Guinea-Bissau earned their way into the Africa Cup of Nations on the last day with a decisive 3-0 home victory over Republic of Congo on Tuesday. Piqueti got the crucial opener just before halftime before Frederic Mendy and Jorginho turned the capital into the scene of wide scale celebration. The result sees the Djurtus overtake their opponents and join Senegal as the teams advancing out of Group I. In the other match last-placed Eswatini were only prevented from a major upset on the road in Senegal by Cheikhou Kouyate;s late strike to spare the Teranga Lions blushes.
Despite the scoreline there was a good amount of suspense for Djurtus supporters as the visitors from Congo-Brazzaville had their share of looks at the hosts’ net. However, Guinea-Bissau increased their focus in attack as the match progressed and found a vital goal from Saudi-based Piqueti just before the break. The relief was palpable when Mendy found the second in the 73rd following some close calls caused by a Congolese side eager to find an equalizer and bubbled over into pandemonium once Jorginho finished it off.
Sabelo Gamedze got minnows Eswatini off to a dream start in Thiès by striking a fierce effort past QPR’s Timothy Dieng in the Senegalese goal to give the visitors a shock 9th minute lead. Not featuring star Sadio Mane until he came on as a substitute in the 66th minute, Senegal looked unusually inefficient in attack utilizing a heavily-rotated squad. However, despite a heroic effort from Eswatini to try and score a historic road victory, Kouyate was on hand to stick home a rebound in the sixth minute of second half stoppage time to keep Eswatini’s campaign winless.
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A fullback in his playing days who earned...