Monday , May 16 2022

Mauritania qualifies in another African Cup of surprises


Mauritania qualified for its first major football tournament on Sunday, when it beat Botswana to claim a place in the African Cup of Nations next year.

This is the second big surprise of qualifications after Madagascar stormed the African Cup for the first time last month.

Mauritania, a country in northwestern Africa that is almost completely covered by the desert in Sahara, came behind to beat Botswana with 2-1 with two goals behind Ismail Diakit.

This means a nation that waited 17 years after the first international game for its first win was finally played among the best teams of the continent next June and July.


Mauritania is one of the 13 countries that now qualify for the expanded 24-nation Cup hosted by Cameroon. Eight qualified this weekend, the last round of games, led by former champions Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Algeria.

Nigeria returned to the tournament – for the first time since winning the title in 2013 – after drawing 1-1 with South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday. The Nigerian state governor promised the team $ 25,000 for each goal in a crucial game, but one was sufficient, as Nigeria secured the need to guarantee one of the two qualifying positions in the group.

Côte d'Ivoire, an African champion in 2015, has secured its place despite the pre-qualification campaign when it led Sunday to 1-1 in Guinea. The result was qualified by both teams. Morocco was confirmed after Malawi surprisingly lost 2-1 in the Comoros. This eliminated the malavans and caused their head of the federation, Valter Niamiland, the newly elected member of the FIFA Council, to complain about the composition of the chamber of the Chamber. These are almost entirely players born overseas, and the goals of the Chamber against Malawi were scored by players from France El Fardou Ben Nabouhane and Nasser Chamed.

Niamiland claims on Twitter that the Comoros "are buying citizenship to make a national team" and called it "immoral". However, there were no signs of an official protest by Malawi.

Algeria passes after a 4-1 victory in Togo, with two goals from Riyadh Mahre of Manchester City. Other teams to qualify this weekend were Mali and Uganda.


Libya that has been wrecked by wars, which has twice in the past five years had to recover from organizing the African Cup for its civil war, still has the opportunity to qualify. Libya collapsed Seychelles 8-1 and faced South Africa in a decisive game in the last round of qualifications in March to see who is joining Nigeria in the African Cup of that group. Although it is a "domestic" game for Libya, North Africans have not played on the home court for five years due to conflicts, instead of maintaining their homes in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. Libya needs victory, while in South Africa it is necessary to draw.


More debutants can join Madagascar and Mauritania next year, the first time the African Cup has expanded to 24 teams from their usual 16. Burundi need to reach the final in their last match against Gabon Pierre-Emerick Aubameiang. Lesotho, a small country surrounded by the South African Republic, is also in conflict.


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