Riyad Mahrez scored two stunning goals as former winners Algeria qualified for next year’s African Nations Cup finals on Sunday, with Guinea, Mauritania and the Ivory Coast also sealing their places.
Mahrez struck twice in the opening half hour as Algeria, who won the continental title in 1990, sped into a three-goal lead away against Togo before eventually winning 4-1 to take top place in Group D.
Mauritania qualified for the first time from Group I as they came from a goal down to beat Botswana 2-1 in Nouakchott with Ismael Diakite scoring an 84th minute winner.
Guinea qualified without kicking a ball several hours before their Group H game against the Ivory Coast in Conakry when Rwanda and the Central African Republic drew 2-2 in Kigali.
Guinea then went on to win the group with a 1-1 home draw against the Ivorians, who got the point they needed for qualification when Jean-Michael Seri equalized Mohamed Yattara’s early goal for the hosts.
Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Zimbabwe all missed out on a chance to book their berths. Burkina Faso were beaten 2-1 in Angola while captain Willam Jebor scored the only goal as Liberia checked Zimbabwe 1-0 in Monrovia.
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