Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification wrap up

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AFCON Qualifying Round 5: Burundi, Mauritania Record Key Victories, Guinea Secures Qualification

Matchday 5 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying was wrapped up with three matches on Tuesday 20 June 2023, with Guinea securing qualification despite not being active on the day, while Burundi and Mauritania recorded key victories.

The first of two-afternoon matches came from Dar es Salaam, where Burundi claimed a dramatic 3-2 win over Namibia to blow Group C wide open. The Swallows triumphed thanks to a flying start, which saw them 3-0 up inside 20 minutes via strikes from Abedi Bigirimana, Caleb Bimenyimana, and Shabani Hussein.

The Brave Warriors pulled goals back through Peter Shalulile and Wendell Rudath but were unable to complete the comeback to secure a draw, which would have earned them qualification. Instead, the two qualifiers from the three-team group will now be decided by the final match between Cameroon and Burundi in September.

The second-afternoon clash was held in Maputo, as Ethiopia and Malawi played to a 0-0 stalemate in their Group D meeting. The result allowed Guinea (who were beaten by group winners Egypt last midweek to delay their qualification) to join the list of teams that have safely secured passage to next year’s tournament.

The day’s third and final match was an evening meeting from Group I in Agadir, in which Mauritania claimed a 3-0 away win over Sudan to rise from fourth place to first. Al Murabitun triumphed thanks to strikes from Mohamed El Abd Nouh, El Hassan Houbeib, and Hemeya Tanjy, moving to the top of the log on eight points. DR Congo, Gabon (seven points each) and Sudan (six) all still have a chance of reaching the AFCON finals.
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