Sunday, September 7, 2008

Benin, Cameroon On to Second Phase

Benin overcame the formidable challenge of Angola on Sunday to join Nigeria and Cameroon in the last phase of African qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

A 3-2 win in Cotonou for the small West African country came 24 hours after Cameroon had secured their progress by beating the Cape Verde Islands 2-1 in Praia.

Nigeria, who had already made sure of their berth at the end of June, kept up their 100 percent record with a 1-0 win over World Cup hosts South Africa, who are now virtually certain to miss out on the next African Cup of Nations in Angola.

The World Cup qualifiers are also serving as a tournament to determine the 16 finalists for the 2010 Cup of Nations, which is being held six months before the World Cup.

Striker Razak Omotoyossi scored twice for Benin to increase his tally of goals in the qualifiers to five.

Defeat for Angola leaves the 2006 World Cup finalists facing the prospect of early elimination.

Cameroon came from a goal down on Saturday to beat their island opponents with substitutes Achille Webo and Alain Nkong scoring for the Indomitable Lions.

Burkina Faso, Egypt, Libya, and Ivory Coast all need a single point from their last second-round group qualifiers next month to also advance.

Burkina Faso drew 0-0 at home to Tunisia in Ouagadougou on Saturday to keep up their three-point advantage in Group Nine while the Ivorians drew 1-1 in Mozambique on Sunday to stay three points clear in Group Seven.

Playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika scored a 31st-minute winner for Egypt as the African champions beat DR Congo 1-0 in Kinshasa on Sunday in Group 12.

Libya's 1-0 win over Ghana put them into top place in Group Five.

Gabon moved level with Ghana in second place after a 3-0 away win over Lesotho in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Willy Endzanga scored a second-half winner for Congo as they beat Mali 1-0 in Brazzaville to ensure both sides share the leadership in Group 10.

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