Bafana held on to the Madiba Challenge Cup when they beat Mali in Port Elizabeth. Photo:

SÃO TOMÉ – Sao Tome and Principe are through to the group stages of the qualifiers for the 33rd Edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), scheduled for Cameroon in 2021, and they will face South Africa, Ghana and Sudan in Group C.

Sao Tome earned their spot after an historic victory over Mauritius.

They won 3-1 in the first leg of the preliminary stage and followed it up with a 2-1 victory in the second leg for a 5-2 aggregate.

Sao Tome is ranked 190th in the world and play their home matches at the Estadio Nacional 12 de Julho, which is a 6,500-seater venue.

The 48 qualified teams have been divided into 12 groups of four teams each and the top two sides from each group will earn a ticket to the 2021 showpiece in Cameroon.

South Africa’s Bafana Bafana start their campaign with an away trip to Ghana on November 15 in Kumasi and will then host Sudan four days later (November 19) at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

The 2021 Afcon qualifiers will then take a nine-month break.

Molefi Ntseki got his tenure as Bafana Bafana coach off to a winning start. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

When the competition resumes in 2020, South Africa will play back-to-back matches, home and away, against Sao Tome on the week of August 31 and September 8.

In October 2020, Bafana will host Ghana and, in the final match of the qualifiers in November, they travel to Sudan.

Hosts Cameroon have an automatic spot in the tournament, but will take part to gain competitive match practice, which means Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda will contest the available two spots in Group F.

Groups for Cameroon 2021 Afcon Qualifiers:

Group A: Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Chad

Group B: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan

Group C: Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe

Group D: DR Congo, Gabon, Angola, Gambia

Group E: Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi

Group F: Cameroon (Q), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda

Group G: Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros

Group H: Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana

Group I: Senegal, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini

Group J: Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea

Group K: Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia

Group L: Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho 

African News Agency (ANA)