African nations in hunt for place in the World Cup

MANUEL "Tico Tico" Bucuane scored a second-half goal as Mozambique beat Kenya 1-0 in a World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifier yesterday.

MANUEL "Tico Tico" Bucuane scored a second-half goal as Mozambique beat Kenya 1-0 in a World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifier yesterday.

Mali drew 1-1 with Benin yesterday in a hard-fought encounter that featured two late goals.

Neither 53rd-ranked Mali nor 78th-ranked Benin has made it through to the World Cup finals before. Both hope to qualify to play at their first World Cup next year in South Africa.

Mali's Mamadou Samassa scored the opening goal in the 72nd minute, but Benin's Mohamed Aoudou, who came on as a substitute with 12 minutes to play, scored the equaliser with just three minutes left on the clock.

Mali will play Sudan on October 10. Benin will host group favourite Ghana on October 11.

Meanwhile Ahmed Hassan kept African champions Egypt in the hunt for a 2010 World Cup place by scoring the goal that defeated Rwanda 1-0 in Kigali Saturday.

It was a must-win game for Egypt, who have lifted the African Nations Cup a record six times but qualified for the World Cup only twice with their last appearance 19 years ago in Italy

In another 2010 World Cup qualifier, Cameroon scored twice within three minutes to defeat Gabon 2-0 in Libreville also on Saturday. - Sapa-AFP

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