JOHANNESBURG: South Africa booked the last place at the African Cup of Nations finals with a 2-1 away win over Libya thanks to Percy Tau’s double to complete the lineup for the 24-team finals being hosted in Egypt in June.
The 24-year-old striker, on loan at second-tier Union SG in Belgium from English Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion, scored both in the second half to ensure the country finished second behind Nigeria in Group E.
South Africa, who had missed out on the last finals in Gabon two years ago, needed only a draw against the Libyans who were forced to host the game on neutral territory in neighbouring Tunisia because of a FIFA security ban.
The draw for the 24-team finals will be in Cairo on April 12. Cameroon won the trophy in 2017 by beating Egypt in Gabon.
Earlier Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zimbabwe also ensured qualification.
Benin beat neighbours Togo 2-1 in Group D to bring an end to the international career of former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
Tanzania secured a convincing 3-0 home victory over neighbours Uganda, who had already qualified.
Tanzania finished second in Group L ahead of the small kingdom of Lesotho, who needed victory away in the Cape Verde Islands to qualify for the first time but were held 0-0.
Zimbabwe finished top of Group G with their 2-0 home win over Congo-Brazzaville, while DR Congo were second in the section after edging Liberia 1-0 in Kinshasa.
Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona scored first-half goals for the Zimbabweans while Cedric Bakumbu was the Congolese hero.
Qualifiers: Egypt (hosts), Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe