2013 Africa Cup of Nations: Day1 qualifying wrap up
The crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Senegal and Ivory Coast has been abandoned due to crowd trouble.
Violent scenes occurred after Didier Drogba scored two goals to dash the hopes of Senegal, who now needed five goals to find their way to South Africa 2013.
The match officials, including the referees, were driven off the pitch as security tried to protect Ivory Coast supporters – who came under severe attack in the stadium.
The stands became empty after police fired tear gas to disperse the unruly fans, who hurled plastic bottles onto the pitch while also burning flags and newspapers that turned the entire atmosphere at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar hostile.
For close to 25 minutes, the players and security were left speechless on the pitch unsure of the fate of the game as hundreds of other Ivory Coast supporters, who were fleeing from danger, joined them in the inner perimeter for safety.
The match had entered into the 76th minute and Ivory Coast were leading by two goals (6-2 on aggregate).
Early on, a fan had made an incursion onto the pitch which was the catalyst for ugly scenes to break out which marred the qualifier.
In completed matches, Nigeria defeated Liberia 6-1 to qualify for the tournament 8-3 on aggregate.
Victor Moses scored a brace while Efe Ambrose, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi and Ikechukwu Uche all got their names on the scoresheet for the Nigerians. Patty Wleh scored the lone goal for the visitors.
Coach Stephen Keshi qualified Nigeria for the Afcon after taking Togo and Mali to the tournament – becoming the first African coach to qualify three different countries for the competition.
Elsewhere, four-time African champions Ghana beat Malawi 1-0 in the second leg to book a place at the 2013 event.
The Black Stars won the game courtesy Afriyie Acquah’s early strike from an Andre Ayew cross after a short corner.
Defending champions Zambia went through courtesy of a penalty shootout in Uganda.
Zambia emerged victorious 9-8 in a thrilling shootout after losing the second leg 1-0, meaning the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate.
Other countries to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday were Mali, Tunisia and Morocco.