Soccer-Ivory Coast, Morocco latest teams to qualify for Cup of Nations finals

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The Ivory Coast and Morocco added their names to the list of qualifiers for the next Africa Cup of Nations after they booked a place in the 24-team field on Friday.

The Ivorians won 3-0 away in Niger with captain Serge Aurier playing a central role with an early goal and two assists in the win.

It secured a top two finish for the Ivorians in Group K.

A goalless draw away in neighbouring Mauritania meant Morocco finished top of Group E.

Congo kept up second place in Group I when they held already-qualified Senegal to a goalless draw in Brazzaville.

Congo are two points above third paced Guinea Bissau, who had condemned Eswatini to bottom place in the group when they won 3-1 in Manzini earlier on Friday.

It means Guinea Bissau must beat Congo at home in their last qualifier on Tuesday to take a place in the finals.

A shock 3-1 home win for the Cape Verde Islands -- their first of the campaign -- over Cameroon put them second in Group F and they now need only draw in their last game away at Mozambique on Tuesday to qualify.

Cape Verde came from a goal down to register a convincing win over next year’s tournament hosts.

But if they lose, Mozambique will qualify in their place for the first time since 2010.

There are now 16 countries qualified for the finals in Cameroon in January with the rest of the places to be decided over the next four days.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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