The hunt for slots at the 2014 World Cup in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil across Africa resumed on Saturday with shocking results. African Champions Nigeria needed a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with neighbours Kenya, Senegal were pegged back 1-1 by Angola; Burkina Faso walloped Niger 4-0 while South Africa, Cameroun and Malawi also bagged wins. Kawowo Sports’ Ismael Kiyonga followed the events and reports on the games. Let’s get started;
GROUP J Senegal 1-1 Angola
Uganda’s opponents Senegal and Angola settled for a 1-1 draw in Conakry. Senegal took a first half lead through Moussa Sow only for Amaro Costa to equalise for Angola 15 minutes from time.
The fixture was moved to the Guinea capital because of a one-year ban on the national stadium in Dakar after crowd trouble forced a Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast to be abandoned last October.
The draw keeps Senegal on top of group J with five points while Angola leapfrogged Uganda to go second on three points. However, there can be a change in the table tonight as Liberia takes on Uganda in Monrovia. Victory for Uganda with a three goal margin will put the Cranes on top while Liberia can go second with maximum points. A draw will leave the table unchanged.
GROUP F Nigeria 1-1 Kenya and Namibia 0-1 Malawi
Nigeria snatched a dramatic draw thanks to Nnamdi Oduamadi who equalised three minutes into stoppage time after Francis Kahata had given Kenya a shock first-half lead in Calabar. In the other game of the group, Malawi beat hosts Namibia 1-0 in Windhoek thanks to Gabadin Mh’ngo’s solitary strike. Namibia is now level on five points with Nigeria while Kenya remains bottom with two. Namibia is third on 3 points.
GROUP E Burkina Faso 4-0 Niger and Congo Brazzaville 1-0 Gabon
Burkina Faso trounced Niger 4-0 at home in a must-win match, although the impact was diluted as group leaders Congo Brazzaville also won 1-0 against Gabon thanks to Christopher Samba goal. Burkina Faso scored through Jonathan Pitroipa, Aristide Bance Charles Kabore and Prejuce Nakoulma.
Congo leads the group with nine points while the rest are all tied on three.
GROUP I Cameroun 1-2 Togo and
Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o scored in each half as Cameroon beat Togo 2-1 and take the Group I lead.
In other games, South Africa won 2-0 in Cape Town over Central African Republic. There were also victories for Ivory Coast who beat Gambia 3-0 in Abidjan through goals from Wilfried Bony, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou.
Tunisia moved five points clear of Sierra Leone in Group B after winning the top-of-the-table clash 2-1 in Rades with Oussama Darragi and Wahbi Khazri on target before Alhassan Kamara reduced arrears.
Another nine qualifiers will be played Sunday and a further two fixtures Tuesday will bring the mini-league competition to the halfway stage with the 10 group winners advancing to the knockout final phase.
Senegal 1-1 Angola
Cameroon 2-1 Togo
Namibia 0-1 Malawi
Tunisia 2-1 Sierra Leone
Nigeria 1-1 Kenya
Ivory Coast 3-0 Gabon
Burkina Faso 4-0 Niger
South Africa 2-0 CAR
Congo Brazzaville 1-0 Gabon