Mali and Morocco qualify for the AFCON 2019 tournament. The Atlas Lions qualify with a game to spare after Comoros’ shock 2-1 home win against Malawi.
Morocco qualified for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations without kicking a ball on Saturday while Mali won 1-0 in Gabon to progress.
Morocco beat Cameroon 2-0 on Friday in Group B, while Mali made it through from Group C. The Eagles’ narrow win means they are guaranteed to finish in the top two.
Gabon, meanwhile, must win in Burundi to have any chance of making the finals but a home win will take the East Africans to their first Nations Cup.
Mali boast 11 points from Group C, while Burundi – who beat South Sudan 5-2 on Friday – have nine, two more than Gabon while the South Sudanese have yet to win a point.
In Casablanca on Friday, Hakim Ziyech scored twice to condemn the African champions to their first defeat under Clarence Seedorf. Mali and Morocco join Egypt, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda in next year’s finals. “Congratulations to players and staff for this brilliant qualification,” tweeted Morocco coach Herve Renard on Saturday.
The North Africans finally beat Cameroon at the twelfth time of asking, having lost seven and drawn four of their previous encounters, which date back to 1981. The final round of Group B games take place in March, with the Indomitable Lions assured their place as Nations Cup hosts.
The Cameroonians are participating in the qualifiers to ensure competitive match practice and they sit second in the group with 8 points, two fewer than Morocco, while Comoros rise to five points, one more than Malawi.
The win is only the third for Comoros in Nations Cup qualifying history, following on from victory over Mauritius in the 2019 preliminary phase as well as a 1-0 win over Botswana in 2017 qualifying.
Senegal, meanwhile, won 1-0 in Equatorial Guinea on Saturday courtesy of an own goal from Luis Meseguer to extend their lead in Group A. The Senegalese now have 13 points, three more than second-placed Madagascar who host a Sudan side looking for their first points in Antananarivo on Sunday.