Cape Verde scored one of the biggest upsets in world soccer, knocking Tunisia out of contention for a World Cup spot. PDF Print E-mail
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Nigeria, Senegal and surprise package Ethiopia reached the final playoffs for the World Cup after winning last-round group games on Saturday. Tunisia crashed out and will miss Brazil 2014 after being shocked at home by Cape Verde Islands.

Nigeria, Senegal and surprise package Ethiopia reached the final playoffs for the World Cup after winning last-round group games on Saturday. Tunisia crashed out and will miss Brazil 2014 after being shocked at home by Cape Verde Islands.

The North Africans saw their World Cup dream disappear at the very end of the main qualifying competition with a painful 2-0 loss in Rades, and the Cape Verdeans continued their breakthrough year after playing in their first African Cup at the start of 2013.

Burkina Faso also kept its hopes of playing in Brazil alive by beating Gabon and overtaking Republic of Congo late in the race to make the decisive 10-team ties starting next month. Five teams will eventually emerge from those playoffs in October and November to represent Africa at world football's showpiece.

The five countries that qualified Saturday joined top-ranked African team Ivory Coast, Egypt and Algeria, who had already won their groups, and Ghana, which progressed on Friday. Cameroon and Libya face off in a last winner-take-all game in Yaounde on Sunday for the final playoff spot.

African champion Nigeria saw off Malawi 2-0 in Calabar through goals early in the second half from Europe-based forwards Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses, ending a tense standoff between the countries in the leadup to the game. Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet reported Nigeria rival Stephen Keshi to FIFA over alleged racist comments ahead of their matchup to decide Group F.

Ethiopia came from behind with two second-half goals to win 2-1 over Central African Republic in neutral Republic of Congo to qualify from Group A, eliminating 2010 World Cup host South Africa, which beat Botswana 4-1 in vain. Ethiopia's winner came, ironically, from Minyahile Beyene, the player whose presence in an earlier qualifier while suspended led to Ethiopia forfeiting a game and having its progression put on hold.

The victory in Brazzaville sparked wild celebrations back home in Ethiopia, which has never played at the World Cup despite being one of the founding members of African football. The football-mad East African nation is now one tie away from the biggest stage, while the last World Cup host is out.

"If I take a step backwards, I don't think anybody is to blame for us not qualifying,'' South Africa coach Gordon Igesund said.

Tunisia led Group B and was overwhelming favorite to qualify, needing just a draw at home to Cape Verde. But the islanders scored twice in the first half and the Tunisians couldn't come back, resulting in coach Nabil Maaloul saying he would resign after his team was booed by its own fans for the final 10 minutes.

"We were out of it,'' a dejected Maaloul said. "The players weren't able to respond to the Cape Verde team, which was better than us. This was my final game as national coach.''

Senegal did avoid a surprise loss to Uganda in neutral Marrakech to qualify, and clinched a 1-0 victory late on with Sadio Mane's 84th-minute winner.

Like Cape Verde, African Cup runner-up Burkina Faso leapfrogged Republic of Congo with a precious Prejuce Nakoulma strike to beat Gabon 1-0. Republic of Congo's 2-2 draw with Niger in Niamey proved costly as it surrendered the lead and qualifying position from Group E by a single point to the Burkinabes, who now have a chance at the World Cup, continuing a memorable year after they surprisingly made the African Cup final in February.

Ivory Coast had already made it to the playoffs before a 1-1 draw with Morocco in Abidjan, where Didier Drogba hit an 83rd-minute penalty to scrape a draw for the Ivorians. Ghana qualified on Friday by edging out Zambia, while Egypt and Algeria also are already through before their final group games Tuesday.

Sierra Leone beat Equatorial Guinea 3-2, Gambia beat Tanzania 2-0 and Angola won 4-1 over Liberia in other games Saturday that had no effect on Africa's decisive playoffs.


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Cecafa Press Release- 2/7/2013

The Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (cecafa) withstood and countered negative campaign to successfully stage the 39th Kagame Cup club championship in Sudan. North Darfur and South Kordofan described as "dangerous areas" were chosen by CECAFA to host the oldest club championship in Africa that saw teams pull out citing security concerns, while others followed on political grounds. But the CECAFA leadership led by General Secretary Nicholas Musonye stood their ground and countered all the negative campaign to throw one of the most exciting and successful competitions in the the zone. Two days before the start of the competition on june 18th, there were reports that Kadugli, the South Kordofan City which hosted the colourful opening ceremony was under rebel siege. But CECAFA in their gusto hired a special flight from Khartoum and landed their with three teams on board. After the colourful opening ceremony, the remaining eight teams were flown to El Fasher in North Darfur which hosted most of the matches that eventually concluded on a high scale note on Monday night. "I cannot be claim to be a leader if I cannot take responsibilities and risks. I still maintain that I took the decision to play CECAFA in North Darfur and South Kordofan in good faith. People have said many things regarding this decision, But Idont care because I was doing it for the good of CECAFA and the people of Sudan," Musonye told cecafa News after an exciting cup final and closing ceremony in El Fasher on Monday night. The flawless event was a huge challenge to the CECAFA Secretary General because North Darfur and South Kordofan are hot spots in Sudan and had things gone wrong, the damage to cecafa would have been massive and definitely narrowed down to Musonye. Two teams from Tanzania - defending champions Yanga and Simba were forced out by their Government who claimed tha there was no security in North Darfur. This also saw Zanzibar team prevailed upon to skip the event despite having already arrived in Nairobi enroute to Khartoum. Then Tusker of Kenya claimed that they had been advised that they needed "bullet proof jackets" to walk around in Darfur, all claims Musonye dismissed as cheap and non sporting. On Monday, El Fasher, the ancient city in North Darfur saw the dramatic end to a tournament that united most of Sudan. It brought together eight Governors, several cabinet ministers from Khartoum, while President Paul Kagame cup, the CECAFA patron was represented by Minister of Sports and Youth Protais Mitali. "Am glad this event has ended without any shelling as some prophets of doom had wanted," the Secretary General told the press on monday night. Vitalo of Burundi made history on the colourful night when they beat favourites APR of Rwanda 2-0 to claim their first ever CECAFA title. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
"CECAFA Tournaments are a means of using Sport in general and football in particular to promote peace in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.– Secretary General"- Nicholas Musonye
"CECAFA tournaments attract a very wide following across East and central Africa becoming one of the successful soccer body" ,Media Correspondent

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