2022 World Cup: Liberia advance after dramatic penalty save from teenage keeper

World Cup trophy
Five African nations will qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as they bid to become the first African team to lift the famous trophy

18-year-old goalkeeper Ashley Williams was Liberia's hero on Sunday after he saved a stoppage-time penalty in Sierra Leone to put his country through to the group phase of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Sierra Leone, who were leading 1-0 but trailing the first round tie 3-2 overall, knew if they scored they would progress on the away-goals rule.

In front of a huge Freetown crowd, Sierra Leone skipper Umaru Bangura stepped up only for Williams to produce a dramatic save.

Earlier in the match, veteran forward Kei Kamara had put Sierra Leone 1-0 ahead in the second leg to give the hosts hope after they had lost the first leg 3-1.

Liberia, under new coach Peter Butler, will now go into the group stages.

Equatorial Guinea also advanced on Sunday, beating South Sudan 1-0 courtesy of an Emilio Nsue goal. The first leg had ended 0-0.

In the earlier matches on Sunday, Tanzania beat Burundi on penalties and Ethiopia were away-goals winners over Lesotho.

A further 10 second legs are scheduled for Tuesday with lowly-ranked Djibouti and Somalia defending one-goal leads as they seek their first overall victories in a World Cup tie.

The 14 teams who advance from this round will enter the group stage, where they will join the 26 top-ranked sides in the 40-team, 10-group second phase.

Five places have been reserved for Africa at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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