Nigeria’s Super Eagles put up a brave fight in Alexandria, Egypt but still had their Nations Cup dreams dashed courtesy of a lone goal scored by the Pharaohs.
Following a 1-1 draw against the same foes last Friday in Kaduna, the Eagles needed an outright win to ensure they stayed on course for Gabon 2017 especially in the wake of the shock withdrawal of Chad last week which meant that all results against the landlocked West African nation were cancelled.
This meant the Eagles slipped down from four to two points while the Pharaohs moved to four after their draw in Kaduna. The loss in Egypt meant Nigeria can no longer catch the Pharaohs who now have seven points with a single match left to play for both sides against Tanzania.
However, despite their impressive showing the closest Nigeria came to scoring was a second half Victor Moses shot which cannoned off the post and out of play after beating the Egyptian goalkeeper hands down.
Stand in coach, Samson Siasia can, however, leave Alexandria with his head held high considering the performance put up by his wards especially in their last minute quest to get something out of the match.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia held Algeria 3-3 to prevent the Desert Foxes booking their place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Algeria would have qualified for the tournament had they beaten Ethiopia, who they had thrashed 7-1 in Blida in their first group meeting on Friday.
This time Ethiopia took the lead three times but a late penalty by Faouzi Ghoulam secured a point for Algeria.
Algeria are top of Group J with 10 points, five points clear of Ethiopia with two matches left to play.
The 13 group winners are guaranteed a place at the finals in Gabon, with the two best-placed runners-up also going through. Gabon qualify automatically as hosts.
Getaneh Kebede scored either side of Islam Slimani’s equaliser to put Ethiopia 2-1 up on Tuesday.
Aissa Mandi levelled again and Dawit Fikadu restored Ethiopia’s advantage only for Ghoulam to slot home from the spot with five minutes remaining.
In the other match in the group Lesotho were surprise victors over Seychelles.
Tumelo Khutlang struck the winning goal for the hosts, avenging the 2-0 away defeat Lesotho suffered in Seychelles four days ago and giving Lesotho their first points of the group stage.
The results mean Algeria will qualify for the finals if they avoid defeat against Seychelles in June.
Senegal also had a chance of booking their place in Gabon following their 2-1 win in Niger – but they needed a draw between Burundi and Namibia, reports the BBC.
Instead, Burundi secured a 3-1 away to sustain the competition in Group K.
However, leaders Senegal need only to avoid defeat against Burundi in June to ensure their qualification.
Guinea came back from a goal down to win 2-1 in Malawi in Group L.
Idrissa Sylla’s 60th-minute winner lifts Guinea from bottom spot to second place in the table, above Swaziland on goal difference and three points behind group leaders Zimbabwe with two games remaining.
In Group B DR Congo regained top spot with a 2-0 win over Angola.
Joel Kimuaki Mpela and Jonathan Bolingi scored the goals for DR Congo who now have nine points, two more than Central African Republic.
Rwanda thumped Mauritius 5-0 with Ernest Sugira scoring a rapid-fire brace in their Group H tie in Kigali.
It gave Northern Irishman Johnny McKinstry’s side sweet revenge for their 1-0 defeat in Mauritius three days ago. Rwanda move up to second in the table on six points, four points behind Ghana.
Liberia also romped to a 5-0 win, which included a hat-trick by William Jebor, as they made short work of pointless Djibouti in Group A. The win lifted Liberia to nine points and top spot in the group, two points clear of Togo and Tunisia who drew 0-0.
Group D has tightened up after a 0-0 daw between Uganda and Burkina Faso, who had Charles Kabore sent off.
Uganda and Burkina Faso have seven points and Botswana, who beat Comoros on Sunday, have six points with only two rounds of games remaining.
There were no goals between The Gambia and Mauritania in Group M. It means Mauritania have drawn level on seven points with leaders Cameroon, but the Indomitable Lions can pull clear if they avoid defeat in South Africa.
Source: New Telegraph
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