Comoros have secured qualification to participate in their first ever Africa Nations Cup tournament following a goalless draw against Togo.
The tiny island nation with over 850,000 inhabitants will be represented in 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations to take place in Cameroon in January 2022.
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The Coelacanths, who started their AFCON qualifying campaign with a shock 1-0 win away at Togo – their first ever away win in a competitive international match- befittingly secured qualification by holding the West African nation to a 0-0 draw on Thursday.
Togo, who had already been eliminated, left most of their foreign-based legion behind for the away trip and Comoros capitalized by earning the much-needed point.
The 130th-ranked nation have amassed an unassailable nine-point lead that guarantees them a spot in the top two of Group G, enough to reach the 24-nation tournament.
They also defeated Kenya, gained a point in the reverse fixture and drew against Mohamed Salah’s Egypt to reach eight points before today’s showdown.
Comoros joined the Confederation of African Football in 2003, became a FIFA member State two years later and debuted in Nations Cup qualifiers in 2010.
Influenced by a France-based legion of players, their Marseille-born coach Amir Abdou celebrated the success on Twitter with a congratulatory message.
“WE ARE QUALIFIED! The pride I feel for my country is indescribable! Bravo to my players, my staff, my federation, thank you to the President. And a big thank you to you who are incredible supporters. It is together that we have made history. See you at CAN!” Abdou declared.
The Comoros join host Cameroon, AFCON champions Algeria and seven other nations including Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia and Egypt as the countries that have already booked their place at the January finals.
Egypt became the ninth nation with a record-extending 24th qualification following a 1-1 draw away at Kenya on Thursday evening.
The Pharaohs took a first half lead but the Harambee Stars equalized in the 65th minute before going down to ten men after Johnstone Omurwa’s straight red card.