In Summary
  • Ranked 195th of 211 football nations, Djibouti must now wait for the second round draw, which will include the teams ranked 1 to 26, who received first round byes.
  • The 40 survivors will be split into 10 groups of four with the winners advancing to a final two-leg stage to decide which five African teams go to Qatar.

JOHANNESBURG

French coach Julien Mette kept a bold promise to Djibouti football officials by guiding the tiny Horn of Africa state into the second round of 2022 World Cup qualifying Tuesday.

The country, which had won only one of 13 previous qualifiers, forced a shock 0-0 away draw with eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) to win a first round tie 2-1 on aggregate.

Djibouti built the one-goal first leg advantage last week, but a team ranked 195th in the world were not expected to retain it, given a woeful World Cup away record.

The outcome marked a dramatic turnaround from four years ago when eSwatini trounced Djibouti 8-1 over two legs in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Known as the 'Shoremen of the Red Sea', their previous away losses included conceding nine goals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and eight in Malawi.

Mette was hired by Djibouti recently after coaching two Congo Brazzaville clubs and told by the national football federation president to "stop the regular five and six goals defeats and restore dignity to Djiboutian football.

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