South Africa suffered a shock 3-0 loss to visiting Lesotho on Sunday to bow out of qualifying for the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon.
With clubs refusing to release players as the game clashed with the opening day of South Africa’s Premier Soccer League the hosts were forced to field a young, makeshift side.
Despite fielding under-strength side South Africa were expected to overturn the 3-2 loss away in the first leg of the tie last weekend.
Instead Lesotho scored three second-half goals to complete a 6-2 aggregate win and book a date with Zimbabwe to qualify for the finals in Cameroon next year.
Kenya were another casualty after losing 4-1 on penalties in Nairobi following a second 0-0 draw with east African neighbours Tanzania in successive weekends.
Togo ended an 11-year wait for a first CHAN qualifying win when they edged Benin 1-0 in Lome through a Marouf Tchakei goal on 70 minutes.
It was the only goal of the two-leg tie and earned Togo a crack at 2018 runners-up Nigeria in the final qualifying round during September and October.
In another close encounter, Madagascar needed away goals to squeeze past Mozambique after losing 3-2 in Maputo. –BBC