierra Leone and Benin did not play in Freetown on Tuesday in consequence of the guests challenged Covid-19 check outcomes that may possibly perhaps well well accept as true with dominated out 5 of their squad.

The fixture has been rescheduled for the Could perhaps 31-June 15 international window with Sierra Leone trailing Benin by three points in Team L and desiring a victory to overtake them and qualify. 

Below, a gape at 5 talkings points ahead of the 24-crew finals in Cameroon subsequent January with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah space to be large identify attractions. 

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Nearly ideal

Used champions Tunisia performed ideal of the 48 groups who began the crew phase, accumulating 16 points of a conceivable 18 and a success Team J at a canter.

The Carthage Eagles were significantly spectacular in opposition to north African neighbours Libya, a success 4-1 at dwelling and 5-2 away.

Seifeddine Jaziri, Saifeddine Khaoui and Wahbi Khazri posed the greatest attacking threats, scoring three goals every for a crew coached by native Mondher Kebaier. 

Dynamic Daka

Younger Zambia forward Patson Daka confirmed his popularity as a rising large identify of African soccer by scoring 5 goals in the qualifying advertising and marketing campaign, four of which came in the last two rounds.

He changed into as soon as a key figure in the crew that won the 2017 Africa U20 Cup of International locations and shortly after moved to Austrian membership Pink Bull Salzburg, that contains in most cases in the UEFA Champions League. 

His performances atoned for one other disastrous advertising and marketing campaign by Zambia, who came third in the abet of Algeria and Zimbabwe in Team H, and may possibly perhaps well well also aloof tear away out the finals for the third consecutive time.

Awesome Algeria

Cup of International locations holders Algeria stretched an unbeaten flee in competitive and pleasant matches to 24 by hammering Botswana 5-0 in the last spherical.

It began in November 2019 with a 4-1 Cup of International locations qualifying victory in Togo, and the Desert Foxes accept as true with since won 17 matches and drawn seven, scoring 51 goals and conceding 16.  

Algeria must preserve unbeaten for three more matches to higher the yarn of the Ivory Mosey, who went 26 matches without losing between 2011 and 2013.

Novel faces

The Comoros and the Gambia certified for the first time, rising to 44 the amount of countries who accept as true with certified for the premier African nationwide crew competition.

They’ll hope to not less than match Madagascar, who marked their maiden appearance in 2019 by defeating Nigeria en route to the quarter-finals.

The countries who accept as true with in no diagram certified are the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Lesotho, Sao Tome e Principe, the Seychelles, Somalia and South Sudan.

Uganda crumple

Whereas the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa were the most lifelike doubtless profile casualties, the failure of Uganda to obtain a third straight appearance changed into as soon as the most spectacular.

The Cranes garnered seven points from a conceivable nine by the midway stage in Team B and looked certainties to enact amongst the head two.

A shock defeat by South Sudan and a draw with Burkina Faso left them desiring a level in Malawi to fight by diagram of, nonetheless they misplaced 1-0 and outmoded goalkeeper Denis Onyango wept on the last whistle.

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Africa Cup of International locations qualifying: Five talking points