Tuesday 16 October 2012
There was rioting in Dakar and a penalty shootout in Kampala as seven sides qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, with the help of a number of Barclays Premier League players.
The much-anticipated encounter between Senegal and Ivory Coast had to be abandoned after fans rioted at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar.
"Yaya and Kolo Toure are both safe after crowd trouble halted play as Senegal hosted the Ivory Coast in Dakar"
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba had just scored his, and his side's, second goal of the evening to earn the visitors a 6-2 aggregate lead with 20 minutes remaining when disturbances broke out in the stands as fans started fires and objects rained down on to the pitch.
Newcastle United strike-pairing Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba and West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame, of Senegal, were escorted from the field with 18 minutes left, along with Manchester City siblings Yaya and Kolo Toure, Gervinho of Arsenal and Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, of Ivory Coast, and a number of Ivorian supporters.
The players involved are all reported to have been unharmed in the incident. "City's Yaya and Kolo Toure are both safe after crowd trouble halted play as Senegal hosted the Ivory Coast in Dakar," read a Manchester City club statement.
There were happier scenes in Nigeria where Chelsea duo Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel were both on target in a 6-1 thrashing of Liberia. Moses put the hosts 3-0 up two minutes after half-time and rounded off the scoring on 87 minutes, while Mikel converted a penalty seven minutes after the restart against a side reduced to ten men when captain Gebro Duncan was sent off in the 70th minute.
West Ham striker Modibo Maiga helped Mali complete a comprehensive victory at the expense of Botswana on Saturday night. The match marked the re-opening of the refurbished stadium in Lobatse but it was the visitors – third placed finishers in in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon earlier this year – who celebrated the occasion in style, Maiga weighing in with a 58th-minute goal.
Morocco also scored four as they bounced back from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to book their place in the finals. Karim El Ahmadi of Aston Villa and Liverpool winger Ossama Assaidi helped Morocco complete a stunning fightback that began with a Abdelaziz Barrada penalty just before half-time, the award of which resulted in the dismissal of Mozambique's Miro.
It was a much closer affair in Kampala where reigning African champions Zambia scraped through to the finals courtesy of a dramatic penalty shoot-out success. When the match went to spot-kicks following a 1-0 second-leg reverse for the visitors, Southampton forward Emmanuel Mayuka steadied the ship by scoring his side's second penalty after Christopher Katongo's opening effort had been saved. The Chipolopo eventually ran out 9-8 winners to deprive Uganda a first finals appearance since 1978.
Ghana's progress was considerably smoother as a 1-0 victory in Lilongwe secured a 3-0 triumph over the two legs. Afriyie Acquah fired home the early winner for the Black Stars, who featured former Fulham and West Ham defender John Pantsil and ex-Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan, in their lineup.
It was also a tense encounter in Monastir where a goalless draw proved sufficient to ensure Tunisia secured qualification on the away-goals rule. The hosts knew that a clean sheet would prove enough to go through and in a game in which chances were at a premium the north African nation held out to edge into next year's South African showpiece.
The Africa Cup of Nations is usually held every two years, but is being played in 2013 to accommodate a switch from every even to every odd year. Next year's tournament takes place from 19 January to 10 February.
Saturday 14 October 2012
Nigeria 6-1 Liberia (8-3)
Botswana 1-4 Mali (1-7)
Morocco 4-0 Mozambique (4-2)
Uganda 1-0 Zambia (1-1) Zambia win 8-9 on penalties
Malawi 0-1 Ghana (0-3)
Tunisia 0-0 Sierra Leone (2-2) Tunisia win on away goals
Senegal a-a Ivory Coast (2-6*)
* Listed as Africa Cup of Nations finalist by Confederation of African Football despite abandonment of match with Ivory Coast ahead 6-2 on aggregate with 18 minutes remaining.
Sunday 15 October 2012
Ethiopia v Sudan (3-5)
Cameroon v Cape Verde Islands (0-2)
Angola v Zimbabwe (1-3)
Niger v Guinea (0-1)
Togo v Gabon (1-1)
Algeria v Libya (1-0)
Equatorial Guinea v DR Congo (0-4)
Burkina Faso v Central African Republic (0-1)