Moroni (Comoros) (AFP) – Comoros coach Amir Abdou said it was “great” to be level on points with Egypt as his history-making squad left for Cairo on Friday for their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
On Thursday Comoros secured their place at the 24-team tournament in Cameroon next January thanks to a goalless home draw with Togo in Moroni.
It is the first time the Indian Ocean nation has qualified for Africa’s premier football competition.
Meanwhile Group G rivals Egypt, whose seven Cup of Nations titles in the highest, qualified a record 25th time following their 1-1 draw with 10-man Kenya in Nairobi.
The two countires are both on nine points heading into Sunday’s match, five points ahead of Kenya heading into the last round of qualifying fixtures.
“Who might have imagined when qualification for Cameroon began that we would go into our final group fixture level on points with Egypt?,” said Abdou.
“It’s the culmination of a long process and it’s also a great victory to be tied with Egypt. The pride I feel for my country is indescribable… Together we have created history.”
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Aston Villa attacker ‘Trezeguet’ operate in the English Premier League and are part of an Egypt squad dominated by stars from African club giants Al Ahly and Zamalek.
Only three of the Comorans who started against Togo belong to top-flight clubs in Europe, including Red Star Belgrade forward El Fardou Mohamed Ben Nabouhane.
Egypt occupy first place in Group G due to superior goal difference over Comoros.
The Comoros, Egypt, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia and Zimbabwe have qualified for the finals, leaving 10 places to be filled.