Djibouti are through to the group stage of the African World Cup qualifiers for the second time in the brief history of the Red Sea state after a rear guard action saw them overcome Eswatini on Tuesday.
Djibouti held out for a goalless draw at the Mavuso Sports Centre to progress on aggregate, replicating their feat in the 2014 qualifiers when they beat Somalia but then lost all six of their group games.
Tuesday’s game was played almost exclusively in the Djibouti half as Eswatini attacked relentlessly in their bid to overturn the 1-2 deficit from last Wednesday first leg, striking the woodwork deep in stoppage time but not being able to score.
Fanelo Tsabedze drove a shot three minutes into stoppage time firmly against the crossbar for the closest the hosts came to scoring.
South African-based winger Justice Figureido was particularly determined with hard running down the right flank and shooting at goal but unable to break the deadlock.
Eswatini grew more desperate as time began to run out with Djibouti doing their best to break up the attacking flow of their hosts with numerous stoppages.
Some were geniune, however as the Djibouti players fell victim to cramp towards the end of the encounter and had to dig deep as the defended.
Djibouti were playing under new French coach Julie Mette for only the second time and will look forward to the draw for the group phase to find out who they will be competing against next year.