African World Cup qualifying

Ethiopia wins, retakes group lead

March 24, 2013
By Press Association

Ethiopia climbed back to the top of its World Cup qualifying group -- but left it late to see off Botswana 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

South Africa took over the leadership of Group A on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat of Central African Republic, but its stay at the summit lasted less than 24 hours as Sewnet Bishaw's side finally broke Botswana's resistance in Addis Ababa.

The game appeared to be drifting to a goalless conclusion when substitute Getaneh Kebede ran on to a through ball, rounded the keeper and slotted home to spark jubilant scenes from the home supporters.

The Black Lions are now two points clear of Bafana Bafana after three games.

Morocco's hopes of appearing in a first World Cup finals since 1998 were hit by a 3-1 defeat in Tanzania.

Mbwana Samata scored twice to add to Thomas Ulimwengu's opener with Youssef El Arabi grabbing the north Africans' sole reply in injury-time.

Morocco, which also had Abderrahim Achchakir sent off 11 minutes from time, is third in Group C, four points behind Tanzania which is a point adrift of Ivory Coast.

Only the 10 pool winners advance to the next phase with five head-to-head playoffs determining which nations claim a place in Brazil next summer.

Egypt looks well-placed in Group G after closest challengers Mozambique and Guinea played out a goalless draw this afternoon.

The seven-time continental champions are two points clear of Guinea with a game in hand and host Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Mali moved to the top of Group H thanks to a 2-1 win in Rwanda.

Rwanda claimed the halftime lead thanks to a goal from Meddie Kagere but second-half strikes from Mahamadou Samassa and Abdou Traore enabled Mali to move two points clear of Benin, which plays its game in hand against Algeria on Tuesday.

Libya missed the chance to climb above Cameroon and to the top of Group I after being held to a goalless draw by DR Congo.

Ghana moved to within a point of Group D leader Zambia with a 4-0 thrashing of Sudan in Kumasi.

Asamoah Gyan put the Black Stars ahead from close range after 19 minutes and Mubarak Wakaso converted Harrison Afful's cross to double the lead before halftime.

Sudan rarely threatened a comeback after the break and Abdul Waris' header made it 3-0 before substitute Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu completed the rout with six minutes to go.

Zambia could only manage a 1-1 draw in Lesotho earlier in the day.

The visitors had goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene sent-off for a professional foul seven minutes into the second half but still took the lead through Collins Mbesuma 21 minutes later.

The 10 men could not hold out, though, as Litsepe Marabe lashed home a long-range effort in the 89th minute to hand Lesotho a point.

Emilio Nsue grabbed a hat trick as Equatorial Guinea beat the Cape Verde Islands 4-3 in Group B.

Real Mallorca striker Nsue put the home side ahead three times only for the Islanders to equalize on each occasion through Jorge Djaniny, Luis Platini and Djaniny again.

But Equatorial Guinea won it when Claudiney Ramos netted with two minutes to go.

The winners moved level on points with second-placed Sierra Leone with both countries five points adrift of runaway leaders Tunisia.

Liberia moved second in Group J with a 2-0 defeat of Uganda with Patrick Wleh and Anthony Laffor grabbing the goals.