The final round of qualifying for the 2022 African Nations Championship continued on Friday and Saturday with seven first leg fixtures in four different African regions including COSAFA (Southern Africa), CECAFA (Eastern Africa) and both divisions of West Africa (WAFU-A and WAFU-B). With the exception of a decisive first leg victory for Sudan over minnows Djibouti every matchup was closely contested and there will be plenty to play for in each tie’s second leg next weekend.
In West Africa it appears Mali is the team in the best shape following a 2-1 first leg victory at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Liberia on Saturday. Veteran Djoliba forward Hamidou Sinayoko turned in a low cross to open the scoring in the first half and Ousmane Kamissoko doubled the lead soon after halftime before Musa Noah Kamara tallied a late consolation for the Leone Stars. In WAFU-Zone A’s other matchup it was Senegal who prevailed over Guinea 1-0 with an excellent strike from Maleye Diagne at the Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade. Both second legs in WAFU-A will take place in Bamako, Mali.
Burkina Faso did excellently to hold out against Ivory Coast in the Ivorian capital of Yamoussoukro courtesy of a solid performance from veteran goalkeeper Babayouré Sawadogo and his defense, even after the team was reduced to ten men following defender Moustapha Ouédraogo’s second yellow card late on. Les Éléphants and Les Étalons will meet in Agadir, Morocco for the second leg due to the lack of a CAF approved stadium in Burkina Faso.
Heading to the eastern and southern halves of Africa, the CECAFA region’s final round started up on Friday with a comfortable 4-1 victory for Sudan over Djibouti in Morocco and a scoreless stalemate between Ethiopia and Rwanda in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. On Saturday the Barea of Madagascar earned an excellent result in Francistown by defeating hosts Botswana 1-0 with a goal from Tsilavina Fanomezantsoa and Mozambique drew hosts Malawi 1-1.
All the scores from Friday and Saturday are below followed by highlights from several games.