Ghana became the first African nation to qualify for the World Cup after beating Sudan 2-0 on Sunday.

Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari and Chelsea’s Michael Essien scored the goals either side of the break that ensured Ghana would top Group D and clinch a spot in South Africa net June.

Ghana’s victory coupled with Mali drawing 1-1 with Benin enabled the Black Stars to become the seventh nation to join host South Africa in next year’s 32-nation tournament.

Brazil qualified on Saturday to also join the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, North Korea and South Korea.

“It’s a priceless honour for them to represent their country and qualify for a big competition like the World Cup,” Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said.

“This team is very hungry to go again. They are aware of what they can achieve and they have the quality to go on and on. I strongly believed we would make it. I am very confident.”

Tunisia is on course to join Ghana in South Africa after midfielder Oussama Darragi’s last-minute equaliser salvaged a 2-2 draw against Nigeria and kept the north Africans top of Group B.

Tunisia twice came from behind to maintain a two-point lead over Nigeria and boost the country’s hopes of a fourth successive appearance at the World Cup.

Sliti Nabil had initially equalised for Tunisia in the 25th minute soon after Peter Odewingie Osazie’s opener.

Michael Eneramo, who plays for Esperance in Tunisia, came off the bench to put Nigeria in front again with 10 minutes remaining, but Darragi took advantage of poor defending to secure the point.

Mozambique stayed third, two points adrift of Nigeria as Manuel “Tico Tico” Bucuane’s second-half goal sealed a 1-0 victory over Kenya.

Mozambique has four points from four games, while Kenya is last place with three points.

In Group A, Togo missed out on a chance to take over the lead from idle Gabon after bottom-placed Morocco scored an injury-time equaliser.

Morocco substitute Adel Taarabt pounced late to cancel out Moustapha Salifou’s fourth-minute goal and earn a 1-1 draw.

Togo made its debut at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and is now second in Group A with five points from four games, one behind leader Gabon which has six points from three.

On Wednesday Gabon plays Cameroon, historically one of Africa’s strongest teams but which is struggling in third place with just four points, one ahead of Morocco.

Later Sunday, Algeria was looking to build a clear lead at the top of Group C by beating Zambia. Before the match, Algeria was only above Egypt on goal difference having played a game less. Only the top team in each of the continent’s five qualifying groups will play in South Africa next year.

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