28th March 2017
Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying, Preliminary Round 2nd Leg
Juba Stadium, Juba, South Sudan
South Sudan 6-0 Djibouti
Was it all a dream? Had it really happened that Djibouti had beaten South Sudan just a week previously? You could be forgiven for thinking their historic win was a figment of your imagination after Djibouti reverted to type in the second leg of their African Cup of Nations preliminary round qualifier.
Six goals in all found their way into the Djibouti net as South Sudan decisively won through to the main group stage leaving Djibouti wondering just what had hit them. The first leg victory seemed an awfully long time ago as South Sudan rattled in four goals before the break to easily surpass the first leg deficit.
Wurube Robert Duku gave South Sudan the lead after 12 minutes from the penalty spot, before two from James Joseph Moga and a fourth from Dominic Abui made it 4-0 at the interval. The second half was less dramatic as South Sudan were comfortable in their superiority, adding a couple more goals for good measure through Ater Thomas and Khamis Leon.
Djibouti’s forward efforts produced 3 attempts on goal, all resulting in shots off target
South Sudan now go into the group stage into a rather tough looking draw, alongside Mali, Gabon and Burundi.
For Djibouti, this may have been a setback when thought may have been drifting towards a remarkable qualification, but let’s not forget what had preceded it. Djibouti’s first win in a decade had seen them with a renewed belief and had put them within reach of quite a shock. Going forward, it leaves them with the chance to look to the future with hope rather than with dread.
They are scheduled to play another two-legged qualifier in the African Nations Championship (for only domestic based players) against Ethiopia later in the year as they seek to build on the foundation they have laid this March. That will present an even tougher challenge than South Sudan did in all likelihood. Given their size and resource, the odds will always be stacked against them, but where before there was just resigned inevitability, now there is real hope.
But those concerns are not ours here at the Worst in the World. When the next rankings are published in early April, Djibouti will no longer be listed at the bottom of them.