Africa Cup of Nations: South Africa end Mauritanian hopes

South Africa's Hlompho Kekana
A goal from Mamelodi Sundowns' Hlompho Kakena ended Mauritania's slim hopes of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations finals

Mauritania's slim hopes of qualifying for a first ever Africa Cup of Nations finals were ended on Friday as they drew 1-1 in South Africa in Group M.

With Cameroon having already won the group Mauritania needed a win to have any chance at all of earning one of the two best runners-up places available.

The draw means that Mauritania finish in second place with eight points and South Africa third a point behind.

The Gambia, who play Cameroon on Saturday, finish bottom of the table.

Mauritania gave themselves some hope in Nelspruit as they took the lead after 17 minutes.

The goal came against the run of play, as captain Diallo Guideye's low shot from the edge of the area beat South Africa's keeper, Itumeleng Khune.

South Africa's equaliser came about 10 minutes later from a Mpho Makola corner that was headed on by Thulani Hlatshwayo to allow Hlompho Kekana to head home from close range.

Thamsanqa Gabuza had a great chance to give Bafana Bafana the lead just before half-time but was denied by the keeper after a one-on-one chance.

The stop left keeper Brahim Souleymane injured and he did not recover for the second half.

Gabuza was then denied from the penalty spot by Souleymane's replacement.

Mauritania played the last 15 minutes with 10 men after the dismissal of Ismail Diakhite for a second bookable offence.

Also on Friday the Nations Cup hosts Gabon came from behind to beat Sudan 2-1 in Khartoum.

All three goals came in the first-half with Hamid Nizar on target for Sudan before Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then Cardiff City's Bruno Ecuele Manga gave Gabon the victory.

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