LUANDA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Angola came from a goal down to beat Niger 3-1 in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday but bowed out of the campaign despite finishing second in their group.
Angola, who were 1-0 down at half time, fell short of the
points needed to finish among the eight best group runners-up
who progress to the final phase of African qualifying along with
the 12 group winners.
It is a major setback for Angola, who host the next African
Nations Cup finals and were surprise finalists at the 2006 World
Cup in Germany.
Malam Moussa put Niger into a 20th minute lead in their
final Africa zone Group Three game but an own goal from
goalkeeper Daouda Kassali shortly after halftime began Angola's
Gilberto and Ze Kalanga added goals in the 68th and the 73rd
minute after Niger had been reduced to 10 men with the sending
off of Lassina Abdoulkarim.
Angola's win ended the outside hopes of group rivals Uganda,
who had won 2-1 at home to Benin earlier on Sunday but it handed
Mozambique a place in the final phase, who now edge into the
list of best runners-ups.