Comoros make first-ever Africa Cup of Nations appearance, Super Eagles set for Squirrels of Benin.


Comoros will be making their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) appearance in Cameroon next year.

Les Coelacantes, as the country’s national team is called, achieved this historic feat after holding onto a goalless draw at home against Togo on Thursday.

The team from a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast remains unbeaten while currently top of the group G — that comprises Egypt, seven-time champions, and Kenya.

Comoros amassed nine points in five games after an impressive away win in Togo and huge draws against the heavyweights in the group.

The country was registered by the Federation of International Football (FIFA) in 2005 and didn’t enter World Cup and AFCON qualifiers until 2007.

Les Coelacantes didn’t win a major qualifier until a victory over Botswana in 2016. It was their 20th attempt to win any qualifier for significant competitions.

Comoros are the eighth team to qualify for the Nations Cup — joining the likes of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria and Cameroon.

Other results of Thursday are as follows:

Group G: Comoros 0 Togo 0; Kenya 1Egypt 1

Group C: South Africa 1 Ghana 1

Group D: Gabon 3 DR Congo 0 Aubameyang scored 3rd goal 86’

Gambia 1 Angola 0 Ceesay lone strike 62’

Group H: Botwana 0 Zimbabwe 1; Zambia 3 Algeria 3

Group J: Equatorial Guinea 1Tanzania 0; Libya 2 Tunisia 5

Round 5 Fixtures

Meanwhile the Super Eagles are set to visit the Squirrels of Benin Republic who have not lost at home in eight years. The challenge between these two football giants has never been this tough for Nigeria who has never lost to their next door neighbors in fourteen games.

In fact, Nigeria’s biggest win ever was a 10-1 whitewashing of Dahomey (as Benin Republic was then known) in a friendly match in 1959.

TheCable travels back memory lane to recant five of the most impactful competitive continental encounters between the two countries.

September 30, 1990: Benin Republic 0-1 Nigeria — 1992 AFCON qualification game

The first time the two neighboring countries played each other in a competitive match.

The teams have met eight times before but these were friendly games of little significance. Super Eagles had barely missed out of Italia 1990 World Cup to a Cameroon team that went on to create an African record at the Mundial. The nation was also healing from the hole that the death of Samuel Okparaji — an ex-Nigerian footballer who died while playing for the country — dug into its heart.

The disappointment and heartbreak exacerbated as the Eagles crumbled to Ghana in their second game of the qualifiers and their road to Senegal 1992 AFCON began tapering.

Against Benin, Clemens Westerhof, then Super Eagles’ coach, tweaked tactics and replaced a more popular Rashidi Yekini with a little-known Ishaya Jatau. Ishaya grabbed the opportunity and wrote his name in the heart of Nigerians. The striker, who was the first person to be crowned highest goal scorer of the Nigeria League, scored the only goal of the game in the 55th minute and got Super Eagle qualification quest back on track.

Nigeria eventually qualified for the competition and finished third.

February 4, 2004: Benin Republic 1-2 Nigeria — Group Stage Tunisia 2004 AFCON.

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