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LIVE, Africa Cup of Nations: Finale for Groups E, F

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Groups E and F reach their finale on Tuesday, as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations knockout round bracket will be set after these four games.

And all eight teams in action can still make the Round of 16.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores

In Group E a point will likely be enough for group leaders Mali, who have already reached the knockout round, to finish top, while Tunisia must beat Mauritania to have a chance of topping the group and have an easier path in the knockout rounds. If Mali do finish top of the group they will play against the Ivory Coast in the Round of 16.

Group F is somewhat complicated, but Cameroon have definitely advanced and a win against Benin will seal top spot for the reigning champs. Any of Benin, Guinea-Bissau or Ghana can still reach the last 16, with the latter potentially playing Nigeria in the last 16 if they do finish second in Group F.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Tuesday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Tuesday, July 2

Group F
Benin v. Cameroon – 12 p.m. ET
Guinea-Bissau v. Ghana – 12 p.m. ET

Group E
Angola v. Mali – 3 p.m. ET
Mauritania v. Tunisia – 3 p.m. ET

AFCON wrap: Diaby’s sensational rip highlights trio of matches

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The Africa Cup of Nations said hello to six more competitors on Monday, with a thrilling goal amongst the eight tallied across the competitions in Egypt.

[ MORE: Copa America roundup ]


Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Two different men named Adama Traore — neither of them the Wolves winger — joined Moussa Marega on the score sheet but it’s difficult to describe the class and small margins that defined the tournament’s goal of the day.

Sporting Lisbon’s Abdoulay Diaby somehow got this shot off through two defenders and into the upper reaches of the goal to open the scoring in the three-goal win for Mali, which is having some summer when you take into account the U-20 World Cup.

Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa

There were only 13 total attempts in the game, and Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija scored the lone goal of a tournament opening win for Les Elephants.

Tunisia 1-1 Angola

A draw was probably fair, as Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty was met by Djalma Campos’ late goal to split the spoils in Group E.

FOLLOW LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations – Ivory Coast, Tunisia in action

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The Africa Cup of Nations group stage trundles on, as a couple of big boys arrive on Monday.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores ]

Both the Ivory Coast and Tunisia begin their 2019 campaign in Egypt, as the Ivorians face South Africa are favorites to advance in Group D but Morocco will push them all the way despite their narrow 1-0 against Namibia on Sunday.

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is the main attacking threat for Ivory Coast, while Tottenham’s Serge Aurier is a mainstay in defense for the winners of the 2015 AFCON.

In Group E, Tunisia face Angola and they’re heavily favored to win with former Sunderland attacker Wahbi Khazri their main man. Elsewhere in Group E Mali face Mauritania with new Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo one of the main men for Mali.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Monday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Monday, June 24

Group D
Ivory Coast v. South Africa – 10:30 a.m. ET

Group E
Tunisia v. Angola – 1 p.m. ET
Mali v. Mauritania – 4 p.m. ET

Mauritania qualifies for 2019 African Cup in latest surprise

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Mauritania qualified for its first major soccer tournament on Sunday when it beat Botswana to claim a place at next year’s African Cup of Nations.

It was the second major surprise of qualifying after Madagascar sealed a spot at the African Cup for the first time last month.

Mauritania, a country in northwest Africa covered almost completely by the Sahara desert, came from behind to beat Botswana 2-1 with two goals by forward Ismael Diakite.

It means a nation that waited 17 years after its first international game for its first win will finally play among the continent’s best teams next June and July.

Mauritania is one of 13 countries to have now qualified for an expanded 24-team Cup of Nations hosted by Cameroon. Eight of them qualified this weekend, the penultimate round of games, led by former champions Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Algeria.

Nigeria is back at the tournament – for the first time since it won the title in 2013 – after a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday. A Nigerian state governor promised the team $25,000 for every goal in the crucial game but one was enough as Nigeria secured the point it needed to guarantee it one of the two qualifying places from the group.

Ivory Coast, the 2015 African champion, made sure of its place despite an underwhelming qualification campaign when it drew 1-1 in Guinea on Sunday. The result qualified both teams. Morocco’s place was confirmed after Malawi surprisingly lost 2-1 in Comoros. That eliminated the Malawians and caused their federation head, Walter Nyamilandu, a newly elected member of the FIFA Council, to complain about the makeup of the Comoros squad. It’s almost completely foreign-born players and Comoros’ goals against Malawi were scored by French-born players El Fardou Ben Nabouhane and Nasser Chamed.

Nyamilandu claimed on Twitter that Comoros “buy citizenship to make a national team” and called it “immoral.” There was no sign of an official protest by Malawi, though.

Algeria is through after winning 4-1 in Togo, helped by two goals from Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Other teams to qualify this weekend were Mali and Uganda.

War-torn Libya, which has twice in the last five years had to back out of hosting the African Cup because of its civil war, still has a chance to qualify. Libya crushed Seychelles 8-1 and faces South Africa in a decisive game in the final round of qualifying in March to see who joins Nigeria at the African Cup from that group. Although it’s a “home” game for Libya, the North Africans haven’t played on home soil for five years because of the conflict, instead holding their home games in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. Libya needs a win while South Africa just needs to draw.

More debutants may be joining Madagascar and Mauritania next year, the first time the African Cup has expanded to 24 teams from its usual 16. Burundi needs a draw at home in its final game against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s Gabon to reach the finals. Lesotho, the tiny country surrounded by South Africa, is also still in contention.

Canada begins post-Floro era with 4-0 win in Africa

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Canada got off the mat after its disappointing end to World Cup qualifying with a 4-0 win over Mauritania on Thursday in Marrakesh.

The Canucks are in Morocco for a pair of matches, including Tuesday’s match against the hosts. They are the first under interim coach Michael Findlay.

Mauritania is ranked 96th in the world, seven spots higher than Canada.

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Toronto FC’s Tosaint Ricketts had two goals in the win, while Marcus Haber (unattached) and Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdańsk) also scored.

Burnley’s Scott Arfield and Cardiff City’s Junior Hoilett set up goals for Canada, while Simon Thomas (Bodo/Glimt) stopped a penalty in his fifth cap.

You can watch the full match below via YouTube. Mauritania kicks off around the 54-minute mark.