Teranga Lions roar; SA and Ghana keep pace with clutch wins

Teranga Lions roar; SA and Ghana keep pace with clutch wins
Mothobi Mvala of South Africa celebrates victory during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Ethiopia and South Africa at the Bahir Dar Stadium, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia on 09 October 2021 ©Kidus Yoftahe/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 09, 2021. 23:32

A busy Saturday in Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualification tournament was headlined by a dominant victory for Senegal, who have moved to within touching distance of the final playoff round, as well as clutch wins for Group G rivals South Africa and Ghana.

Senegal have opened up a five-point lead at the top of Group H after they crushed Namibia 41 in Thies in a night game, with Idrissa Gueye, Famara Diedhiou, Sadio Mane and Keita Balde getting their names on the score sheet.

The Teranga Lions can seal progression into the final round of qualifying (a playoff tie against a fellow group winner in March next year) if they can defeat the Brave Warriors in the return game in Soweto on Tuesday.

The key result from the afternoon saw South Africa take control of Group G with a 3-1 away win over Ethiopia in Bahir Dar, as goals from Teboho Mokoena, Mothobi Mvala and Evidence Makgopa allowed Bafana Bafana to move to seven points at the top of the log.

Ghana responded later in the day with a 3-1 of their own – over Zimbabwe at Cape Coast Stadium – to be just one point behind SA. Goals from Mohammed Kudus, Thomas Partey and Andre Ayew saw the Black Stars to victory, and all but ended the Warriors’ hopes of a first World Cup appearance.

The early evening also featured a 1-1 draw between Group H rivals Togo and Congo in Lome, with the Sparrow Hawks recovering from an early own goal by Jacques-Alaixys Romao to salvage a point thanks to Meme Placca’s second-half equaliser.

The first of two Matchday 4 Group I fixtures played on Saturday saw Guinea and Sudan draw 2-2 in Agadir, Morocco, with the Falcons of Jediane twice coming from behind to hold the Syli Nationale. The ‘hosts’ led through Jose Kante and Mohamed Bayo, but Ahmed Mahmoud and Amir Kamal levelled for the visitors.

Morocco then opened up a five-point lead at the top of the standings with a 3-0 ‘away’ win over neatest chasers Guinea-Bissau in Casablanca, as strikes from Ayoub El Kaabi (two) and Aymen Barkok secured a third victory from as many matches.

The Atlas Lions, like Senegal, can seal progression with a win in their next match, which will be ‘away’ to Guinea in Agadir on Tuesday.

Africa’s WCQ programme continues on Sunday 10 October with eight matches across the continent, including Nigeria facing Central African Republic away from home, Tunisia visiting Mauritania and an East African derby between Uganda and Rwanda.

Africa WCQ results, Saturday 9 October

Results from Matchday 3 unless indicated

Ethiopia 1-3 South Africa

Guinea 2-2 Sudan (Matchday 4)

Ghana 3-1 Zimbabwe

Togo 1-1 Congo

Guinea-Bissau 0-3 Morocco (Matchday 4)

Senegal 4-1 Namibia

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