JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Mali and Benin qualified for the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana after a tense climax to Group 9 on Friday.
Mamadou Diallo scored in injury time to seal a 2-0 win for Mali over Togo in Lome while Benin triumphed by the same score in Sierra Leone with Oumar Tchomogo on target twice.
Mali finished first on the final standings with 12 points from three victories and three draws and automatically qualified for the biennial tournament.
And Benin pipped Uganda for the last of three places reserved for the best runners-up thanks to a superior goal difference - plus six against plus five - after both collected 11 points.
Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia qualified last month and the final slot will be filled on Saturday.
Defending champions Egypt, who edged Ivory Coast on penalties after a goalless final in Cairo last year, will top Group 2 provided they avoid defeat at home to minnows Botswana.
Hosts and four-time champions Ghana qualify automatically for a tournament to be staged at four venues in the west African nation between January 20 and February 10.
Mali atoned for failing to reach the 2006 Nations Cup with a heroic performance before a capacity 30,000 crowd willing Togo to a second consecutive finals appearance.
Frederic Kanoute from Uefa Cup and Spanish Cup holders Sevilla broke the deadlock after 38 minutes in the Togolese capital by heading home a Bassala Toure cross.
Lesser known Diallo, who plays for a Qatari club, put the outcome beyond doubt two minutes into stoppage time as the Malian Eagles emphasised their superiority over the Togolese Hawks having won 1-0 in Bamako last year.
Togo had pinned their hopes on Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored an English Premiership hat-trick against Derby recently, but he was closely watched on his return after missing two group games due to a bonus row.
Benin travelled north to Sierra Leone knowing maximum points would secure a place at the finals either as group winners, if the match in Lome was drawn, or as one of lucky runners-up.
And it took the Benin Squirrels just 10 minutes to score against the run of play when a shot from Portugal-based striker Oumar Tchomogo was deflected into the net.
Undeterred by the setback, Sierra Leone pressed forward continuously only to be let down by poor finishing from Umaru Bangoura, Julius Woobay and Foday Camara.
A lively second half brought no change of luck for the wasteful Leone Stars and Tchomogo pounced on a weak back pass to increase the lead with 65 minutes gone.
The result dashed Ugandan dreams of a first appearance at the Nations Cup since 1978 when the Cranes reached the final only to lose 2-0 against hosts Ghana in Accra.
|Conte likes Dzeko but Chelsea have made no offer, says agent|
|Goretzka´s Bayern move good for Bundesliga, suggests Rummenigge|
|Walcott left Arsenal with his things in bin bags|
|Schalke confirm Goretzka will join Bayern|
|Sergi Roberto renews Barca deal until 2022|
|Fernandinho seals extended Manchester City contract|
|Ceballos knee knock to be assessed after Real Madrid Copa win|
|Hamsik has no doubts over Napoli future|
|Corchia determined to repay Montella´s faith at Sevilla|
|Arsenal or Manchester United – who wins from the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal?|
|I would love to coach PSG – Mancini|
|Merson: Mkhitaryan will be a sensation at Arsenal|
|Wins over substance for Varane and Real Madrid|
|Arsenal´s Giroud the answer for Chelsea, says Parlour|
|Wenger: Sanchez exit won´t hurt like Van Persie|
|Zidane hopes late Leganes win is turning point for Real Madrid|
|De Gea happy to delay Man Utd contract talks|
|Leganes 0 Real Madrid 1: Asensio´s late goal lifts pressure on Zidane in Copa quarter-final|
|Toulalan follows Gourvennec out of Bordeaux|
|Dortmund´s Durm suffers torn ankle ligaments|
|Chelsea send Nathan to Belenenses on loan|
|Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson|
|Gravel for breakfast but no worms on Dyche´s menu|
|Dybala is no Messi - Laudrup thinks comparisons are unfair|
|Dortmund leave Aubameyang out amid Arsenal links|
|Koulibaly would stay at Napoli ´forever´|
|Neymar´s PSG contract has no release clause, lawyer claims|
|Robben relaxed over Bayern contract talks as other clubs circle|
|Henderson returns to Liverpool training|
|Football´s biggest release clauses - Pique joins Messi, Ronaldo and LaLiga´s big boys|
|No offers for Evans yet, says West Brom boss Pardew|
|Stafylidis seals Stoke switch|
|Worry about your own team - Dortmund slam Wenger´s Aubameyang pursuit|
|Praet denies agreeing deal to join Juventus|
|No BBC for Real Madrid´s Leganes clash|
|Stoke close to Stafylidis signing|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Perth Glory 2: Holman settles five-goal thriller|
|Gourvennec leaves Bordeaux after seventh defeat in eight games|
|Pique agrees new long-term Barcelona contract|
|Wenger rules out Ozil sale as talks continue over Wilshere deal|
|Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal close, says Wenger|
|Meunier blasts ´disgraceful´ PSG fans after Neymar boos|
|Pique demands better at Camp Nou after Espanyol ´insults´|
|Schweinsteiger re-signs with Chicago Fire for 2018|
|Juve trying everything to sign Can, says Marotta|
|Rooney convinced me to join Everton – Walcott|
|Simeone: Sevilla deserved their win|
|Conte calls for VAR improvements|
|Neymar not angered by PSG whistles - Silva|
|FA Cup Review: Wigan dump Bournemouth out, nine-man Chelsea scrape through|
|Valverde rues Barca profligacy in Espanyol defeat|
|Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 (aet, 5-3 pens): Hazard and Caballero seal Blues progression|
|No generosity from Neymar as Cavani waits to make PSG history|
|Neymar sets Ligue 1 landmark with staggering individual display|
|Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends unbeaten run|
|Paris Saint-Germain 8 Dijon 0: Neymar hits four as Cavani levels Ibrahimovic record|
|Atletico fan in ´serious condition´ after being stabbed before Sevilla game|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Sevilla 2: Montella´s men stage dramatic first-leg comeback|
|Lukaku will score 30 goals for Man Utd this season, predicts Yorke|
|Liverpool loan Grujic to Cardiff|
|Mbappe: More to come from Neymar & Cavani partnership|
|Messi the greatest ever despite no World Cup win, insists Di Maria|
|Villa determined to earn place in Spain´s World Cup squad|
|Walcott swaps Arsenal for Everton|
|You even learn from Guardiola at home - Otamendi lauds Pep impact|
|Otamendi pens Man City deal to 2022|
|Neymar leads tributes to retiring Ronaldinho|
|Ronaldo must focus on playing - Zidane sidesteps exit talk|
|Zidane still an idol for James despite ´sad´ Madrid exit|
|Stoger will stay at Dortmund if ´everything fits´|
|Bordeaux´s Malcom facing disciplinary action over social media video|
|Ronaldinho retires – The greatest Brazilians to play for Barcelona|
|Athletic reward Williams with contract until 2025|
|Jones taking unlikely inspiration from City in United´s title pursuit|
|Moyes unaware of Chelsea interest in Carroll|
|Verdi wants Bologna stay amid Napoli links|
|Ronaldinho retires – A shining light of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Ronaldinho retires – a World Cup and Ballon d´Or among Brazil great´s prizes|
|World Cup glory and Bernabeu magic - Ronaldinho´s best moments for Barca and Brazil|
|Ligue 1 Review: Balotelli at the double as Payet shines and Malcom toils|
|Pato still dreaming of World Cup selection|
|FA Cup Review: Iheanacho makes VAR history, kit confusion reigns|