Tanzania hold Algeria to end AFCON exile, Uganda win in vain
Tanzania have qualified for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2019 after securing a heroic 0-0 draw away to Algeria on Thursday.
The Taifa Stars knew avoiding defeat in Annaba would be enough to seal their spot at next year's finals in Cote d'Ivoire.
And east Africans side produced a dogged, determined display to frustrate their illustrious hosts and gain the point they needed.
Tanzania's resolute performance denied an Algeria side who had already booked their qualification as Group F winners.
The draw ends Tanzania's AFCON exile, with the Taifa Stars returning to the continent's showpiece tournament for only the third time ever.
Despite dominating possession and carving out several chances, Algeria were unable to break down their stubborn opponents.
Tanzania also posed an occasional threat on the counter-attack to keep the Desert Foxes honest throughout.
The result leaves Algeria manager Djamel Belmadi disappointed after his side's winning run was ended.
But for Tanzania, this hard-fought draw will feel like a triumph after defying the odds to achieve their target.
Niger 0-2 Uganda
Meanwhile, Uganda ended their TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d'Ivoire 2023, qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Niger on Thursday but it was not enough to seal qualification.
First-half goals from Aziz Kayondo and Joseph Ochaya secured victory for the Cranes in Marrakesh.
But elsewhere Tanzania earned the point they needed against Algeria to finish second in Group F behind the Desert Foxes.
That left Uganda's triumph over Niger irrelevant as they were consigned to third place.
After a bright start, Kayondo opened the scoring for Uganda in the 17th minute thanks to Fahad Bayo's assist.
Ochaya then doubled their advantage before the break as they took control of the game.
The second half was more subdued with qualification out of reach for the Cranes.
The victory was the first for Uganda during qualification after four consecutive draws.
But ultimately the damage had already been done as Tanzania's stalemate with Algeria saw them pip Uganda to an AFCON spot.
It means Uganda will be absent from the finals for the second straight tournament.
Tunisia 3-0 Botswana
Tunisia signed off their TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign in style with a dominant 3-0 victory over Botswana on Thursday.
The Carthage Eagles were in control from the outset as they looked to round off Group J on a high.
Despite first-half chances, the deadlock remained at the break with Botswana defending resiliently.
But Tunisia's pressure finally told when Alford Velaphi's own goal put them ahead on the hour.
With the Zebras wilting, substitute Youssef Msakni added a second after 82 minutes following good work from Ali El Abdi.
Msakni was not done there, wrapping up his brace in stoppage time as Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane provided the assist.
The emphatic victory sees Tunisia finish above already-qualified Equatorial Guinea to top Group J.