ROUND-UP: Sunday’s AFCON 2017 Qualifiers
The road to AFCON 2017 continued on Sunday with Africa’s top-ranked team Algeria and champions Ivory Coast all in action.
Africa Football Shop‘s comprehensive round-up on Sunday’s round of AFCON 2017 qualifier’s below.
Algeria secured a 3-1 win in Lesotho. Faouzi Ghoulam had put Africa’s top-ranked team ahead on 31 minutes but the hosts responded six minutes later through Ralekoti Mokhahlane. On 85 minutes, El-Arbi Hilal Soudani restored Algeria’s lead and he made sure of the points with his second just before full-time.
Victory moves Algeria back to the top of Group J with a maximum six points, while pointless Lesotho are rooted to the bottom. The reigning champions Ivory Coast kicked off the defence of their crown with a lacklustre 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone. The match was played in the neutral venue of Port Harcourt in Nigeria as Sierra Leone is still banned from hosting international football because of the Ebola outbreak.
Michel Dussuyer’s side felt the absence of a host of key players including skipper Yaya Toure who asked not to be picked whilst he considers his international future.
Zamalek striker Bosem Morsy hit a perfect hat-trick for Egypt in their 5-1 victory away to Chad in Group G. Morsy had put The Pharaohs 2-0 up inside the first 25 minutes before Chad came back through Ezechiel Ndouasel.
Mohamed Salah made it 3-1 to Egypt before half-time, with Mahmoud Kahraba adding a fourth for the visitors after the break. Morsy completed his hat-trick in the 62nd minute to ensure Egypt went top of Group G. Nigeria are two points behind after their 0-0 draw in Tanzania on Saturday.
Cameroon beat The Gambia 1-nil in Banjul to go top of Group M. A 65th minute goal from FC Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar was the difference between the two sides. The Indomitable Lions have won both their opening group games, and have a five point advantage over bottom side South Africa.
Zambia, champions in 2012, came from behind away to Kenya in Group E to claim a 2-1 win.
Michael Olunga‘s 13th-minute strike gave the hosts a super start but they could hold their advantage for only 15 minutes, undone by a Winston Kalengo effort. And Zambia completed their recovery through Collins Mbesuma who struck the winner three minutes before the interval.
There was no movement in the places in Group L as both games ended in draws. Leaders Zimbabwe shared the points with Guinea as Knowledge Musona cancelled out Ibrahima Traore‘s opener, while Swaziland and Malawi shared four goals in the group’s other game.
Louis Pithia‘s goal gave Mauritius victory over Mozambique and their first points in Group H. The midfielder’s 51st-minute effort gave the hosts a 1-0 victory which draws them level with second-placed Rwanda on three points.
Cape Verde needed an 89th minute goal from Ryan Mendes before beating Libya 2-1. The match was played in Cairo on security grounds. The result puts Cape Verde top of the group with Morocco. Both countries have maximum points from their two games.
In Group B Central African Republic scored twice in the first half – the opening goal came from the penalty spot – to see off visitors DR Congo 2-0.The result puts them level on points with their opponents but the pair are one point off the lead after Angola drew 0-0 with Madagascar.
The winners of each of the 13 groups and the two best-placed runners-up will advance to the finals, alongside hosts Gabon.
Credit: BBC Sport