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Afcon qualifying: Lesser lights take centre stage on final weekend

When the Confederation of African Football ratified an expansion to the Africa Cup of Nations in July 2017, introducing eight more teams to the biennial competition, the dynamic of the qualifying program was always going to change.

As had been the case ahead of the European Championship in 2016, for which UEFA had instigated an increase from 16 to 24 teams, many of the continent's heavyweights cruised to the tournament with games to spare.

However, an overall decrease in drama among the bigger nations...

Child refugee Berahino's return helps Burundi reach African Nations Cup finals

Saido Berahino scored his first goal in over two years on Tuesday.
Stoke's Saido Berahino helped Burundi to qualify.

Saido Berahino's decision to play for the country his family fled when he was 10 paid off at the weekend as the Stoke forward helped Burundi qualify for their first-ever African Nations Cup finals.

A 1-1 draw at home to Gabon in Bujumbura on Saturday ensured qualification for Burundi, sparking wild celebrations in the east African country.

"It's amazing, I cannot find the words. I need to take myself away for a moment to try and properly realise what has happened because I have not really been...

Burundi seal first-ever AFCON qualification, three more nations make finals

Burundi are the third team who will make their debut at an expanded African Nations Cup.

Burundi qualified for the African Nations Cup finals for the first time as they kept Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in check to get the point they needed in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The result secured them second place in Group C to join Madagascar and Mauritania as countries going to the finals for the first time and their achievement sparked wild celebrations in the tiny east African country.

They were joined later on Saturday by Cameroon, Guinea Bissau and Namibia, who qualified despite...

Super Eagles' Afcon qualifier scoreline flatters to deceive

Exactly 39 years to the day on which Nigeria won their first ever African title, the current iteration underwhelmed in their final game of this Africa Cup of Nations qualifier series, despite recording a victory. 

In what has got to go down as perhaps their most uninspiring performance of the 2019 qualifying series, the Super Eagles ground out a 3-1 win over group whipping boys Seychelles on Friday night in Asaba. 


Odion Ighalo opened the scoring from the spot with a goal that took his...

Wilson nets debut goal as Angola seal Cup of Nations return

Angola striker Wilson Eduardo scored on his debut as they beat Botswana 1-0 to qualify for the expanded 24-team Africa Cup of Nations finals being hosted in Egypt from June 21-July 19.

Wilson, a former Portugal junior international, netted midway through the first half to ensure his side's passage to the continental championships in a game that was delayed for 30 minutes after halftime by a partial floodlight failure.

Angola have missed the last two Nations Cup tournaments, but secured their passage...