Match - Sun 14 October, 17:00,
Niger shock out Guinea
Niger star Mazzou
The Mena of Niger thus advanced 2-1 on aggregate to the tournament proper after Guinea won the first clash 1-0 in Conakry last month.
However, the home side had to wait till the 74th minute before they broke the deadlock through Mohamed Chikoto.
The tie then appeared to be heading for a penalty shootout before the Mena again produced another late strike by Issoufou Boubacar Garba five minutes from full time to ensure they return to Africa’s biggest football event.
Niger made their debut appearance earlier this year in Gabon even though they failed to go past the first round group that featured co-hosts Gabon, Tunisia and Morocco.
Ivorian coach Francois Zahoui will take a part of the credit for causing a major upset with the Mena after he failed to win the last tournament with star-studded Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
Last year, Guinea had also upstaged mighty Nigeria to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
However, they failed to fulfill the huge promise they showed in the qualifying tournament as they failed to go past the first round from a section that also had Guinea and next-door neigbours Mali.
French coach Michel Dussuyer, who has stayed on as coach, will now have to shift attention to the qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.