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East Africa excited at prospect of having four teams

Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) is on the threshold of having four of its affiliates feature in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) for the first time ever in the biennial competition.

With Uganda Cranes having sealed a slot at the weekend, the probable qualifiers in the region include Kenya’s Harambee Stars and Intamba Murugamba of Burundi.

However, Kenya is on the tenterhooks hoping that the ban on Sierra Leone is not annulled by Confederation of African Football (CAF) although by and large, Stars are considered as good as having made it to the 2019 finals in Cameroon.

Kenya still leads Group F with seven points with Ghana a point adrift in the second position through the statistics may change when the two teams battle it out in their final qualifying match in Accra in March, 2019.

Ghana’s Black Stars beat the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia 2-0 in Addis Ababa on Sunday and have virtually qualified alongside Kenya with the two teams’ final meeting at Baba Yara Stadium in Accra being considered a mere formality.

In Group L, Tanzania’s Taifa Stars complicated their chances of qualifying after a 39-year absence following a 1-0 defeat to Lesotho on Sunday.

Tanzania and Lesotho have now tied on five points each ahead of the final qualification match against Uganda and Cape Verde respectively.

Taifa Stars are eight points adrift of Group L leaders Uganda who are home and dry with one game left to play. An away victory would have secured Taifa Stars a place in Africa’s biggest football showcase but they will have to wait until after their last qualifying match against Uganda Cranes in Dar-es-Salaam.

Cape Verde is a further point back and will be seeking for positive results Against Likuena to qualify.

Meanwhile, Burundi climbed above Mali and Gabon to top Group C with a 5-2 win over South Sudan in Juba, where Fiston Abdul-Razak scored four goals for the visitors.

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