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Tuesday 16 October 2012

ACON: Cape Verde sink Cameroon; Adebayor on song

Sunday's 2013 Africa Cup of Nations play-offs featuring Barclays Premier League players reviewed

  • Algeria's Sudani Al arabi el Hilal (right) shoots under pressure from Libya's Ahmed Zuway

Cameroon were sent tumbling out, Ethiopia qualified for the first time in 30 years and Emmanuel Adebayor struck to help Togo squeeze through on the final day of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Sunday.

Cameroon 2-1 Cape Verde Islands (2-3 on aggregate)

Cape Verde Islands shocked Cameroon to reach the finals for the first time in their history despite suffering a narrow defeat in Yaounde. Having lost 2-0 in the first leg the hosts needed to get off to a good start, but had it all to do once Portuguese-based striker Heldon had made it 3-0 on aggregate midway through the first half with a free-kick.

Cameroon hit back minutes later through Achille Emana and produced a second goal when 16-year-old substitute Fabrice Olinga came on to convert Samuel Eto'o's added-time cross, but there was not enough time for the Indomitable Lions to live up to their nickname as they failed to qualify for a second successive tournament.

Togo 2-1 Gabon (3-2 agg.)

Togo reached the finals for the first time since they withdrew from the event following the fatal gun attack on their team bus in 2010 thanks to a narrow home victory. Having drawn 1-1 in Gabon Wome Dove edged the hosts ahead before Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor gave them breathing space with a second early in the second half. Though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halved the deficit ten minutes from time Togo held on to reach the finals.

Ethiopia 2-0 Sudan (5-5 agg; Ethiopia through on away goals)

Ethiopia recovered their two-goal first-leg deficit to reach the South African showpiece for the first time in 30 years by virtue of the away-goals rule. Having lost 5-3 in the away leg, Sudan looked relatively comfortable with their lead until Adane Girma and Saladin Seid struck second-half goals to turn the tie in their favour.

Angola 2-0 Zimbabwe (3-3 agg; Angola through on away goals)

Angola also rallied from two goals down to turn the tables on Zimbabwe in Luanda and they had a former Manchester United striker to thank for their safe passage to South Africa. It took Manucho just six minutes to rattle off the two goals the Palancas Negras required to take the initiative in the tie and, despite passing up further chances to extend their lead, Manucho's brace proved enough to take his side through ion the away-goals rule.

Niger 2-0 Guinea (2-1 agg.)

Niger reached the Africa Cup of Nations for only the second time thanks to two goals in the last 20 minutes of a tense, hard-fought encounter. Trailing by a goal from the away leg the Mena finally came through thanks to strikes by Mohamed Chikoto and Boubacar Issoufou.

Equatorial Guinea 2-1 DR Congo (2-5 agg.)

The 2012 co-hosts salvaged pride but were unable to rescue the tie which was put beyond them by a 4-0 defeat in the away leg. Equatorial Guinea did give Congo food for thought when they halved their lead with 35 minutes gone, but a goal two minutes before half-time by West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu steadied the visitors' nerves and the Leopards held firm thereafter.

Burkina Faso 3-1 Central African Republic (3-2 agg.)

Central African Republic were seconds away from qualifying for their first ever finals when Alain Traore pounced to score his second goal of the match to save the day for the hosts, who get to contest their third successive finals as a result.

Algeria 2-0 Libya (3-0)

Algeria's qualification was considerably less fraught as they added to their single-goal first-leg advantage with two more strikes in the return in Bilda. Arbi Hilel Soudani's fourth-minute opener and Islam Slimani effort two minutes later nipped any thoughts of a Libyan rally in the bud. Even though the Mediterranean Knights hit the crossbar in stoppage time, there were no further goals as Algeria became the final team to join hosts South Africa in next year's finals.

Click here for a round-up of Saturday's qualifiers.

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.

Africa Cup of Nations play-off second-leg results

Sunday 15 October 2012
Cameroon 2-1 Cape Verde Islands (2-3)
Ethiopia 2-0 Sudan (5-5) Ethiopia through on away goals
Togo 2-1 Gabon (3-2)
Angola 2-0 Zimbabwe (3-3) Angola through on away goals
Niger 2-0 Guinea (2-1)
Algeria 2-0 Libya (3-0)
Equatorial Guinea 2-1 DR Congo (2-5)
Burkina Faso 3-1 Central African Republic (3-2)

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 through on away goals
Senegal a-a Ivory Coast (2-6*)

* Ivory Coast confirmed as finalists by Confederation of African Football despite abandonment of match with Ivory Coast ahead 6-2 on aggregate with 18 minutes remaining.     

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Key Points

  • Cape Verde Islands qualify for Africa Cup of Nations for first time by eliminating Cameroon
  • Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor scores to help Togo reach 2013 finals
  • West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu also on target to help DR Congo through