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Appou, 43, comes off bench to beat Milla age record

13 Apr 2014 17:31:52

Appou, 43, comes off bench to beat Milla age record

Mauritius striker Kersley Appou took the record of being the oldest African national-team footballer away from Cameroon legend Roger Milla this weekend.

Appou came on as a substitute 10 minutes from the end of a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Mauritania aged 43 years and 354 days.

Milla held the record since playing against Russia in the 1994 World Cup at the age of 42 years and 39 days.

Appou can now set his sights on the world record of 46 years and 217 days held by former US Virgin Islands footballer MacDonald Taylor senior.

"I was glad to play," Appou told AFP after his country lost the first leg of a first round tie 1-0 in Mauritanian capital Nouakchott. "I plan to continue playing."

Appou lines up with local club Pamplemousses and scored 10 goals in 24 previous appearances for Mauritius after making his international debut 14 years ago.

National coach Akbar Patel recalled him to the national squad after a lengthy absence for the trip to Mauritania.

The tall striker has played for various Mauritian sides during a career that included only one brief spell abroad when he moved to neighbouring Indian Ocean island Reunion.

He could be in action again for his country next Sunday when the return match is staged at the Stade George V in Curepipe on the Indian Ocean island.

Mauritania, three places above Mauritius at the lower end of the 54-nation FIFA Africa rankings, won the match through a mid-first half Amadou Ba goal.

The midfielder from French Ligue 1 club Bastia curled a free-kick past Mauritius goalkeeper Aboobakar Augustin at a near-full 40,000-seat Stade Olympique.

Morocco-based Moussa Karamoko squandered several chances to give Mauritania a bigger lead before goalkeeper Souleymane Diallo rescued the home team with two reflex saves.

The match was the first of 128 stretching to November that will decide which 15 countries join hosts Morocco at the 2015 tournament.

Mauritius qualified for the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations -- then an eight-team event -- while Mauritania are seeking a first appearance.


AFP

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