Guinea-Bissau upset Nigeria, Morocco reach finals in Nations Cup qualifying
Balde’s first-half goal was decisive against a Nigeria team packed with in-form attackers
Abuja (Reuters) - Guinea-Bissau's Mama Balde scored the only goal as they stunned Nigeria with a 1-0 win in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Abuja, while Morocco became the first team to book their place in the finals on Friday without kicking a ball.
Balde’s first-half goal was decisive against a Nigeria team packed with in-form attackers, including Serie A leading scorer Victor Osimhen, as Guinea-Bissau moved top of Group A with seven points from three games.
Nigeria remain on course to qualify for the finals in Ivory Coast next January with six points from three matches but the defeat is their fourth in a row under Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro. "I think if we played for another hour, we still wouldn’t score. Sometimes it happens in football," Peseiro told reporters.
"I’m not happy of course, I’m sad with my team. But they did the max, they created many opportunities, it was just a bad day." South Africa let a two-goal lead slip at home to Liberia and had to settle for a 2-2 draw in Johannesburg, a result that ensures World Cup semi-finalists Morocco will finish in the top two places in the three-team group and qualify for the finals.
Burnley forward Lyle Foster scored a brace for the hosts but they conceded twice late on in another surprise result. Mohamed Salah and Omar Marmoush scored first-half goals as Egypt beat Malawi 2-0, and Sadio Mane was on target for Senegal in a 5-1 thumping of Mozambique.
Ivory Coast's Sebastien Haller was on target as they defeated Comoros Islands 3-1, while Democratic Republic of Congo beat Mauritania by the same scoreline. Cameroon were held to a surprise 1-1 draw at home by Namibia, who opened the scoring through prolific striker Peter Shalulile. The home side equalised in the second half via Olivier Kemen's header.
Youssef Msakni scored for Tunisia as they brushed aside Libya 3-0, and Guinea eased to a 2-0 win over Ethiopia. Simon Msuva scored the only goal as Tanzania won 1-0 at East African rivals Uganda and Cape Verde were held 0-0 by tiny Eswatini in Praia. Mali defeated Gambia 2-0, Equatorial Guinea downed Botswana by the same scoreline and a late goal from Abdoul Tapsoba led Burkina Faso to a 1-0 home win over Togo.