JOHANNESBURG, Nov 17 – Morocco and Nigeria added their names to the list of African Nations Cup qualifiers after Saturday’s preliminaries, with Mali and Uganda also booking their place at next year’s finals.
Nigeria made sure of the point they needed by drawing 1-1 away against South Africa in Johannesburg while Morocco qualified without kicking a ball as Malawi lost in the Comoros Islands.
Uganda secured top place in Group L with a 1-0 home win over the Cape Verde Islands while Mali are sure of a top two finish in Group C as they beat Gabon 1-0 away with an early goal from French-based striker Moussa Doumbia.
The top two teams in the 12 groups qualify except Group B which includes already-qualified tournament hosts Cameroon, so only one other team will go through.
Morocco were confirmed in that place after Malawi, the only team who could catch them, were beaten 2-1 in Moroni.
South Africa defender Buhle Mkhwanazi put the ball into his own net to give Nigeria the lead after nine minutes at Soccer City. However, South Africa responded with an equaliser from Strasbourg forward Lebo Mothiba in the 24th minute, his fourth goal in five internationals.
Nigeria have 10 points from five games at the top of Group E, with South Africa second on eight points, two ahead of Libya with one fixture remaining.
The South Africans face Libya in March knowing should they avoid defeat, they will seal their place at the finals next June.
Libya defeated Seychelles 8-1 in the other group match earlier on Saturday.
Namibia and Guinea Bissau played out a goalless draw in Windhoek to keep the outcome in Group K still in suspense while in Group A, already qualified Senegal won 1-0 away in Equatorial Guinea thanks to an own goal.
Egypt, Madagascar and Tunisia also qualified last month and Sunday’s batch of fixtures could see several more teams added to the expanded 24-squad field.