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World Cup qualifiers round-up

Ghana football fans
Ghana fans are already celebrating reaching the 2010 World Cup finals

Ivory Coast qualified for next year's World Cup after drawing 1-1 with Malawi on Saturday to clinch top spot in Group E.

Algeria and Tunisia moved a step closer to reaching the World Cup by winning qualifiers on Sunday.

Nigeria's slender chances of advancing to next year's tournament in South Africa were kept alive by a last-minute goal.

The battle to grab Group A's sole ticket to the World Cup will be decided on the final round of matches after Cameroon and Gabon won their matches on Saturday.

Ghana have already qualified for their second successive finals and they have now been joined by the Ivory Coast.

Here is a round-up of the results from the weekend's matches.

GROUP A

The battle to grab Group A's sole ticket to the 2010 World Cup will be decided on the final round of matches after Cameroon and Gabon won their matches on Saturday.

Geremi
Geremi scored one of the goals for Cameroon to keep their hopes alive

Resurgent Cameroon stayed top of the group of African qualifiers after outclassing Togo 3-0 in Yaounde.

Gabon stayed one point adrift after beating Morocco 3-1 in Libreville.

Midfielder Geremi Njitap scored at the second attempt of a penalty to give the Indomitable Lions a half-time advantage.

Cameroon lost their opening game to Togo 1-0 but the Indomitable Lions turned their campaign round with two wins over Gabon last month.

Gabon have won all but one of their games at home in the qualifiers so far and kept up the pressure on Cameroon.

The Indomitable Lions cannot be overtaken if they triumph in their final group game against Morocco on 14 November in Rabat.

GROUP B

Tunisia scored early and Nigeria late on Sunday to ensure the thrilling race in Group B will go down to the wire next month.

Obinna Nsofor
Obinna Nsofor's late strike saved the Super Eagles

France-based striker Issam Jomaa struck in the first minute as Tunisia won 1-0 against Kenya in Rades while Victor Nsofor from Spanish club Malaga netted three minutes into stoppage time as Nigeria pipped Mozambique 1-0 in Abuja.

These results left the Carthage Eagles two points above the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Tunisia visit Mozambique and Nigeria travel to Kenya.

The two hosts of next month's matches have been out of the World Cup reckoning for some time and they are fighting to finish third and claim a place at the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola.

GROUP C

Egypt celebrate winning the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana
Egypt are still confident they can qualify for the World Cup

Algeria came from behind to defeat Rwanda 3-1 in Blida on Sunday and regain a three-point advantage at the top of the group.

African champions Egypt will host a top-of-the-table Group C clash next month to decide who goes to the World Cup.

Mafisango Mutesa stunned the Desert Foxes with an early goal, Abdelkader Ghezzal levelled soon after, Nadir Belhadj put Algeria ahead in first-half stoppage time and Karim Ziani converted a late penalty.

Egypt kept alive their hopes of reaching the 2010 World Cup after beating Zambia 1-0 on Saturday.

The Pharaohs secured the crucial away victory in Chililabonbwe thanks to a second-half strike by Hosny Abd Rabou.

The victory means the fight for Group C's sole ticket to the tournament in South Africa will down to the wire.

GROUP D

Benin and Mali qualified for next year's African Cup of Nations after winning their home matches on Sunday.

Kanoute
Kanoute scored Mali's late goal in Bamako to send them to the Nations Cup

Ghana surrendered the last 100 percent record in the final round when losing 1-0 against Benin in Cotonou on Sunday.

The Squirrels were impressively led by striker Razak Omotoyossi and dominated without reward until France-based striker Mohamed Aoudou scored two minutes into stoppage time.

While the match was meaningless for the World Cup, victory took Benin to seven points in the group.

Frederic Kanoute scored in the 89th minute for Mali to beat 10-man Sudan 1-0 in Bamako on Sunday.

Mali and Benin have both qualified for the Nations Cup in Angola as they cannot be overtaken by Sudan with only one match remaining in the group.

GROUP E

Ivory Coast qualified for next year's World Cup after drawing 1-1 with Malawi on Saturday to clinch first spot in Group E.


Chelsea and Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba will hope to lead the Ivory Coast to the 2010 World Cup

Their group opponents Burkina Faso sealed their place at Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday after beating Guinea 1-0.

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba scored just three minutes after coming on as a 65th-minute substitute in the away game in Blantyre.

The results means the Elephants cement the group's top spot as they are four points ahead of second-placed Burkina Faso with just one game remaining.

Ivory Coast have 13 points from five matches.

Jacob Ngwira put Malawi in front on 63 minutes but Drogba levelled matters three minutes later as the 'Elephants' ensured their second finals appearance after Germany 2006, where they failed to emerge from a group also comprising Argentina, Holland and Serbia-Montenegro.

Many observers of world football are already tipping Ivory Coast as the African team that will go the furthest in South Africa 2010.



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see also
Salifou's World Cup target
01 Oct 09 |  African
Algeria call up Yebda and Abdoune
30 Sep 09 |  African
Azaouagh to switch allegiance
02 Oct 09 |  African
Cameroon ease into top spot
09 Sep 09 |  African
Mandjeck's Cameroon call up
07 Oct 09 |  African
Ghana qualify for 2010 World Cup
06 Sep 09 |  African
2010 World Cup
09 Sep 09 |  African


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