KAMPALA – As Burkina Faso picked a goalless draw against Uganda at St. Mary’s Stadium – Kitende on Wednesday and qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon finals, which Cameroon will host in January 2022; Guinea was the other team that qualified on the same day in Conakry, following a 1-0 win over an already-qualified Mali.
The game at Kitende in Uganda had few chances but Burkina Faso collected a point which left them on top of Group B with nine points. Uganda, who came into the game under the guidance of interim coach Abdallah Mubiru lies second on the log with eight points. Uganda’s FA official temporarily suspended head coach Johnny McKinstry to stay away from the team for at least a month, following a series of poor result.
Malawi is third on seven points after Richard Mbulu’s goal earned The Flames a 1-0 win away to bottom-placed – South Sudan in Omdurman – Sudan.
Uganda and Malawi face-off in the group’s final game, away in Lilongwe to determine the other side that joins Burkina Faso either as pool leaders or runners-up
In Group F, Lague Byiringiro came off the bench in the second half and scored the only goal of the match as Rwanda breathed life into the qualification campaign with a 1-0 win against Mozambique in Kigali.
The result lifted Rwanda off the foot of the table into second place on five points, one ahead of both Mozambique and Cape Verde, ahead of the latter’s game against tournament hosts and group leaders Cameroon.
Ethiopia went top of Group K with a shock -0 thumping of 2019 Afcon quarterfinalists Madagascar in Bahir Dar. First-half goals from Amanuel Gebremichael, Getaneh Kebede and Abubeker Nassir put the hosts in control before Shimelis Bekele rounded off the scoring.
As a result, Ethiopia leads the group with nine points two ahead of Côte d’Ivoire, who are due to play fourth-placed Niger, and Madagascar respectively.
Elsewhere, Sudan earned a 2-0 win away to Sao Tome e Principe to go level on nine points with Ghana and South Africa, who are scheduled to play against each other, in Group C.
The final group matches will pit Ghana as overwhelming favourites against Sao Tome e Principe who are yet to pick up a single point, while Sudan and South Africa will face off in a six-pointer.
In Group A, Seydouba Souma’s 75th minute strike saw Guinea Mali 1-0 in Conakry and qualify for the tournament from Group A. Mali had qualified earlier.
Victory moved Guinea to 11 points five ahead of third-placed Namibia who were awarded a 3-0 win against Chad, who had been disqualified. The final group match between Guinea and Namibia will determine the group winners as Mali has 13 points after also being awarded a 3-0 win against Chad.
The 2021 Afcon, which will attract 24 teams, is scheduled to take place in January next year after organisers postponed the championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last of the qualifying games started on Wednesday and end on March 30 over two-match days.