Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for the IHF Handball World Cup in 2021 were extinguished at the hands of Gabon who inflicted a second straight loss on the men’s national handball team at the Africa Handball Nations Cup in Tunisia.
Having lost their tournament opener to Angola on Thursday, victory against Gabon who had drawn their first game against Libya would have kept Nigeria’s hopes of progress alive but they came up short in a narrow 26-24 loss on Friday.
The loss keeps them bottom of Group B and they cannot now qualify for the knockout stage.
Angola extended their lead at the top of the group with a slim 20-19 win over Libya.
Elsewhere, Egypt decimated Kenya 44-19 to keep their lead in Group A with the DR Congo strong on their heels after they beat Guinea 28-25.
Hosts and Group C leaders Tunisia beat the Ivory Coast 48-24 to book their place in the last eight while Cape Verde boosted their chances of progressing with a hard-fought 22-19 win over Cameroon.
Morroco and Algeria dominate Group D having earned two wins apiece with the former completely outclassing Zambia 39-12 while the latter dispatched Congo 31-25.
The final group stage fixtures come up on Sunday with Nigeria in action against Libya.