A shock home loss for heavyweights Nigeria was the headline result as Africa’s 2022 World Cup qualifying got up to full speed on Thursday October 7, with eight matches played across the continent.
The October block of fixtures got underway on Wednesday with group I matches, as Morocco hammered Guinea-Bissau 5-0 in Rabat to jump to the top of the standings on six points, while Sudan and Guinea drew 1-1 in neutral Marrakesh.
Thursday’s afternoon matches then saw Benin and DR Congo rise to first and second respectively in group J: the Squirrels defeated Tanzania 1-0 in Dar es Salaam thanks to a strike from Steve Mounie, while the Leopards claimed a first win by beating Madagascar 2-0, with goals from Chadrac Akolo and Dieumerci Mbokani.
The afternoon also saw Cape Verde claim second place on the group C log with their 2-1 away win over Liberia in neutral Accra. The Blue Sharks came from behind thanks to an equaliser from Jameiro Monteiro and an injury-time winner from Garry Rodrigues.
It was expected that group leaders Nigeria would respond with a home win over the Central African Republic in Lagos, but instead, the Wild Beasts claimed a shock 1-0 away victory – thanks to a late strike from Karl Namnganda – to join Cape Verde on four points, while the Super Eagles remained on six. In fact, just three points cover all four teams in the group.
Tunisia continue to lead the way in group B, retaining their 100 per cent record with a 3-0 win over Mauritania in a night game in Rades, as Ellyes Skhiri, Wahbi Khazri and Seifeddine Jaziri netted for the Carthage Eagles.
Earlier in the day, Equatorial Guinea claimed second place on the group B log with a 2-0 home win over 10-man Zambia: Chipolopolo had Prince Mumba sent off, and Nzalang Nacional scored their goals through Saul Coco and Emilio Nsue.
In group E, Mali continue to hold pole position after they defeated Kenya 5-0 at Stade Agadir in Morocco, featuring a hat-trick from Norwegian-based forward Ibrahima Kone, sandwiched by opening and closing goals from Adama N. Traore and Moussia Doumbia respectively.
The result takes the Eagles to seven points, two ahead of nearest chasers Uganda, who earlier in the evening had risen temporarily to the head of the standings with a 1-0 away win over East African rivals Rwanda in Kigali, as Fahad Bayo’s strike late in the first half proved the difference between the teams.
Africa’s WCQ programme continues on Friday, October 8 with six matches across the continent, including Malawi hosting Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria tackling Niger and Egypt at home to Libya.
Wednesday, October 6
Sudan 1-1 Guinea
Morocco 5-0 Guinea-Bissau
Thursday, October 7
DR Congo 2-0 Madagascar
Liberia 1-2 Cape Verde
Tanzania 0-1 Benin
Equatorial Guinea 2-0 Zambia
Nigeria 0-1 CAR
Rwanda 0-1 Uganda
Mali 5-0 Kenya
Tunisia 3-0 Mauritania
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