Egypt, Ethiopia, I. Coast, Tunisia reach play-offs
Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Algeria Sunday became the first countries to reach the play-offs in the Africa zone of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. A spectacular own goal by Bernard Parker gifted lowest Group A seeds Ethiopia a 2-1 triumph over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in Addis Ababa and an unassailable five-point lead with one round left. Mohamed Salah followed up a hat-trick against Zimbabwe last weekend by scoring the goal that earned Egypt a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and created a five-point Group G gap over Guinea.
After winning 1-0 in Rwanda, Algeria had to wait five hours before Mali were held 2-2 at home by Benin, a result that gave the Desert Foxes an uncatchable four-point advantage. Ghana, who were quarter-finalists the last World Cup, took a significant step toward reaching the play-offs with a 2-0 win over Lesotho in Maseru through goals from Christian Atsu and captain Asamoah Gyan.
The Black Stars moved one point ahead of Zambia in Group D and host the shock 2012 Africa Cup of Nations champions in the final series of mini-league fixtures during September. South Africa took on Ethiopia before a sell-out 25,000 crowd needing at least a point to stay in contention and an attacking approach paid off on 34 minutes when Parker cracked a half-volley wide of Jemal Tassew into the far corner.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Daily Nation