(SATSports) – Malawi booked their place at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations at the expense of Uganda whom they defeated 1-0 in their final Group B match in Blantyre on Monday.
Uganda came into the match needing just a draw to secure their place at the tournament as they sat in second place on eight points, one more than Malawi who began the day in third.
However, Richard Mbulu’s goal in the 15thminute settled matters and saw Malawi claim victory and move up to second place on 10 points qualifying for the continental showpiece.
Uganda will be disappointed as a poor run of form which saw them claim just one point from their last three games miss out on qualification and raise more doubts about the future of suspended coach Johnny McKinstry.
Elsewhere, Bertrand Traore scored the only goal of the game as Burkina Faso beat South Sudan 1-0 in Ouagadougou to end the campaign unbeaten and finish top of the group on 12 points.
Defending champions Algeria also ended the qualification unbeaten with four wins and two draws following an emphatic 5-0 win at home against Botswana in Group H. The Desert Foxes scored their goals through Aissa Mandi, Sofiane Feghouli, Riyad Mahrez, Baghdad Bounedjah and Farid Boulaya.
The other group game saw Zambia defeat already-qualified Zimbabwe 2-0 in Harare with RB Salzburg striker Patson Daka scoring in each half.
Record seven-time winners Egypt responded to their sluggish 1-1 draw against Kenya in the previous Group G match with a 4-0 home win against Comoros. With both sides having already sealed qualification, only top spot was up for grabs in the game in Cairo.
All the goals came in the first half with Mohamed Salah scoring twice with Mohamed Elneny and Mohamed Sherif also getting on the score sheet.
Salah’s double saw him become The Pharaohs second all-time leading scorer with 43 goals in just 69 games as he chases Hossam Hassan’s record of 68 goals.
The other group game saw defender Hassan Abdallah score for a second consecutive game as Kenya edged Togo 2-1 in Lome. Masoud Juma’s penalty secured a first win for the Harambee Stars in this qualifying campaign with Henri Eninful’s late spot-kick proving to be little more than a consolation.
The qualifiers from Group C Gambia and Gabon suffered defeats to Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, respectively. Gabon went down 2-0 in Benguela while Gambia lost 1-0 in Kinshasa.
The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, which has been expanded to 24 teams from 16 teams, is set to kick off in January 2022.