Egypt, Ivory Coast march on
Johannesburg - Egypt, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast Sunday became the first countries to reach the play-offs in the Africa zone of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. A spectacular own goal by Bernard Parker gifted lowest Group A seeds Ethiopia a 2-1 triumph over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in Addis Ababa and an unassailable five-point lead with one round left. Mohamed Salah followed up a hat-trick against Zimbabwe last weekend by scoring the goal that earned Egypt a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and created an eight-point Group G gap over Guinea.
The 'Black Stars' moved one point ahead of Zambia in Group D and host the shock 2012 Africa Cup of Nations champions in the final series of mini-league fixtures during September. South Africa took on Ethiopia before a sell-out 25,000 crowd needing at least a point to stay in contention and an attacking approach paid off on 34 minutes when Parker cracked a half-volley wide of Jemal Tassew into the far corner.
But the 'Walyas Antelopes' -- 19 places below 'Bafana Bafana' (The Boys) on the African rankings -- levelled just before half-time when Getaneh Kebede rifled the ball into the net from close range after a scramble. The decisive goal came after 70 minutes when Parker fluffed an attempted clearance off an Ethiopian free kick, sending a flying header past goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune into his sown net.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at SPORT24