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Late Emilio Nsue winner lifts Equatorial Guinea over Tanzania to AFCON berth, Tunisia defeat Libya in goalfest

Group J action in AFCON qualifying featured an entertaining display of attacking football and another scene of joyous celebration on Thursday. Libya were mathematically eliminated on following a 5-2 defeat to group leaders Tunisia but gave the Carthage Eagles all they could handle, providing a worthy performance on their return to hosting competitive games. In the other match Tanzania nearly got the result they wanted on the road but an Emilio Nsue goal in the 90th minute gave the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea a dramatic 1-0 victory.

Libya opened the scoring at the Benina Martyrs Stadium in the 22nd minute when an Al Musrati long ball found Mohamed Al Tarhuni, who put in a pinpoint cross for Wydad Casablanca attacker Muaid Ellafi to bounce his header in off the post. The tone for an attacking match was cemented when FC Koln forward Ellyes Skhiri equalized in the 39th minute for Tunisia. Following a string of opportunities, Skhiri did well to take in a low pass from Mohamed Drager and drilled a shot from outside the box, overpowering Ahmed Azzaqa in the Libyan goal.

Ellafi found his second for Libya in the 54th minute but not before Tunisia had tallied two goals of their own out of the halftime break. Zamalek forward Seifeddine Jaziri chested home an easy finish two minutes into the second session and then Drager scored one himself soon after. The defending from Libya didn’t match their attacking prowess and was appropriately punished by a clinical Tunisian attack. Jaziri added another and Anis Slimane scored his first competitive goal for the Carthage Eagles to close out the scoring late.

Tanzania bunkered down and nearly earned a precious point but it was not meant to be. A dominant Equatorial Guinea side finally found their breakthrough just before second-half stoppage time after seeing nine shots on goal fail to beat Taifa Stars keeper Aishi Manula. APOEL FC player Emilio Nsue brought in a low cross and maneuvered in the Tanzanian penalty area before delivering a clutch finish inside the far post. The goal led to massive celebrations as the Nzalang Nacional avoided any final day drama.

Highlights of both matches are below.

Libya 2-5 Tunisia (for USA/Canada readers)

Libya 2-5 Tunisia (for international readers)

Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Tanzania

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