Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations: Final qualifying set

The Olympic rings and Tokyo 2020 sign
Three men's teams from Africa will qualify for the football tournament at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Congo Brazzaville and Zimbabwe scored late to progress from the second round of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic men's football tournament.

A total of 16 teams are into the third round of qualifying for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

The top three from November's finals will qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Defending champions Nigeria are among the teams to reach the final round but Morocco were surprisingly knocked out.

Third round under-23 qualifying fixtures:

  • South Africa v Zimbabwe
  • Zambia v Congo Brazzaville
  • Ghana v Algeria
  • Cameroon v Tunisia
  • Ivory Coast v Guinea
  • Sudan v Nigeria
  • DR Congo v Mali


After a goalless first leg last week, Congo were trailing visitors Burundi 1-0 in the second leg as the stadium clock reached 90 minutes.

But the hosts grabbed two late goals with Massanga Matondo equalising and Guy Mbenza converting a stoppage-time penalty for a 2-1 win on the day and overall.

Mozambique and Zimbabwe also drew 0-0 in their first meeting and 87 minutes into the second leg in Harare there were still no goals.

Obriel Chirinda then broke the deadlock and fellow substitute Delic Murimba added a second goal five minutes into stoppage time for a 2-0 aggregate victory.

South Africa outplayed Angola 3-0 in Johannesburg to seal a 6-1 aggregate victory with Jamie Webber, Teboho Mokoena and Luther Singh scoring.

It was an impressive showing by the South Africans whose coach, David Notoane, had complained before the tie about having only three days to prepare.

Algeria were a much improved side in the second half as they triumphed 3-1 at home against Equatorial Guinea after a goalless first leg.

Adem Zorgane put the Algerians ahead before half-time and Bilal Benhamouda and Aymen Mahious stretched the advantage to three goals before Mariano Ondo notched a consolation goal.

Algeria's next opponents will be Ghana, who drew 0-0 away to Gabon in Libreville in a tie effectively decided last week when the Ghanaians romped to a 4-0 first leg victory.

Sudan did well to force a 0-0 draw against Kenya in Nairobi and progress 2-0 overall to a tough third round challenge against former Olympic gold medallists Nigeria.

Mali, whose only previous Olympics appearance was in 2004, scored three late goals to crush Ethiopia 4-0 in Bamako and go through 5-1 on aggregate.

The second leg hung in the balance at 1-0 to the home side until Siaka Bagayoko, Aliou Dieng and Bourama Doumbia netted in a 10-minute blitz.


Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen is on loan to Belgian side Charleroi from Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg

Nigeria overturned a first leg loss to Libya with a 4-0 win in Asaba to progress to the final round 4-2 on aggregate.

Victor Osimhen, who is on loan to Charleroi from Bundesliga outfit VfL Wolfsburg, grabbed a hat-trick with his first goal coming after 33 minutes before completing it on 67 and 82 minutes.

The win was completed by David Okereke in the final minute.

In Abidjan, the Ivory Coast hammered Niger 6-1 to complete an 8-2 aggregate win.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg, the Ivorians scored three goals in each half at home with Italy-based Willy Braciano bagging a brace.


Morocco made a shock exit despite defeating the DR Congo 1-0 in Rabat.

The Congolese had won the first leg 2-0 in Kinshasa thanks to a Jackson Muleka brace and they qualified 2-1 on aggregate.

Sofiane Kiyine scored from a 27th-minute penalty for Morocco, but the Congolese did not buckle under constant second half pressure.

The loss cost Dutchman and former Southampton boss, Mark Wotte, his job in charge of Morocco's under-23 side.

Tunisia midfielder Malek Baayou was given a straight red card in the 28th minute as his team struggled to a 1-0 win over South Sudan after a goalless first leg.

The only goal of the return match came on 61 minutes when Nassim Hnid converted a penalty and the Sudanese were reduced to 10 men after the late sending off of Peter Sunday.

Guinea survived an onslaught away to Senegal and forced a 0-0 draw in Thies to qualify for the third round after establishing a 2-1 first-leg lead.

In Lusaka, Zambia completed a double over neighbours Malawi by winning 1-0 for the second time in five days and Fashion Sakala scored the only goal in both matches.

Cameroon are also in the final round of qualifiers after being awarded a walkover as Sierra Leone's ban from global football continues.

Olympics qualifiers are restricted to under-23 footballers with three over-age stars permitted at the finals.

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