World Cup 2018: Bolasie penalty helps DR Congo advance

Yannick Bolasie
DR Congo's Yannick Bolasie was on target form the penalty spot

A penalty from Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie helped the Democratic Republic of Congo edge past Burundi 5-4 on aggregate to reach the group phase of African World Cup qualifying.

Earlier on Sunday, Uganda, Zambia and Morocco also advanced to the group phase.

They joined Gabon who became the first country to book their place on Saturday.

DR Congo hosted Burundi in Kinshasa on Sunday leading 3-2 from the first leg.

Jordan N'kololo put the home side ahead in the 19th minute to increase DR Congo's overall lead, only for an own-goal from Dieumerci Mbokani nine minutes later to take the score on the day to 1-1.

In a tense match, Bolasie helped ease the anxiety by converting a 77th minute penalty to make it 5-3 overall for his team.

Burundi then scored from an 89th minute penalty of their own through Fiston Abdul Razak but DR Congo held on to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Also on Sunday, Uganda won the second leg of their tie against Togo 3-0 in Kampala to go through 4-0 on aggregate.

Uganda Cranes captain Geoffrey Massa gave the hosts an early goal after four minutes from a well delivered cross by Tony Mawejje.

Rising star Farouk Miya then scored two quick goals to make sure of the win.

His first goal came on 41 minutes with the second on the stroke of half time.

For Uganda, the victories were even more satisfying after recent painful defeats to Togo.

"This is a a sweet win because Togo beat us twice last year in the Afcon qualifiers," said Massa after the game.

Guinea qualified for the group phase with a 2-0 win over Namibia, winning 3-0 overall.

The match was played in neutral Casablanca because Guinea are still not able to host international matches due to the threat of the ebola virus.

Idrissa Sylla scored for Guinea in the 44th minute, with Naby Keita adding a second 10 minutes from time.

Zambia booked their place in the group phase with a win over Sudan, without two key players.

Captain Rainford Kalaba was ruled out with a fever, and defender Dauti Musekwa was also missing through injury.

But Zambia, leading 1-0 from the first leg, looked comfortable throughout.

Lubambo Musonda made it 2-0 overall with Zambia's opener on 59 minutes.

Winston Kalengo, who had scored in Sudan last week, sealed the win with Zambia's second nine minutes from time to take the tie 3-0 on aggregate.

Morocco lost the second leg of their tie away to Equatorial Guinea in Bata 1-0 but still went through 2-1 on aggregate.

Igor Engonga gave the home side hope with an early goal after just 15 minutes, but further goals were hard to come by, with Morocco progressing.

Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Gabon's winning penalty

On Saturday, Bundesliga star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winning penalty as Gabon became the first team to reach the group phase of African 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Gabon beat Mozambique 4-3 on penalties following extra time in Libreville after Gabon won 1-0 to level the second-round tie at 1-1 on aggregate.

Aubameyang, who has scored 22 goals from 20 appearances for Borussia Dortmund in all competitions this season, missed the 1-0 first leg defeat in Mozambique with an injury.

He set up the only goal of the second leg for Malick Evouna after four minutes at Stade L'amitie Sino Gabonaise.

But goals were hard to come by after that with no one able to add to the score-line in 120 minutes of play.

After extra time, Gabon goalkeeper Didier Ovono saved two penalty kicks before Aubameyang hammered his high into the left corner.

The remaining 14 second round, second leg matches take place on Tuesday as teams aim to reach the group phase of qualifying.

Five African teams will then progress to Russia 2018.

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