End of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final, Completesportsnigeria.com ‘s JAME AGBEREBI takes a look at the teams who failed to qualify for the previous edition(s) of the AFCON, but went all the way to the final when they staged a comeback.
EGYPT (MISSED 2012, 2013, 2015, AFCONS QUALIFIED FOR 2017 AFCON FINAL)
Egypt last won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 in Angola, making it three straight wins after emerging champions in 2006 (hosts) and 2008 in Ghana.
Suprisingly, Egypt failed to qualify for three consecutive AFCON editions in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
But the Pharaohs are back in the final following Wednesday’s semifinal 4-3 penalty win against Burkina Faso at the Gabon 2017 AFCON.
NIGERIA (MISSED 1996, 1998, AFCONS, QUALIFIED FOR 2000 AFCON FINAL)
After winning the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia, Nigeria did not take part in the 1996 AFCON in South Africa due to political reasons.
Following their absence at the 1996 edition, Nigeria was banned from the 1998 AFCON in Burkina Faso.
Nigeria returned to the AFCON when they co-hosted with Ghana in 2000 and went all the way to the final.
Unfortunately, Nigeria lost 4-3 to Cameroon via penalty shootout after regulation time ended 2-2.
NIGERIA (MISSED 1986 AFCON, QUALIFIED FOR 1988 AFCON FINAL)
Nigeria got eliminated by Zambia in the play-offs during qualifiers for the 1986 AFCON held in Egypt.
Zambia qualfied 1-0 on aggregate.
The first leg in Nigeria ended 0-0 before Zambia sealed qualification with a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture in Lusaka.
Nigeria made amends and qualified for the 1988 AFCON in Morocco and progressed into the final.
For the second time, Nigeria lost to Cameroon in an AFCON final following a late Emmanuel Kunde’s penalty goal.
MOROCCO (MISSED 1974 AFCON, QUALIFIED FOR 1976 AFCON FINAL: CHAMPIONS)
Morocco were not part of the 1974 AFCON which was hosted by Egypt, and won by Zaire (now DR Congo).
For reasons unknown, Morocco did not enter for the qualfiers for the 1974 AFCON, but returned in the 1976 tournament in Ethiopia, and were crowned champions.
CONGO BRAZZAVILLE (MISSED 1970 AFCON, QUALIFIED FOR 1972 AFCON FINAL: CHAMPIONS)
Congo Brazzaville were not part of the qualifiers for the 1970 AFCON that was hosted by Sudan.
They eventually picked one of the tickets for the 1972 AFCON hosted by Cameroon and emerged champions following a 3-2 win against Mali in the final.
SUDAN (MISSED 1968 AFCON, QUALIFIED FOR 1970 AFCON FINAL: CHAMPIONS)
Sudan was stopped by DR Congo in the play-offs during the qualifiers for the 1968 AFCON staged in Ethiopia.
They hosted the 1970 edition and got to the final, defeating Ghana 1-0 to clinch their first and only title so far.
GHANA (MISSED 1962 AFCON, QUALIFIED FOR 1963 AFCON FINAL: CHAMPIONS)
Ghana entered for the qualifiers for the 1962 AFCON but got knocked out by archrivals Nigeria in the First Round.
The first leg in Lagos ended 0-0, while the second leg was 2-2. But Ghana lost out by the drawing of lots.
Ghana got the chance to host the AFCON and won it after beating Sudan 3-0 in the final