Cash-strapped and exiled, minnows Sao Tome e book AFCON group spot

Cash-strapped and exiled, minnows Sao Tome e book AFCON group spot

Johannesburg (AFP) – Forwards primarily based in Finland and Bolivia scored in Mauritius on Sunday to take minnows Sao Tome e Principe to the group stage of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

Ricardo Cardoso from Helsinki outfit Klubi 04 netted twice and up to date Guabira signing Luis Leal as soon as in an exhilarating 3-3 draw with Mauritius in Saint-Pierre which gave Sao Tome a 4-3 mixture victory.

Lacking funds and an international-standard stadium, the Portuguese-speaking island nation had been compelled to play each legs of a preliminary spherical tie in Mauritius.

Leal, 34, the very best recognized Sao Tomean footballer, scored the one purpose of the primary leg on Thursday, which counted because the ‘home’ fixture for a crew popularly generally known as The Falcons and True Parrots.  

In a see-saw second leg Mauritius took the lead by way of a Kevin Bru penalty, however they trailed 2-1 at half-time after Cardoso and Leal struck.

Australia-born Dylan Collard equalised for Mauritius just for Cardoso to attain once more simply two minutes later, leaving the house facet needing no less than two extra objectives in half-hour to outlive.

However, Mauritius managed just one, from Ashley Nazira on 86 minutes, and the nation that certified as soon as for the Cup of Nations — 48 years in the past — had been eradicated.

Sao Tome are ranked 189th on the planet and fiftieth in Africa, and are amongst 10 international locations who’ve by no means certified for the biennial Cup of Nations, which the Ivory Coast will host in mid 2023.  

Elsewhere, Lesotho, Eswatini and South Sudan received to safe total victories forward of the group draw on a date to be introduced that may cut up 48 nations into 12 teams, with the primary two matchdays in June.

Katleho Makateng celebrated solely his second look for Lesotho by opening and shutting the scoring in a 3-1 win over the Seychelles in Soweto close to Johannesburg. The first leg ended goalless.

In one other return match staged in South Africa, Eswatini beat Somalia 2-1 within the northeastern metropolis of Mbombela after establishing a 3-0 first-leg benefit 4 days in the past. 

Sabelo Ndzinisa and Fanelo Mamba netted early within the second half for Eswatini and Somali Omar Jama halved the deficit in added time.

Like Eswatini, South Sudan discovered the going a little bit harder second time spherical as they edged Djibouti 1-0 in Kampala having received the primary leg 4-2. Peter Choi scored the lone purpose on 55 minutes.

Lesotho, Eswatini and South Sudan needed to stage their dwelling matches in impartial international locations as they lack international-standard stadiums.

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