Algeria racked up a massive win to headline the second day of group stage action in Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying tournament, while there were also key wins for Morocco, Burkina Faso and Benin.
Algeria, the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions, got their road to Qatar 2022 off to a flying start as they crushed 10-man Djibouti 8-0 in their Group A opener in Blida.
The night game saw Islam Slimani rack up four goals, while Baghdad Bounedjah, Ramy Bensebaini, Riyad Mahrez and Ramiz Zerrouki were also on the score sheet, as the Fennec Foxes ran riot after the dismissal of Djibout’s Batio Youssouf midway through the first half.
Another night game saw Algeria’s fellow North African heavyweights Morocco move to the top of Group I with a 2-0 triumph over Sudan in Rabat, thanks to an early strike from Nayef Aguerd and an own goal from Abuaagla Abdalla.
The Atlas Lions made their statement win without star man Hakim Ziyech, who was dropped from the squad by coach Vahid Halihodzic for “unacceptable behaviour”.
The afternoon matches saw East African derby rivals Kenya and Uganda drawing 0-0 in Nairobi, to leave Group E topped by favourites Mali after their win on Wednesday, while DR Congo and Tanzania drew 1-1 in Lubumbashi in a Group J opener, with goals from Dieumerci Mbokani and Simon Msuva.
The other Group J game took place in the early evening slot, with Benin claiming an early lead on three points after they defeated hosts Madagascar 1-0 in Antananarivo thanks to Steve Mounie’s goal midway through the first half.
Elsewhere, Namibia – playing at the neutral Orlando Stadium in Soweto – were held 1-1 by Group H rivals Congo, as Charles Hambira’s opener was cancelled out in the second half by Guy Mbenza, while Burkina Faso got their Group A campaign off to a flyer with a 2-0 away win over Niger (at another neutral venue, Marrakesh) with strikes from Lassina Traore and Mohamed Konate.
Matchday 1 of the group stage in Africa’s WCQ tournament will wrap up with seven matches across the continent on Friday 3 September, featuring Zimbabwe hosting South Africa, Ivory Coast visiting Mozambique, Ghana at home to Ethiopia and Nigeria’s Super Eagles taking on Liberia.
Kenya 0-0 Uganda
DR Congo 1-1 Tanzania
Niger 0-2 Burkina Faso
Namibia 1-1 Congo
Madagascar 0-1 Benin
Algeria 8-0 Djibouti
Morocco 2-0 Sudan