East Africa’s hopefuls on the road to the Cameroon 2019 Afcon finals remained alive after round four matches which concluded Tuesday.
Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania posted impressive results in their respective groups to inch closer to qualification for the continental showpiece with two rounds left.
Uganda finished a double over Lesotho in Group L Tuesday, beating them 2-0 to move a point away from back to back Afcon qualification.
A draw against Cape Verde next month in Kampala will see through the Cranes, who top the group on 10 points – five clear of second placed neighbors Tanzania.
Uganda were equally ruthless in the first leg, thumping the Southern African nation 3-0.
Tanzania’s Taifa Stars did themselves a favor by shocking visiting Cape Verde 2-0 to revamp their chances of returning to the Afcon since their first appearance 39 years ago.
The Islanders eased past them 3-0 in the first leg in Praia in round three fixtures and they needed to respond in Dar Es Salaam to remain in contention for a spot in Cameroon.
To qualify, Tanzania will have to beat Lesotho away in November and hope Uganda do them a favor by beating Cape Verde – ahead of the final showdown in March 2019 which will see them host the Cranes.
Burundi managed two points against Mali to firmly remain in contention for a space in the 2019 Afcon.
The Swallows are placed third in Group C on six points – two off Mali and one behind Gabon ahead of the final two rounds.
Burundi will travel to the whipping boys South Sudan in the penultimate round fixture before hosting Gabon in the final battle for qualification.
They will be hoping that Mali which is viewed as the leading challenger in the group can upset Gabon to smoothen their sail.
Kenya could qualify from Group F before the end of the week without kicking a ball depending on how CAF will decide the fate of suspended Sierra Leone.
The Harambee Stars beat Ethiopia 3-0 to move three points clear at the top of the group that also has Ghana.
Ghana remained inactive throughout the past two rounds of the qualifiers as their double header against Sierra Leone was cancelled.
Sierra Leone FA was suspended by FIFA over government interference and cannot engage in international football.
If the ban is lifted before the November fixtures then Ghana will be awarded the cancelled matches and Kenya will have to beat Sierra Leone at home to qualify.
But if things stay as they are presently then Kenya are already through to the Afcon after 15 years in the cold.
Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan have already been eliminated from the qualifiers.
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