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Football: Ghana qualify for third successive World Cup

Ghana on Tuesday qualified for a third successive World Cup, securing their ticket to Brazil with a 7-3 aggregate win over Egypt. The Black Stars, who have featured at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals, lost the African zone play-off return leg in Cairo 2-1 but had already done enough in last month's first leg in Kumasi, routing Egypt 6-1. Africa's fifth and final berth for the World Cup will come from the play-off between Algeria and Burkina Faso, with Burkina prevailing 3-2 in the first leg.

Football: Nigeria's Obinna ruled out of Italy friendly

Victor Obinna, whose second goal sealed Nigeria's weekend win against Ethiopia and sent the Super Eagles to the World Cup finals, will miss Monday's friendly with Italy because of injury, officials said. The ex-Inter Milan forward came on as a late substitute to score a superb free-kick in the 83rd minute to secure a 2-0 win and 4-1 victory on aggregate on Saturday but later suffered a thigh strain.

Football: Egypt seek World Cup miracle

Egypt will attempt to engineer a World Cup miracle by overturning a 6-1 deficit against Ghana on Tuesday and snatch a spot in the finals in Brazil next year. With Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon already assured of their places, there are only two remaining African slots up for grabs with Burkina Faso taking a slim 3-2 lead to Algeria in the second leg of their play-off. Egypt have been lifted by Al Ahly's eighth CAF Champions League win at the expense of South Africa's Orlando Pirates this month with Mohamed Aboutrika providing the inspiration.

Football: Cameroon reach seventh World Cup finals

Two second half goals from Jean Makoun saw Cameroon to a comfortable 4-1 win over Tunisia to book their place in the World Cup finals for an African record seventh time on Sunday. In the Yaounde sunshine, Cameroon wasted no time in taking the advantage after last month's goalless first leg in Rades. Pierre Webo capitalised on a defensive mix-up after three minutes, Benjamin Moukandjo doubled their lead on the half hour before Tunisia hit back through Ahmed Akaichi early in the second half, only for Jean Makoun to seal victory with goals in the 65th and 86th minutes.

Football: Ivory Coast, Nigeria qualify for World Cup

Ivory Coast joined Nigeria in the World Cup finals on Saturday after a 1-1 draw against Senegal gave them a 4-2 aggregate win on a tense night in neutral Casablanca. Ivory Coast reached a third successive World Cup but they had to survive a tense conclusion to their play-off second leg clash after Senegal had gone ahead 1-0 on the night through a 77th-minute penalty by substitute Moussa Sow after the lively Sadio Mane was fouled by Didier Drogba.

Ivory Coast get past Senegal to reach World Cup

(Reuters) - Ivory Coast qualified for a third straight World Cup after weathering Senegal's late onslaught in a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their playoff on Saturday to progress 4-2 on aggregate. The Ivorians joined Nigeria as the first African teams to reach next year's finals after Salomon Kalou snatched a last-gasp equalizer against their west African rivals. Cool-headed substitute Kalou scored with the last kick of the game after his captain Didier Drogba gave away a late penalty to set up a storming finish in Casablanca.

Football: Nigeria wary of Ethiopia World Cup threat

Nigeria are poised to qualify for the World Cup finals this weekend, taking a lead into their home tie with Ethiopia, while Cameroon and the Ivory Coast look to finish off Tunisia and Senegal. The African champions beat Ethiopia 2-1 in the first leg qualifier in Addis Ababa last month, giving them the edge for Saturday's return leg in the southern coastal city of Calabar. But Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi is wary of complacency, as they eye their fifth appearance at the finals.

Football: Toure hopes its fifth time lucky with BBC African award

Yaya Toure has another chance to win his inaugural BBC African Footballer of the Year award after making the shortlist for the fifth straight year. Also joining the Manchester City and Ivory Coast star among the five nominees for the 2013 edition announced Monday were Nigerians Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel, Burkina Faso's Jonathan Pitroipa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon. The winner, who will be announced on December 2, will be chosen by a fans' text and website vote after the shortlist was drawn up by 44 journalists from across Africa.

Trafficking of young African players still rampant

By Brian Homewood GENEVA (Reuters) - Hundreds of African teenagers are still being led abroad by false agents promising soccer riches only to be abandoned on the streets of European countries, according to a charity that is trying to deal with the problem. Jean-Claude Mbvoumin, a former Cameroon international who heads the Culture Foot Solidaire group (CFS), said it was estimated that up to 15,000 young African players were taken abroad every year under false pretences.

Football: Ahly in pole for final but wary of Pirates

Defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt go into the second-leg final of the CAF Champion's League on Sunday at home in Cairo with a slight edge, but South Africa's Orlando Pirates are vowing a fightback. Ahly scored a vital away goal in the first-leg final that ended 1-1 in Johannesburg a week ago -- to the huge disappointment of the South African champions who had hoped to keep a clean sheet at home. But Pirates have proved a force to reckon with away from home in this year's competition.
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