Tunisia started its campaign in the second round of the African qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar in 2022, with a big victory over its guest, Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in the first round of the second group competitions, which saw Mauritania suffer a heavy loss at home against Zambia 1-2 .
Ghana achieved a difficult victory over its guest Ethiopia 1-0, while Nigeria and Cameroon were hit hard, with a single 2-0 victory over Liberia and Malawi.
In the first match at the “Hamay Al-Aqrabi” stadium in Rades, Tunisia struggled to beat its guest, Equatorial Guinea, especially in the first half, during which the guests held out remarkably.
The “Carthage Eagles”, who are seeking to reach the finals for the sixth time in their history, waited at the beginning of the second half to shake the nets of their guests, first through French Metz defender Dylan Brunn with a header after a corner kick (54), before Cologne midfielder Elias Sakhiri reassured the fans of the national team. His country scored the second goal with a superb right-footed shot from outside the area, inhabited by the far left corner of the guests’ goalkeeper (78).
French Saint-Etienne striker Wahbi Khazri sealed the festival with a third goal from a penalty kick taken by Al-Duhail Qatari midfielder Ferjani Sassi (82).
In the second at the Olympic Stadium in the capital, Nouakchott, Mauritania suffered a severe loss at home when it fell to its guest Zambia 1-2.
Zambia, champion of the continent in 2012 and runner-up in 1974 and 1994 and seeking a World Cup for the first time in its history, scored in the tenth minute through Austrian Salzburg striker Enoch Mwebo, and then did it for the second time 12 minutes after the start of the second half by Kawpi Warriors striker Prince Mumba ( 57), before the Egyptian El Entag El Harby striker, who moved to Arab Contractors on Thursday in a free deal, Mamadou Ndioko Nias, reduced the difference for the hosts in the 69th minute.
Mauritania is a guest of Equatorial Guinea, and Tunisia hosts Zambia, on Tuesday, in the second round.
Leicester City striker Kleichi Ihyanacho led Nigeria to a deserved victory over its guest, Liberia, with a clean two in Group C.
Ihyanacho scored the double in the 22nd and 44th minutes, to lead the “Excellent Eagles” team with three points, two points ahead of Central African Republic and Cape Verde, who tied 1-1 on Wednesday at the opening of the first round.
Nigeria will play its second match, next Tuesday, in Cape Verde, while Liberia will play its guest, Central African Republic, on Monday.
The Ivory Coast and South African teams returned with disappointing goalless draws outside the rules against Mozambique and Zimbabwe, respectively.
In the first match in Group D, Ivory Coast, seeking to reach the finals for the fourth time in its history and make up for its absence from the last edition in Russia 2018, after it had reached the previous three editions, fell into a draw against Mozambique.
It is the second tie in seven confrontations between the two teams after the first in their last match in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers in Maputo as well, but with a score of 1-1 in September 2008.
In the same group, Cameroon, which aspires to the world wedding for the sixth time in its history, achieved the most important on its soil and settled its confrontation with its guest Malawi in the first half with two clean goals, scored by Saudi Al-Nasr striker Vincent Abu Bakr (9) and Belgian defender Mikael Ngadou Ngadjoy (23).
In the second round, Ivory Coast awaits a fiery summit against its guest Cameroon next Monday, while Mozambique will visit Malawi on Tuesday.
In the second match in Group G, South Africa, which aspires to participate in the fourth World Cup and the first since the 2010 edition, was no better than Ivory Coast and was satisfied with one point in front of its host, Zimbabwe.
Ghana, seeking the fourth World Cup in its history, topped the group by narrowly defeating its guest Ethiopia later with a single goal scored by Deportivo Alaves, Spanish midfielder Mubarak Wakasu, in the 35th minute.
In the second round, next Monday, South Africa will play its guest Ghana, while Zimbabwe will meet its host Ethiopia on Tuesday.
The second stage of the qualifiers will witness the participation of 40 teams, divided into 10 groups of four teams, playing round trips between them. The top ten teams qualify for the final round, where the five home and away matches will be determined, and the five winners qualify directly for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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