Police FC trio of striker Tito Okelo, midfielder Charles Ouma and defender Rashid Toha all featured as South Sudan held Sao Tome and Principe to a goalless draw on Tuesday to qualify for the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2025 Qualifiers.

After holding their opponents to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the preliminary round last week, the hosts Bright Star playing at the same Municipal Stadium in Berkane, Morocco on Tuesday settled for a goalless draw to qualify on an away goal rule.

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Toha and Okelo both started the game with former AFC Leopards midfielder Asad Musa also handed a start in the tie.

Speaking after the game, the Bright Stars head coach Nicolas Dupius said although they have made it to the group stage of the qualifiers, there is still a lot of work to be done. “We need to keep preparing well for the many matches ahead of us.”

Toha captained South South Sudan in the draw.

The other teams from the CECAFA Zone Djibouti and Somalia failed to make it past the preliminary round hurdle. Somalia held hosts Eswatini to a 2-2 draw in a match played at the Mbombela Stadium in South Africa on Tuesday. But Eswatini went on to qualify on a 5-2 goal aggregate. Djibouti also managed to hold hosts Liberia to a goalless draw but bowed out on a 2-0 goal aggregate.

Chad also joined the group stage of the qualifiers after ejecting Mauritius 3-1 on aggregate.

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