CAPE TOWN: Mali is the third country to win its group in the African World Cup qualification and move into the playoffs in March, in which the five representatives of the continent will be determined at the World Cup in Qatar next year. </ They beat Rwanda 3-0 away on Thursday and achieved an unassailable four-point lead in Group E after their closest rival Uganda drew 1-1 at home with Kenya.
South Africa was three points ahead of Ghana in Group G with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe, while Benin defeated Madagascar 2-0 and were two points ahead in Group J before they both played away in the crucial games on Sunday.
Senegal, who had already secured progress with Morocco last month, needed a late equalizer in the Group H away qualifier in Togo to draw 1-1, but Sadio Mane was replaced with an injury in the first half.
Times i had a two-point lead ahead of Thursday’s games and was done a huge favor by already-knocked-out Kenya, who led Uganda for most of their derby in Kampala, before the hosts equalized at the last minute through Fahad Bayo / p> But the tie was an effective knockout blow for Uganda, confirmed a few hours later when Mali won slightly away in 10-man Rwanda, which sent Jihad Bizimana off after seven minutes after a cynical foul in Kigali .
Moussa Djenepo opened the goal in the 20th minute, quickly followed by one second from Ibrahima Kone, who now has five goals in qualifying.
Mali’s victory was due to the goal of Khalifa Coulibaly two minutes ahead secured as they advanced to 13 points.
Midfielder Tebeho Mokoena gave South Africa a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe in Johannesburg, while Ghana were 1-1 against Ethiopia.
But Ghana only have to triumph 1-0 at home in the decisive game on Sunday against the South Africans in Cape Coast to win the group due to the higher number of goals scored.
In Group J, Benin’s home win against Madagascar provided one Two-point lead over the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who rekindled their hopes with an emphatic 3-0 away win in Tanzania.
Benin’s goals came from Joel Dossou and Steve Mounie in each half, while Gael Kakuta, Nathan Fasika and Ben Malongo scored for the Congolese in Dar-es-Salaam.
The DR Congo receives Benin in the decisive duel to determine the group winners on Sunday in Kinshasa.
Mane injured himself after 20 minutes of the Senegalese Tie in the rain-soaked Lome, where Habib Diallo equalized for the guests in the 87th minute. The extent of the Liverpool striker’s injury was not immediately clear.
Friday will see six qualifying games in which Egypt will likely become the next team to finish first in their group. The 10 group winners play in five two-legged players in March, with the overall winners qualifying for the World Cup.
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