JOHANNESBURG: An Edgar Salli thunderbolt gave Cameroon a 1- 0 victory in Mauritania Friday and a place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Gabon.
The diminutive 23-year-old midfielder from Swiss club Saint Gallen struck on the half hour mark at a packed 10 000 seat national stadium in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott.
Mauritania failed to clear a free kick and Salli pounced on the loose ball just outside the penalty area and slammed it past diving goalkeeper Souleymane Diallo.
The home team who began the match one point behind the visitors pressed continuously for an equaliser after half time.
But hopes of drawing level were dealt a huge blow on 68 minutes when defender Moustapha Diaw was red carded after clashing with striker Karl Toko.
Frustrated supporters in a predominantly pro Mauritania crowd hurled missiles at the Cameroon bench in the closing stages and one struck Belgium-born coach Hugo Broos.
Victory lifted Cameroon to 11 points in Group M and an unassailable four point advantage over Mauritania as each country has only one fixture to play.
South Africa (three points) are away to Gambia (two points) in Bakau Saturday with only pride at stake.
Four time African champions Cameroon are the third country to qualify for the 16-team Cup of Nations after Morocco and Algeria.
Morocco secured a place during March by beating Cape Verde twice within four days and Algeria booked their place Thursday through a 2-0 win in the Seychelles.
The Moroccans dropped their first points and conceded a first goal in Group F when Libya snatched a stoppage time goal to draw 1-1 in Tunis.
Nabil Dirar scored off a half volley after a corner to give Morocco a first-half lead and Sanad Ouerfelli levelled by heading a free kick past goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi.
A home fixture for Libya it was switched to Tunisia because of militia instigated post Moamer Kadhafi era lawlessness Former champions Tunisia took a significant step toward qualifying by winning 3-0 away to Group A whipping boys Djibouti.
Naim Sliti and Hamdi Harbaoui scored during the opening half in the tiny Horn of Africa state and Taha Yassine Khenissi added a third goal just before the hour mark.
Leaders Tunisia have 10 points from five matches, one more than Liberia who host third place Togo in Monrovia Sunday.
Whatever the result of the West African clash, Tunisia will win the section if they beat visiting Liberia during September.
Courtesy : TheNews