Mozambique qualify for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations for first time in 13 years

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 9 Sep 2023

Mozambique have qualified for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time since 2010 after defeating Benin 3-2 in a thrilling encounter during the final day of the qualifiers on Saturday.

Mozambique national team players
Mozambique national team players celebrate beating Benin in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers. CAF twitter account


The Mambas will make their fifth appearance after previous participations in 1986, 1996, 1998 and 2010. 

Mozambique secured their place in the finals with an impressive performance, accumulating ten points to finish second in Group L, three points behind leaders Senegal.

The game kicked off with a penalty goal from Benin's Steve Mounie in the 20th minute, but Mozambique responded swiftly when Witiness Quembo netted the equalizer just seven minutes later, delighting the home crowd.

Displaying their determination, Mozambique took control of the match as GD Chaves' midfielder Ricardo Guimaraes scored a crucial goal in the 32nd minute to put his team in the lead.

However, Benin's Jodel Dossou restored parity five minutes before the break, setting the stage for an intense second half.

In a dramatic turn of events during injury time, Mozambique's Clesio Bauque delivered the winning goal, securing a memorable 3-2 victory for the hosts and solidifying their place in the finals.

In other Group D action on Saturday, Malawi and Guinea, who had already qualified for the finals, battled to a 2-2 draw, showcasing their talents in an entertaining match.

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals are scheduled to take place in Côte d'Ivoire in January 2024.

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