Salah stars for Egypt, Nigeria fail to impress

Salah stars for Egypt, Nigeria fail to impress
Moses Simon of Nigeria

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Nov 16, 2023. 23:01

Egypt ran riot against Djibouti in Thursday’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers, which saw Nigeria make a stuttering start after they failed to beat Lesotho.

Twenty-seven goals were scored across the eight games and the day started with Burundi emerging 3-2 victors against Gambia at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam,

The Swallows went into the break 2-1 up courtesy of goals from Abedi Bigirimana (31′) and Frederic Nsabiyumva (35′) before Musa Barrow (45+4′) halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time. Sudi Abdallah (75′) sealed the win, although Ebrima Colley (90+8′ PEN) pulled another one back for the Scorpions deep into stoppage time.

Mozambique came out on top in a Southern African derby after they beat Botswana 3-2 at the Francistown Stadium.

Clesio (14′) broke the deadlock early on in Francistown and Stanley Ratifo (52′) doubled the Mambas’ lead, but two goals in quick succession saw Molaodi Tlhalefang (74′) hit back for the Zebras before Jonathan Muiomo (75′) found a swift reply at the other end and Mogakolodi Ngele (85′) got his name on the scoresheet late on to set up a tense finish.

It was the Mohamed Salah show at the Cairo International Stadium as Egypt thumped Djibouti to take early command of Group A.

Salah (17′, 22′ PEN, 48′, 69′) scored four himself in Cairo and further goals from Mostafa Mohamed (73′) and Trezeguet (89′) completed the rout.

Meanwhile, Kevin Denkey (43′) cancelled out Mohamed Eisa’s 17th-minute opener from the penalty spot as Togo battled from behind to draw 1-1 with Sudan Martyrs of February Stadium in Benghazi and Nigeria also had to settle for the share of the spoils after they drew 1-1 against Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

Motlomelo Mkhwanazi (56′) gave the Crocodiles a shock lead early in the second half, but Semi Ajayi equalised 11 minutes later to rescue a point for the Super Eagles.

Kenya’s return to competitive action saw them suffer a 2-1 defeat to Gabon at the Franceville Stadium, where second-half goals from Denis Bouanga (60′) and Guelor Kanga (88′) secured the comeback win after Masud Juma (40′) had put the Harambee Stars ahead.

Algeria got off to a positive start with a 3-1 victory over Somalia at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, while the clash between Cape Verde and Angola finished goalless at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde.

An own-goal from Ahmed Abdullahi Abdi after just two minutes gave the Fennec Foxes a dream start and Baghdad Bounedjah (31′) doubled their advantage before Yusuf Ahmed reduced the deficit for the Ocean Stars, only for Islam Slimani (80′) to wrap up the win in the closing stages.

CAF 2026 World Cup qualifying results:

Thursday, November 16

Burundi 3-2 Gambia

Botswana 2-3 Mozambique

Egypt 6-0 Djibouti

Sudan 1-1 Togo

Nigeria 1-1 Lesotho

Gabon 2-1 Kenya

Algeria 3-1 Somalia

Cape Verde 0-0 Angola

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