afcon feat overlooked

WINS for Algeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast all confirmed their qualification for January's Africa Cup of Nations finals, though the achievement was lost amid the excitement of World Cup action.

WINS for Algeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast all confirmed their qualification for January's Africa Cup of Nations finals, though the achievement was lost amid the excitement of World Cup action.

Ghana clinched a berth at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa with a 2-0 win at home over Sudan on Sunday. At the same time, they also made sure they would play in the Nations Cup in Angola.

Ivory Coast's 5-0 win over Burkina Faso at home on Saturday made them the first team to qualify for the continental championship and a 1-0 win for Algeria over Zambia on Sunday secured their place too.

Algeria, who won the Nations Cup in 1990, failed to qualify for the last two tournaments.

The World Cup qualifiers are being used to determine the field for the 16-team Nations Cup finals from January 10-31 in Angola. It is being played in Benguela, Cabinda, Lubango and the capital Luanda.

While only the top team from each of the five African final-phase groups qualifies for the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010, the top three in the four-team groups go to the Nations Cup finals.

Holders Egypt are among six teams expected to make sure of their Afcon place next month after the penultimate round of qualifiers. Wins for Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zambia will also secure their berths.

Because the Nations Cup falls less than six months before the start of the 2010 World Cup, the tournament is expected to attract wide- spread interest. - Reuters

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