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Kenya, Tanzania eliminated from CAN mini-league phase Uganda win in Mauritania to advance

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 4, (AFP): Kenya and Tanzania were eliminated Sunday from the qualifying competition for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) in Morocco. But it was not all gloom for east Africa as Uganda won in Mauritania to reach the mini-league phase, which kicks off during September. The ‘Harambee Stars’ of Kenya could manage only a 0-0 draw with the ‘Crocodiles’ of Lesotho in Nairobi despite dominating the third-round game and fell 1-0 on aggregate. Lesotho were given little chance of survival at the Nyayo Stadium having lost 11 consecutive Cup of Nations eliminators since defeating Zimbabwe in a 2002 qualifier. But even the presence of foreign-based stars like midfielder Victor Wanyama from English Premier League club Southampton could not lift the home side to victory.

Lesotho, who won the first leg 1-0 in Maseru, advance to the September-November mini-league phase where they will play Burkina Faso, Angola and Gabon. Star midfielder Elias ‘Domingues’ Pelembe scored eight minutes from time to earn Mozambique a 2-1 triumph over Tanzania at Estadio Zimpeto in Maputo. The Mozambican ‘Mambas’ (snakes) won 4-3 on aggregate having snatched a late 2-2 draw in Dar es Salaam two weeks ago. Tanzania, who never defeated Mozambique in five previous Cup of Nations qualifiers, fell behind in first-half stoppage time when Josemar Machaisse scored.

Mbwana Samata, who plays for crack Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe, levelled 13 minutes from time. But the Tanzanian ‘Taifa Stars’, who needed to score again to go through on the away-goal rule, had hopes of a historic victory dashed by South Africa-based ‘Domingues’. Tanzania are coached by Dutchman Mart Nooij, who was in charge of Mozambique from 2007 for four years. Mozambique progress to Group F, where they will face 2012 African champions Zambia, the Cape Verde Islands and Niger. Uganda followed up a two-goal home victory over Mauritania with a 1-0 win at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott. The match turned into a tale of two substitutes, Mauritanian Karamogho Moussa Traore and Ugandan Robert Ssentongo. Traore was introduced after 73 minutes with his team desperately seeking to break down the Ugandan ‘Crranes’ defence only to be red carded just six minutes later. Ssentongo came off the bench four minutes from time in place of Luwagga Kizito and snatched the only goal two minutes into stoppage time.
Uganda, who needed the away-goal rule to squeeze past Madagascar in the previous round, go into Group E with Ghana, Togo and Guinea. Botswana, Malawi and Rwanda secured group places Saturday and Sierra Leone received a walkover two days earlier when the Seychelles withdrew. Meanwhile, Patrice Beaumelle quit as Zambia coach Sunday and is expected to team up with French compatriot and new Ivory Coast boss Herve Renard. Zambian football supremo Kalusha Bwalya confirmed the resignation of Beaumelle, adding that the Frenchman was planning to work with Renard again. “Patrice wants to work with Herve and there is nothing we can do,” the 1988 African Footballer of the Year told AFP.
“When you are a head coach there is too much pressure, unlike when you are an assistant.” Renard and Beaumelle plotted the shock 2012 Africa Cup of Nations final triumph of Zambia over Ivory Coast after a penalty shootout. Beaumelle was promoted to ‘Chipolopolo’ (Copper Bullets) head coach when Renard left Zambia last year for French Ligue 1 outfit Sochaux. However, having failed to save the club from relegation, Renard succeeded Sabri Lamouchi as coach of the Ivorian ‘Elephants’ three days ago. Former France midfielder Lamouchi resigned when Ivory Coast were eliminated from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after the first round.

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