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Field-day for minnows on match day 2 of Afcon Qualifiers

Kenya defeated Ghana 1-0 in one of the surprise results of match-day 2

Rank outsiders had a field day as the race for places in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations resumed across the continent. Clarence Seedorf’s Cameroon came within minutes of falling to minnows Comoros in Saturday’s early kick off.  The five-time African champions, who are rated sixth in Confederation of African Football rankings, were fielding a largely experimental side and needed an 80th minute, Stephen Bakonen equaliser to hold Comoros to a one-all draw. The Island nation is ranked 43rd by Caf.

The upset of the day took place less than 1000km across the Indian Ocean when Kenya’s Harambee Stars made hay of four-time African champions Ghana in Nairobi. The East Africans survived a red card to triumph 1-0 over a Black Stars team ranked fourth on the continent, a whole 23 places above their hosts.

The trend of upsetting the apple-cart continued in Gaborone where 2017 Afrcon hosts Gabon were held to a one draw by tiny Burundi. The visitors led for more than sixty minutes until former African Footballer Of the Year Pierre Emerick Aubameyang pounced with a 76th minute leveler. The draw took Burundi to four points from two games and improved their chances of progressing from Group C.

In Kampala, Emmanuel Amunike’s determined Tanzanian outfit led by Belgium based goal machine Mbwana Samatta held lacklustre Uganda to a goalless stalemate. Zambia based wing-back Joseph Ocaya squandered the game’s best chance when he shot wide with the Taifa Stars goal at his mercy. The draw increases pressure on Cranes coach Sebastian Desabre who is yet to win a competitive rubber.

But it wasn’t all upsets. Some of the continent’s super powers made their pedigree count. The biggest win on the night took place in Cairo, Egypt where former Mexico boss Javier Aguirre marked his debut as Pharaohs coach by overseeing the 6-0 pummeling of Niger. Reigning African Footballer of the Year Mohammed Salah grabbed a brace, with Marwan Mohsen, Mohammed Elneny and Mohsen Salah also finding the target.

In Seychelles, three-time African champions Nigeria put the hosts in their place 3-0. Super Eagles World Cup top scorer Ahmed Musa was among the goals in a one sided contest. Meanwhile, 1996 champions South Africa were held to a goalless draw by Libya in a contest noted for profligate finishing.

Across the border in Maputo, Mozambique took an injury time lead through Reginaldo and then squandered it immediately, with Frederic Mendy’s equaliser giving Guinea Bissau a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Similar scenarios played out in Windhoek where Justin Shoga’s 91st minute leveler for Zambia’s Chipolopolo cancelled out Benson Shilongo’s opener for the hosts in a 1-1 draw; and in Bangui, Gambia where Baghdad Bounejah’s 47th minute goal for 1990 champions Algeria was neutered by Assan Ceesay’s reply for Gambia two minutes later.

The match-day 2 results:

Saturday, 08-09-2018

Camoros 1-1 Cameroon

Seychelles 0-3 Nigeria

South Africa 0-0 Libya

Kenya 1-0 Ghana

Uganda 0-0 Tanzania

Namibia 1-1 Zambia

Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Sudan

Gabonj 1-1 Burundi

Mozambique 2-2 Guinea-Bissau

Gambia 1-1 Algeria

Mauritania 2-0 Burkina Facso

Egypt 6-0 Niger

Morocco 3-0 Malawi

Sunday 09-09-2018

Madasacar 2-2 Senegal

South Sudan 0-3 Mali

Ethiopia 1-0 Sierra Leone

Swaziland 0-2 Tunisia

Lesotho 1-1 Cape Verde Islands

Rwanda 1-2 Cote d’Ivoire

Congo 1-1 Zimbabwe

Angola 1-0 Botswana

Togo 0-0 Benin

Liberia 1-1 DR Congo

Guinea 1-0 Central African Republic

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