The race to find the next AFCON winner has already started, and on Sunday, the first teams to proceed to the group stage of the AFCON 2023 qualifiers were known. South Sudan, Lesotho, eSwatini and Sao Tome and Principe emerged as the winners of that exciting weekend matchup.
It was the second leg of the preliminaries and the last chance for the participating teams to determine their fate. If you thought it would be some time until you watched or bet on the AFCON tournament again, you might want to think again. Even though the memories of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2022 are still fresh in our minds, the preliminary rounds for the 2023 tournament have already kicked off.
Here’s an idea, why not follow up on the tournament from this early stage? You’ll know which African team has its eyes on the AFCON 2023 trophy, and you might even have the upper hand when placing bets on the top 10 betting sites in Ghana when the tournament finally starts.
The Bright Stars have booked a slot in the qualifiers after edging out Djibouti on a 5-2 aggregate result. Their first leg was a captivating game played at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt. South Sudan won the first leg with a 4-2 scoreline easing the pressure as they welcomed Djibouti to their home ground.
However, the Juba National Stadium was undergoing some renovation, and the venue of the match was changed to St. Mary’s Stadium in Kampala, Uganda. The second leg was intense, with the scoreline being 0-0 by halftime after several attempts at the goal by Tito Okello. But ten minutes after the break, Peter Chol shook the net and put the Bright Stars ahead in the game until the referee blew the final whistle.
Thus, South Sudan qualified for the group qualifiers with a 5-2 aggregate. Stefano Cusin, the team’s coach, told Sports News Africa, “ The players responded well, and we are happy to make it to the group stage the qualifiers. The first target has been achieved, and now we must continue working hard to get the team stronger.”
Eswatini Outclasses Somalia For A Spot In The Group Stage Qualifiers
Eswatini sailed through to the qualifiers after defeating Somalia both home and away. In their first leg, played at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Eswatini handed Somalia a 3-0 defeat. Fanelo Mamba and Sabelo Ndzinisa scored for the Sihlangu Semnikati or “The King’s Shield” in the second leg, while Omar Jama scored one goal for Somalia.
The match was played at Mbombela, South Africa and ended with a 2-1 result. Eswatini proceeded to the qualifiers with a 5-1 aggregate result.
Lesotho Proceeds To The Next Round After A Tight Match Against Seychelles
The first leg between Lesotho and Seychelles ended goalless after both teams failed to place the ball at the back of each others’ nets. Going into the second leg, both teams had an equal chance of advancing to the group stage qualifiers, and so it was a much-anticipated match.
The second leg was played in Soweto, South Africa, and Lesotho defeated Seychelles 3-1. Lesotho’s Katleho Makateng landed a brace, and this was only his second appearance for the national team.
Lesotho joins South Sudan, Eswatini, Sao Tome and Principe and Gambia in the group stage qualifiers, which will be played in June.