Zambia defeat keeps Amavubi in CAN chase
Nations Cup qualifiers
Gabon 0-2 Cameroon
Togo 1-1 Morocco
Nigeria 2-2 Tunisia
Mozambique 1-0 Kenya
Rwanda 0-1 Egypt
Algeria 1-0 Zambia
Ghana 2-0 Sudan
Benin 1-1 Mali
Malawi 2-1 Guinea
Côte d’Ivoire 5-0 Burkina Faso
ZAMBIA’S 1-0 defeat against Algeria on Sunday kept Rwanda in contention for a slot at next year’s African Nations Cup (CAN) in Angola.
The Chipolopolo looked like they would hold onto a valuable point in Blida, Algeria until Rafik Saifi squashed their plot 14 minutes into the second half.
The 34-year-old attacking midfielder, who plays for Al-Khor in Qatar, broke the deadlock with a sublime strike.
The result moved Algeria to ten points while also restoring their three-point cushion over African champions Egypt, the other Group C contenders.
However, Amavubi’s task at hand has not changed. Branko Tucak’s wasps still need to grind out wins against Algeria and Zambia to qualify.
Rwanda’s 2010 World Cup and CAN campaign suffered a huge blow after Saturday’s defeat against Egypt.
The team led by new skipper Hamad Ndikumana ‘Katauti’ looked like they would take something out of the game until Ahmed Hassan shattered those dreams.
The Al-Ahly midfielder struck on the 68th minute after some lapse in Rwanda’s defence.
The goal proved the difference at the end of the day and boosted Egypt’s hopes of a third appearance at the World Cup. Egypt’s last appearance dates back in 1990 when the competition was held in Italy and won by Germany.
Rwanda’s only CAN appearance dates back in 2004 when veteran striker Jimmy Gatete was still at his best.
The Rayon Sport captain’s goals against Ghana and Uganda did the trick as Rwanda stormed the competition which still ranks as Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
Rwanda plays Algeria away on October 10 before hosting Zambia on November 14.
Elsewhere, Ghana became the first African country to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Sudan in Group D. Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari scored the goals.
In Group B, Tunisia stayed top after holding Nigeria to a 2 all draw in Abuja.
Cameroon won away from home to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. They beat Group A leaders Gabon 2-0, in what was their first home defeat of the 2010 qualifiers.
Ivory Coast are now within a point of reaching their second successive World Cup after a crushing 5-0 win over visitors Burkina Faso in Group E.
Group winners qualify for the World Cup while the top three in each group advance to the Africa Cup of Nations.