African trio advance to Lithuania 2020
- Morocco, Egypt and Angola booked their spots in Lithuania
- The Moroccans retained their continental title, beating Egypt in the final
- Angola qualified for their first-ever FIFA Futsal World Cup
The 2020 CAF Africa Futsal Cup of Nations looked as if it were about to pan out in a similar manner as previous editions, with Egypt, Libya and Morocco – winners of the five continental crowns to date – again reaching the semi-finals. However, the tournament still had a surprise or two in store for fans.
In the match for third place, Angola overcame Libya, while in the final, Morocco comprehensively defeated favourites Egypt, successfully defending their title in the process. FIFA.com rounds up the continental contest, which saw the Moroccans, Egyptians and Angolans advance to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020™.
- Winners: Morocco
- Qualified for Lithuania 2020: Morocco, Egypt, Angola
- Duration: 28 January to 7 February 2020, in Laayoune
- Participating teams: Morocco, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, Libya (Group A), Egypt, Guinea, Angola, Mozambique (Group B). Mauritius withdrew after the first match.
Playing on home soil, title holders Morocco had set a minimum objective of reaching the semi-finals and qualifying for the Futsal World Cup. They achieved that initial goal without great difficulty, enjoying comfortable victories over Libya (3-0) and Equatorial Guinea (8-1) and recording a 3-0 forfeit win over Mauritius.
After finishing top of Group A, the Atlas Lions subsequently disposed of Angola in the last four (4-0) and outclassed Egypt in the final (5-0). Soufiane El-Mesrar, who scored a brace in the showpiece match, and Mohamed Jouad both finished the tournament with four goals, but the Moroccans showed that they could be a threat from all over the court, as they demonstrated in their 8-1 triumph versus Equatorial Guinea, during which seven different players found the back of the net. In Lithuania, Morocco will be taking part in their third Futsal World Cup, and they will be aiming to get past the group stage for the first time.
The other qualifiers
Egypt will likely console themselves with the fact that they have booked a place at the Futsal World Cup for a seventh time, but they will nevertheless leave Laayoune with an overwhelming sense of disappointment. After dominating Group B with three wins in as many matches (9-0 and 3-0 against Guinea and Angola respectively, and 3-2 versus 2016 World Cup competitors Mozambique, in a match that featured a last-minute winning goal from Ibrahim Bogy), the Pharaohs secured a spot in the final via a resounding 5-2 victory over Libya. But their status of three-time African champions counted for nothing in the climactic encounter, as Morocco raced to a 3-0 half-time lead and added two more goals in the second period to complete an impressive 5-0 success.
Conversely, Angola will return home with broad grins on their faces and shiny bronze medals around their necks. Following wins over Mozambique (7-4) and Guinea (5-1), and a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Egypt, the Palencas Negras finished second in Group B. Beaten by the hosts in the semi-finals, they then faced two-time Futsal World Cup participants Libya in the match for third place, with the remaining slot at Lithuania 2020 on the line. A first-half goal by Artur Saddam Samuel Dasilva and a late strike by Magno Felipe Gomes enabled the Angolans to clinch a World Cup berth for the first time in their history.
Awards and accolades
- Jose Da Silva Magu (Mozambique): 5 goals
- Mohamed Jouad (Morocco), Soufiane El-Mesrar (Morocco), Jo (Angola): 4 goals
- Achraf Saoud (Morocco), Saad Knia (Morocco), Ahmed Moza (Egypt), Daouda Camara (Guinea): 3 goals
Reda Khiyari (Morocco)
Fair play award