AFCON 2019 qualifiers R3: South Africa, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, record heavy victories
Round 3 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers saw some of Africa’s heavy weights recording some resounding victories while minnows such as Madagascar recorded surprising results.
In Group A, Senegal recorded a 3-0 win over Sudan at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar on Saturday. Pape Abou Cisse, Idrissa Gueye and M’Baye Niang scored the goals for Senegal.
The Lions of Teranga climbed joint top of the group table with 7 points, same as Madagascar, whose 0-1 win over Equatorial Guinea shot them to 7 points as well.
In Group B, AFCON 2019 host Cameroon beat Malawi 1-0 courtesy a Choupo-Moting strike in the second half while Morocco needed an injury time penalty to beat Comoros 1-0 at home.
The win takes Morocco to 6 points in second position, one behind Cameroon.
In Group C, Gabon beat South Sudan 3-0 on Friday while Mali missed an injury time penalty as they were held 0-0 at home to Burundi. Mali top the group with 7 points followed by Burundi with 5 and Gabon with 4.
In Group D, Togo remain winless after 3 matches after coming being held 1-1 at home to Gambia. Algeria dispatched Benin 2-0 to move top of the group with 7 points, followed by Benin in second with 4.
South Africa and Nigeria set Group E alive with 10 goals between them in their heavy victories. South Africa mauled Seychelles 6-0 at home while an Odion Ighalo hattrick inspired Nigeria to a 4-0 drubbing of Libya. The Bafana Bafana lead the group with 7 points, followed by Nigeria with 6.
Kenya went top of Group F with a resounding 3-0 win over Ethiopia in Nairobi, having drawn 0-0 with them in the reverse encounter on Thursday. With the Ghana’s double header against Sierra Leone cancelled, Kenya move top with 7 points, followed by Ethiopia with 4 and the Black Stars slip down to 3rd with 3 points.
Zimbabwe are riding high in Group G following their impressive 1-2 win away to DR Congo. The win takes them above the Congolese to 7 points while DR. Congo remain 2nd with 4, leveled with Congo Brazzaville who beat Liberia 3-1 on Thursday with Liberia President and former captain George Weah watching on.
Guinea have maximum points in Group H with a 2-0 win over Rwanda. Geoffrey Kondogbia’scompetitive debut for the Central African Republic ended in misery as Cote d’Ivoire hammered them 4-0 with Manchester United defender Eric Bailly scoring his first goal for his country in the process. The Elephants are in second place with 6 points, 3 behind Guinea.
Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania all have 6 points in Group I after Angola beat Mauritania 4-1 at home and Burkina Faso beat Botswana 3-0.
Tunisia have maximum 9 points in Group J after their 1-0 win over Niger. Egypt are right on their tails with 6 points following their 4-1 demolishing of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). Reigning African Footballer of Year Mohammed Salah scored the Pharaoh’s 4th goal straight from a corner kick.
In Group K, 2012 champions Zambia have dropped to the bottom of the group after they beat Guinea Bissau 2-1 on Thursday before losing the reverse by the same scoreline on Sunday.
Guinea Bissau go top of the group with 7 points, while Namibia’s bold 2-1 win away to Mozambique has moved them up to 2nd on the table though they have the same points as their opponents as well as Zambia.
Uganda are top of Group L with 7 points after they thumped Lesotho 3-0. Cape Verde moved up to second with 4 points by beating Tanzania with the same scoreline. Lesotho and Tanzania have 2 points each after three matches.
The Round 4 of the qualifiers will see teams play return encounters against their Round 3 opponents on Tuesday October 16, 2018.