AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Zambia, South Africa earn victories over Ivory Coast and Morocco

AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Zambia, South Africa earn victories over Ivory Coast and Morocco

Zambia got the better of the Ivory Coast with 3-0 win in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Saturday while South Africa defeated Morocco 2-1.

The Chipolopolo were second in Group H prior to Saturday’s game and put in a very commanding display as Serge Aurier (own goal), Patson Daka and Kings Kangwa all got their names on the scoresheet.

The victory at the Levy Nwanawasa Stadium in Ndola moved Zambia above the Ivorians who will host the tournament next January. Zambia have now sealed their spot in the finals ahead of Comoros who defeated bottom side Lesotho 1-0 courtesy of Youssouf M’Changama’s 90th minute strike.

Meanwhile, South Africa moved above Morocco in Group K with their 2-1 win, their first victory over the North African giants since 2002. Bafana Bafana took a 2-0 lead via Munir (own goal) and Zakhele Lepasa before Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech halved the deficit. Both South Africa and Morocco have progressed to the AFCON finals as the other team in the group, Liberia, have just one point with one more round of fixtures to play.

In Group J, Equatorial Guinea booked their place in the Ivory Coast qualified  after defeating Tunisia 1-0 and moved above the North Africans who are also through. Botswana meanwhile defeated Libya by the same scoreline in the other group game.

In Group E, Angola defeated the Central African Republic 2-1 away from home. Kialonda Gaspar gave the Black Antelopes the lead in the 12th minute before Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia equalised for the Wild Beasts. Milson’s 86th minute strike however won the game for the Angolans to move them above the Central Africans and behind Ghana who play Madagascar on Sunday.

The game however ended a sour note for Central African Republic as they had Dominique Youfeigane and coach Raoul Savoy sent off.

The final game of the day saw defending AFCON champions Senegal’s 100% record in the qualifiers come to an end after their 1-1 draw with Benin in Group L. Aboulaye Seck netted first for the Teranga Lions and it remained 1-0 in their favour until the 79th minute when Rachid Moumini equalised for the Squirrels.

Senegal were through to the finals before the game but it’s all to play for in between Benin, Mozambique and Rwanda for the second qualification berth.

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