Burundi make history with first Cup of Nations qualification

0:00

Burundi have qualified for the African Cup of Nations 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 in Bujumbura.

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 east African country.

They were joined later on Saturday by Cameroon, Guinea Bissau and Namibia, who qualified despite losing 4-1 to Zambia in dramatic circumstances.

While Burundi needed only a draw, visitors Gabon - who lasted hosted the finals in 2017 - had to win to join Mali in the expanded 24-team finals in Egypt.

Burundi were kept at bay repeatedly by the heroics of Gabon's veteran goalkeeper Didier Ovono before Cedric Amissi broke the deadlock in the 75th minute. Gabon claimed a late Omar Ngandu own goal in vain.

Aubameyang had a largely quiet afternoon and the Gabonese were unable to get the second goal they needed to reach the finals.

A dramatic stoppage-time equaliser from Frederic Mendy also secured Guinea Bissau top place in Group K after a 2-2 draw at home to Mozambique.

Namibia, despite being thrashed 4-1 by Zambia in Lusaka, qualified in second place in Group K ahead of Mozambique on head to head results.

Defending champions Cameroon, originally named hosts of the 2019 finals before the tournament was moved due to concerns over preparations, confirmed their qualification with a 3-0 home win over Comoros Islands.

Jeffrey Schlupp scored eight minutes from time to give Ghana a 1-0 home win over Kenya in Group F. Both teams had secured qualification last year.

Senegal and Mali completed their campaigns unbeaten with home wins, while Ivory Coast beat visiting Rwanda 3-0 and an Egypt missing star Mohamed Salah were held 1-1 at lowly Niger.

Source AAP