Johannesburg - Burkina Faso booked a place at the
2012 Africa Cup of Nations Saturday without kicking a ball while
defending champions Egypt will be shock absentees from the tournament
after losing in Sierra Leone.
Namibia upset visiting Gambia 1-0 to
give the Burkinabe an unassailable six-point Group F advantage while
Egypt remained bottom of Group G after a late penalty condemned them to a
After collecting just two points from four previous
qualifiers, Egypt believed they had no chance of reaching a tournament
they won three consecutive times since 2006 and sent Olympic and youth
team stars to west Africa.
Libya reflected the political changes
in the country by wearing a new strip and singing a new national anthem
before defeating Mozambique 1-0 in neutral Cairo to replace Zambia as
Group C leaders.
Former champions Tunisia took a giant stride
toward joining Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Botswana and co-hosts Gabon
and Equatorial Guinea at the 2012 finals by forcing a 0-0 draw at
closest Group K rivals Malawi.
Cameroon, another African football
power in danger of missing the Cup of Nations, trounced Mauritius 5-0 in
Group E to keep alive slim hopes of making the 16-team Cup of Nations
next January and February.
The absence of star striker Didier
Drogba, who suffered concussion playing for Chelsea last weekend, did
not prevent Ivory Coast raising their Group H goal haul to 17 from five
games with a 5-0 Kigali drubbing of Rwanda.
Dennis Oliech struck
in stoppage time to snatch a 2-1 home win for Kenya over Guinea Bissau
in Group J while Algeria came from behind under new Bosnian coach Vahid
Halilhodzic to force a 1-1 Group D draw in Tanzania.
Africa-based midfielder Tangeni Shipahu became the unlikely toast of
Burkina Faso by scoring the 83rd-minute winner that gave the home team a
rare competitive victory after three consecutive pool losses.
Suma put Sierra Leone into an early lead, Mohsen Marwan levelled on the
stroke of half-time and it looked like the 'Baby Pharaohs' would escape
with a point until Mohamed Bangura converted an 89th-minute spot kick.
lifted Sierra Leone to eight points and a share of first place with
South Africa, who face Niger in sauna-like Niamey Sunday without injured
captain and midfielder Steven Pienaar.
Rabi al-Lafi struck on 31
minutes behind closed doors to lift Libya two points above Zambia, who
are away to Comoros Islands Sunday before hosting the North Africans in
the final series.
Tunisia lead Malawi on goal difference in the
race to finish runners-up behind Botswana and appear likely to stay
second as they host Togo in the final round while their rivals must
Senegal have home advantage over the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Mali host Cape Verde Islands later Saturday and
there are another 10 fixtures Sunday in the penultimate series of