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African countries battle for berths at the 2020 Olympic Games

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African countries vie to three berths at Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games - Sports Leo

The roll-call for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 is done and dusted after the final round of qualifiers on Tuesday.

Hosts Egypt will be joined by Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia for the final tournament scheduled for November 8-22 in Cairo, where the top-three finishers will qualify to represent Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Hosts Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are the only teams to have participated at every edition of the quadrennial championships since its inception in 2011.

Nigeria were champions at the last edition in Senegal in 2015, while Senegal finished third, which also had Mali and Zambia.

Ghana, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire have qualified for the finals for the first time.

It was victory away from home for the quintet of Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia who performed impressively to secure their tickets.

After a narrow 1-0 win from the first leg in Yaounde last week, Cameroon went down 2-1 to Tunisia in Tunis but advanced via the away goal rule after a 2-2 tie on aggregate.

In Conakry, Italy-based duo Christian Kouame and Hamed Junior found the target in either half as Cote d’Ivoire overcame a lone goal in the reverse in Abidjan to edge Guinea on away goals after a 2-2 tie. Moussa Traore scored in between for Guinea.

Ghana confirmed their place at the finals for the first time after shocking Algeria to a 1-0 win away in Setif. Captain Yaw Yeboah scored the only goal late in the game as the West Africans went through 2-1 on aggregate.

After a huge 5-0 win in the first leg, South Africa held Zimbabwe to a barren in Bulawayo to make it three out of three finals, thanks to a 5-0 aggregate win.

Goals in the first leg came from Luther Singh (2), Kobamelo Kodisang, Lyle Foster and Teboho Mokoena.

Elsewhere in Brazzaville, Zambia survived a scare from Congo to share the spoils with the latter in a 3-3 draw.

With defeat staring in their face after a lone goal loss in the first leg, Nigeria put up a five-star performance to sink Sudan 5-0 in Asaba and 5-1 on aggregate to make it a hat-trick of appearances at the finals.

Ndifreke Udo scored a first-half brace before a goal each from Taiwo Awoniyi, Sunday Falaye and Seth Mayi sealed the victory.

Brazzaville: Congo 3 Zambia 3 (1-2)
Bulawayo: Zimbabwe 0 South Africa 0 (0-5)
Setif: Algeria 0 Ghana 1 (1-1)
Tunis: Tunisia 2 Cameroon 1 (0-1)
Conakry: Guinea 1 Cote d’Ivoire 2 (1-0)
Asaba: Nigeria 5 Sudan 0 (0-1)
Bamako: Mali 1 Morocco 0 (1-1)

Qualified teams: Egypt (hosts), Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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