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Home teams rule on opening day of second-round qualifiers

 

It proved to be a good day for the home teams in Wednesday’s CAF second round 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

Four of the six matches ended in home wins while the other two ended in 1-1 draws.

The action got under way in Douala where the Central African Republic (CAR) played host to Cape Verde. Due to on-going unrest in areas surrounding Bangui the match had to take place on neutral ground in Cameroon.

In the pouring rain, Cape Verde’s Julio Tavares scored the first goal of the group-stage qualifiers for Qatar 2022 on the African continent before Trésor Toropité levelled matters.

Africa’s top ranked nation, Senegal, had to flex their muscles in the second half to get past Togo 2-0 in Thies. The Lions of Teranga found the back of the net through Sadio Mane and  Abdou Diallo to get off to a positive start.

Mane’s Liverpool teammate Naby Keita teed up Francois Kamano in a 1-1 draw between Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in neutral Nouakchott. Joseph Mendes’s equaliser earned the hosts a point.

Egypt got their campaign off to a successful but laboured start, as they defeated Angola 1-0 in Cairo. In a match brought forward 24 hours from its original kick-off slot, the Pharaohs clad a narrow win thanks to an early penalty from Magdi Afsha.

Elsewhere, North African neighbours Libya came from behind to claim a dramatic 2-1 win over Gabon in Benghazi. Andre Poko opened the scoring for the Panthers but Ali Salama’s equaliser was followed by a late winner from Sanad Al Warfali.

Victory moved the The Mediterranean Knights top of Group F.

Mali also got off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Rwanda in Agadir, Morocco.

Moldova-based Adama Traore, who recently played an integral part in helping FC Sheriff Tiraspol qualify for this season’s Uefa Champions League group stages, scored the only goal of the match after Moussa Djenepo missed from the penalty spot.

The action resumes on Thursday with defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Algeria among those in action.

RESULTS

Central African Republic 1-1 Cape Verde
Guinea-Bissau 1-1 Guinea
Senegal 2-0 Togo
Egypt 1-0 Angola
Libya 2-1 Gabon
Mali 1-0 Rwanda

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