Tuesday Nov 21, 2023. 23:14
November’s block of African World Cup Qualifiers were wrapped up on Tuesday night with a win from heavyweights Morocco.
The 2022 World Cup semifinalists played just one match across the first two matchdays (as Group E has been reduced to five teams with the withdrawal of Eritrea), but they already top their group with three points thanks to a 2-0 away triumph over 10-man Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.
The Atlas Lions secured the three points thanks to an opening strike from Hakim Ziyech and an own goal by the Taifa Stars’ Bakari Mwamnyeto – and the hosts also had Novatus Miroshi sent off midway through the second half for a second bookable offence.
Morocco’s win means four teams in Group E sit on three points, including Niger, who were 2-1 winners over Zambia at Stade de Marrakesh thanks to first-half strikes from Amadou Moutari and Boubacar Goumey.
The afternoon kick-offs were headlined by South Africa missing out on the chance to go clear at the top of Group C – instead they were leapfrogged by their opponents Rwanda, who claimed a 2-0 win in Butare thanks to first-half goals from Innocent Nshuti and Gilbert Mugisha.
In the same Group C, Lesotho and Benin drew 0-0 in Durban.
A late penalty from Youssef Msakni saw Tunisia win 1-0 away to Malawi in Lilongwe to join Equatorial Guinea on six points at the top of Group H, while Burkina Faso registered a first win in Group A by trumping Ethiopia 3-0 at Stade El Abdi, via goals from Ibrahim Toure, Bertrand Traore and Dango Ouattara.
Botswana claimed an impressive scalp by defeating Guinea 1-0 in Francistown (with a second-half strike from Kabelo Seakanyeng), and they were joined on three points in Group G by Uganda, who beat Somalia 1-0 in Berkane thanks to an early goal from Rogers Mato.
In the early evening, Cape Verde registered a first win in Group D, defeating Eswatini 2-0 in Nelspruit thanks to first-half goals from Ryan Mendes and Jamiro Monteiro, while the other games in the group saw Libya and Cameroon draw 1-1 in Benghazi (to join the Blue Sharks in a three-way tie at the top on four points), while Mauritius and Angola played out a 0-0 stalemate in St Pierre.
Comoros rose to the top of Group I thanks to a famous 1-0 win over Ghana in Moroni – with Myziane Maolida’s strike late in the first half proving to be the difference – while Senegal went top of Group B on four points but would have been frustrated at drawing 0-0 away to Togo in Lome, while rivals South Sudan and Mauritania also played out a goalless stalemate in their clash in Diamniadio.
Namibia’s Brave Warriors are on the board in Group H after a 2-0 win away win over Sao Tome & Principe in Agadir, with Prins Tjieza and an own goal from Goncalves Mateus handing coach Collin Benjamin’s charges all three points.
Africa’s WCQ tournament will resume in June of 2024.
African WCQ results, Tuesday 21 November
Botswana 1-0 Guinea
Eswatini 0-2 Cape Verde
Ethiopia 0-3 Burkina Faso
Lesotho 0-0 Benin
Malawi 0-1 Tunisia
Rwanda 2-0 South Africa
Somalia 0-1 Uganda
Comoros 1-0 Ghana
Libya 1-1 Cameroon
Mauritius 0-0 Angola
Sao Tome & Principe 0-2 Namibia
South Sudan 0-0 Mauritania
Togo 0-0 Senegal
Niger 2-1 Zambia
Tanzania 0-2 Morocco