Uganda ended an almost four decade wait for a place in the African Nations Cup finals as Farouk Miya’s goal secured a 1-0 win over the Comoros Islands in Kampala on Sunday.
Uganda finished second behind Burkina Faso in their group but took one of the two places reserved for the runners-up in the 13 qualifying groups for next year’s tournament.
They last played at the Nations Cup in 1978 when they were beaten in the final by hosts Ghana.
A last-minute winner from Banou Diawara ensured Burkina topped Group D with a 2-1 home victory over nine-man Botswana as they tottered on the brink of elimination.
Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and Tunisia filled the other three berths decided on the last day of the qualifiers.
Ten teams had already booked places after the penultimate round of matches in June and holders Ivory Coast were the 11th to qualify with a 1-1 draw at home to Sierra Leone on Saturday.
Togo were the other country to take a runners-up berth, edging out Benin and Ethiopia, who also finished on 11 points. A 5-0 home win over Djibouti on Sunday ensured Togo had the better goal difference despite Emmanuel Adebayor missing a penalty.
The Congolese needed only a draw at home to the Central African Republic, who had to win, but made sure they finished first in Group B with an emphatic 4-1 triumph in Kinshasa.
Neeskens Kebano, Firmin Mubele, Mpangi Bolingi and Jordan Botaka were the scorers for the hosts.
An early goal from Wahbi Khazri set Tunisia on their way to a 4-1 win over Liberia in Monastir which ensured top spot in Group A. The home side also converted two penalties.
Already qualified Mali finished their campaign unbeaten with a 5-2 home win over Benin, as did Algeria and Morocco against lightweight opposition.
Morocco expected a goalfest against the tiny island nation of Sao Tome e Principe but had to settle for a 2-0 win in Rabat after being jeered off at the end of a goalless first half.
Two goals apiece from Algeria’s El Arabi Soudani and Riyad Mahrez, who hammered home a long range free kick, helped secure a 6-0 win over Lesotho, with Soudani increasing his tally in the qualifiers to seven and finishing as top scorer.
The finals will be held in Gabon from Jan. 14-Feb. 5.