Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Chad, Eswatini, Liberia and South Sudan all progressed to the main stage of qualifying for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations after winning their preliminary round ties on Tuesday.

The quartet will join the 44 highest-ranked sides on the continent in the main group-stage draw.

The Confederation of African Football is yet to announce the date of the qualifying draw or when the finals will be played in Morocco next year.

The staging of the expanded Fifa Club World Cup in June and July next year has thrown up a potential clash with the 2025 Nations Cup.

Eswatini, Liberia and South Sudan all avoided upsets against lower-ranked opponents while Chad beat Mauritius, who are four places above them in Fifa’s world rankings.

Eswatini had beaten Somalia 3-0 in the away leg and two quick goals early in the second half made the tie safe, although Somalia fought back for a 2-2 draw on the day in South Africa.

Chad travelled to Mauritius with a 1-0 advantage but the islanders levelled the tie on aggregate in first-half added time.

However, Chad equalised with 16 minutes to go and netted a winner deep into injury time to seal a 3-1 win on aggregate.

Liberia drew 0-0 with Djibouti, with their 2-0 victory from the first leg seeing the Lone Stars through.

South Sudan also progressed after a goalless second leg in their ‘home’ match against Sao Tome and Principe in Berkane, Morocco, with a 1-1 draw in the first meeting enough to go through on away goals.

Afcon 2025 preliminary qualifying round results
Eswatini 2-2 Somalia (5-2 agg)

Mauritius 1-2 Chad (1-3 agg)

Liberia 0-0 Djibouti (2-0 agg)

South Sudan 0-0 Sao Tome and Principe (1-1 agg)

By Joy

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