Comoros, Gambia Qualify for AFCON Round of 16

Comoros would never have been the finest punters’ favourites to progress to the next round of the African Cup of Nations, but football never dines with the impossible. 

Making their first appearance at the continent’s biggest national football showpiece, the Coelequanths were condemned to crash out from the group stage but a 3-2 defeat of Ghana in their last group game became the springs they needed. Those three points proved enough for the road for Comoros despite suffering two losses as they qualified as one of the best four third-placed teams. 

Mirroring Comoros, albeit with a better touch of class, Gambia came with stunners! The West Africans defeated Mauritania and Tunisia and snatched a late draw against Mali to finish second in their group, tied on points with group leaders Mali, and usurping Tunisia to second place. It was enough to book a safe passage to the next round of the competition, on the first time of asking. The Gambia have been solid throughout the AFCON and have also had a good dose of luck to call upon in dire moments. 

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Cape Verde also qualified from group A as the third-placed team behind Cameroon and Burkina Faso but their four points tally proved enough to set them up for a Round of 16 placement. Group B also saw Malawi finish behind Senegal and Guinea in third place but it proved enough for them as the Flames turn to luck in the round of 16. 

As it stands, sixteen teams have made it to the next round of the competition, either as group winners, second-placed teams or as best losers occupying the third spot.

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Hosts Cameroon are joined by giants Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Mali. Others who have made it through are Gabon, Tunisia, Guinea, Malawi, Comoros, Gambia and Cape Verde.

Find fixtures for the round of 16 below;

Burkina Faso vs Gabon

Nigeria vs Tunisia

Guinea vs Gambia

Cameroon vs Comoros

Senegal vs Cape Verde

Morocco vs Malawi

Ivory Coast vs Egypt 

Mali vs Equatorial Guinea 

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