Tunisia and Mali confirm tickets for Cameroon

 

Tunisia and Mali have
joined 2019 finalists Senegal, holders Algeria as well as hosts Cameroon as the qualified teams for the 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after both picked favorable results in match day four games.

Tunisia progressed despite a 1-1 draw with Tanzania in Dar es Salaam while Mali went through after a 2-1 victory away to Namibia.

In Tanzania, the Carthage Eagles moved to 10 points on top of Group J after four matches and preserve their unbeaten run. Tanzania moved to third with the point, getting to four points and two behind second placed Equatorial Guinea to keep their qualification hopes alive.

A second half charge by the Taifa Stars earned them a point, with substitute Feisal ‘Fei Toto’ Salum’s screamer cancelling out Saif Eddine Khaoui first half opener.

Tunisia went to the break a goal up, Khaoui’s goal the difference between the two sides. Khaoui had struck the back of the net with a well taken first time shot after being teed up by skipper Youssef Msakni.

The Carthage Eagles had quickly turned play around after Tanzania’s DItram Nchimbi who failed to control a long ball, chesting it to Ali Maaloul’s path who launched the play forward.

The Tunisians were gifted for a positive start to the match and before the goal, Msakni had struck the upright after Tanzanian keeper Aishi Manula came off his line but failed to pick the ball, gifting the Tunisian skipper with a golden chance.

The North Africans continued running rings around their hosts and controlled massive possession. Wahbi Khazri came close in the 21st minute but his snap shot from inside the box was wide.

In the 24th minute, Khaoui came close to doubling his and the team’s tally but his brilliant shot off a cheeky Khazri backheel pass rattled the crossbar.

The Tanzanians made an early chance, Salum coming on for Himid Mao, a change geared to improve the Taifa Stars’ creativity in midfield.

The home side came from the breather like a new team and it only took them two minutes to get to level terms. A cross from Nchimbi on the right was chested down by John Bocco with Salum striking a first time effort that flew into the net from range.

Tanzania kept pushing and had another chance in the 53rd minute, Nchimbi’s header from a corner bouncing just wide.

Tanzania’s fight was almost nipped in the bud when Khaoui broke into the box from a Msakni pass, but he couldn’t connect with his shot well, keeper Manula making a save. The home side continued their fight and with quarter of an hour left came close, but were denied by Ben Mustapha who tipped over Msuva’s curling effort for a corner.

The Tunisians finished the game on a high, and had a chance with two minutes left on the clock but Msakni’s shot from a tight angle was saved by Manula much to the relief of the Tanzanians.