Egypt kept up their perfect start in qualifying for the 2026 Fifa World Cup but Nigeria dropped points once again.
A goal in either half from former Aston Villa midfielder Trezeguet gave Egypt a 2-0 win over nine-man Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Nigeria drew 1-1 away against Zimbabwe after Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho steered in a second-half equaliser for the visitors.
Elsewhere, Algeria and Gabon extended their 100% records, while Sudan registered a shock win over DR Congo.
Africa has a guaranteed nine qualifiers for the 2026 finals in Canada, Mexico and the United States, with all group winners booking a spot at the tournament.
Mixed fortunes for big names
Egypt had cruised to a 6-0 home win over Djibouti in their Group A opener, with Mohamed Salah scoring four times, and the Liverpool forward had a hand in both Pharaohs goals against Sierra Leone.
Mostafa Mohamed flicked on a ball from Salah and Trezeguet was on hand inside the area to chest down and slide home in the 18th minute.
Sullay Kaikai almost levelled when he hit the outside of the post but Sierra Leone’s task was made harder when Derby County midfielder Tyrese Fornah was shown a straight red card seven minutes before half-time for a high boot on Hamdi Fathi.
Trezeguet, who now plays in Turkey for Trabzonspor, made it 2-0 just after the hour mark in Monrovia, Liberia, when he latched on to a through ball from Salah and his effort deflected off a defender before looping in over the goalkeeper.
And the Leone Stars finished with nine men when defender Abdul Kabia was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Omar Marmoush deep into injury time.
Nigeria were held to a draw by minnows Lesotho in their first game in Group C on Thursday and once again failed to find inspiration in attack against Zimbabwe.
The Super Eagles were stunned in the 26th minute in Butare, Rwanda, when Walter Musona sent a brilliant 35-yard free-kick flying past Francis Uzoho and into the top right-hand corner.
But the West Africans were almost gifted an equaliser when Zimbabwe goalkeeper Bernard Donovan was penalised for picking up a back pass, but Southampton’s Joe Aribo saw his effort from the resulting indirect free-kick cleared off the line.
Nigeria did equalise midway through the second half when Iheanacho slid in a cut-back from Moses Simon, but Zimbabwe had the better chances to win it as Teenage Hadebe hooked over, Divine Lunga headed wide and Tanaka Shandirwa blasted off target.
Pressure may grow on boss Jose Peseiro with Nigeria on just two points after two games, a point behind Group C leaders South Africa, who travel to Rwanda on Tuesday.
Algeria and Gabon register second wins
Algeria beat an enterprising and attacking Mozambique side 2-0 in Maputo, with second half goals from Fares Chaibi and Ramiz Zerrouki seeing off the hosts, who had had the better of proceedings before the break.
Stanley Ratifo and Mexer both had good chances before Algeria forward Amine Gouiri had a curling effort tipped onto the right-hand upright on the stroke of half-time.
Chaibi calmly drilled in the opener in the 69th minute after Mohamed Amoura had struck the woodwork, and a clinical finish across goal from Ramiz Zerrouki with 10 minutes left sent the North Africans three points clear at the top of Group G.
Gabon also made it two wins from two with a 2-1 Group F victory away against Burundi in neutral Dar es Salaam.
Jim Allevinah set the Panthers on their way in the 35th minute by guiding in a cut-back, before Denis Bouanga made it 2-0 with seven minutes remaining when he slotted into an empty net from 45 yards out after an attempted clearance by goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana fell to him.
Abedi Bigirimana volleyed in to pull one back with three minutes left but Gabon held on to move top of Group F.
Meanwhile, an own goal meant Sudan extended their unbeaten start in Group B as they upset DR Congo 1-0 in Benghazi, Libya.
The only goal came with 11 minutes left when Leopards goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi miscued his clearing punch from a corner and the ball rebounded back off midfielder Charles Pickel and into the net.
Africa’s qualifiers continue on Monday, with Ivory Coast and Mali among the 12 sides in action.
Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/africa/67468591?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA
Publish date : 2023-11-19 18:22:14