Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Burkina Faso upset Ghana 2-1 Sunday as a shock-riddled weekend of 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying continued.
Defending champions the Democratic Republic of Congo and the team they beat in the 2016 final, Mali, were dumped out of the competition for home-based footballers Saturday.
Ghana, twice runners-up in the four previous editions, led twice in Burkina Faso last weekend before conceding a late goal and settling for a 2-2 first leg draw.
Home advantage in Kumasi — home of famed club Asante Kotoko — was expected to ensure Ghana of success and a fourth Nations Championship appearance.
But the hosts were rocked by Burkinabe goals from Mohammed Sylla and Herman Nikiema inside 30 minutes at the Baba Yaro Stadium.
Felix Addo pulled one goal back for Ghana just before the hour, but the second goal they needed to force a penalty shootout eluded them.
Burkina Faso qualified 4-3 on aggregate and will join 15 other countries at the biennial tournament, which Kenya host from January 12 to February 4.
Namibia secured a place for the first time after a second-half brace from Muna Katupose earned a 2-0 victory over Comoros at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek.
The substitute struck after 54 and 80 minutes as the Namibians overturned a 2-1 first leg loss in the Indian Ocean island state.
Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, who qualified after Gabon withdrew, will also be making maiden Nations Championship finals appearances.
Football: African Nations Championship qualifiers
Qualifiers for 2018 African Nations Championship in Kenya between Jan 11 and Feb 4 (alphabetical order):
Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya (hosts), Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Guinea/Senegal
Note: Draw on date to be announced will divide 16 qualifiers into four groups