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Africa hots up in Olympics qualifiers

30 July 2015, 12:17

Lagos - The continent of Africa gets busy this weekend as countries aim to book a ticket to an eight-nation tournament in Senegal with the top three finishers securing tickets to Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Nigeria travel to Pointe Noire with the hope of finishing up positively after a 2-1 home victory over Congo in the first leg.

The Zambia-Ivory Coast, South Africa-Zimbabwe and Tunisia-Morocco ties are also delicately balanced while Egypt and Mali should progress at the expense of Uganda and Gabon respectively.

Zambia must do without defender Boyd Mkandawire, red-carded during a goalless first leg in Abidjan, and be wary having held Nigeria away in the All-Africa Games only to fail at home.

Also read: FIFA fines Zimbabwe for missing Olympics qualifier

South Africa, angered by what they believe was a "home town decision" that earned Zimbabwe a penalty and an undeserved 1-1 draw, warmed up for the return game with an impressive 2-0 victory over Rwanda.

"It has been a long time (15 years) since South Africa last competed at the Olympics football tournament and I think this team has what it takes to reach Rio," predicted coach Owen Da Gama.

Dominant Morocco could build only a 1-0 home lead over Tunisia while Mali, who will lack suspended leading scorer Adama Niane, enjoy home advantage and a 1-0 lead against Gabon.

Only a miraculous comeback can save Uganda after a 4-0 drubbing in Egypt with Kahraba, real name Mahmoud Abdel Moneim, the two-goal destroyer-in-chief.

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