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Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Review: Nigeria, Algeria and Senegal off to winning starts

Three-time champions Nigeria made a confident start to Africa Cup of Nations qualifying with a 2-0 victory over Chad on Saturday.

After a goalless first half in Kaduna, Stephen Keshi’s side finally broke the deadlock just after the hour as Gbolahan Salami fired into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

Nigeria saw out the victory with 10 men after Ogenyi Onazi was sent off for his involvement in a skirmish following the awarding of a penalty for the hosts, a spot-kick that Odion Ighalo duly rolled home to secure all three points in Group G.

Fellow west African nations Mali and Senegal also enjoyed opening-game victories as the campaign to reach the 2017 finals in Gabon got underway.

First-half strikes from Modibo Maiga and Salif Coulibaly secured a 2-0 win for Mali over 10-man South Sudan, while Senegal were grateful to Premier League duo Mame Biram Diouf and Sadio Mane as they beat Burundi 3-1.

Northern African powerhouses Algeria cruised to a 4-0 win over the Seychelles, but South Africa were held to a goalless draw by Gambia in Durban.

Goals were not a problem for Cape Verde Islands as they romped to a 7-1 victory over Sao Tome and Principe, Djaniny one of six goalscorers for the hosts in Praia.

In Group L, Zimbabwe needed a Khama Billiat strike seven minutes from time to earn themselves a 2-1 win against Malawi, the striker netting after Malawi had cancelled out Cuthbert Malajila’s opener.

Two goals in the space of nine second-half minutes from Geoffrey Massa and Brian Umony helped Uganda beaten Botswana 2-0, while the other game in Group D saw Burkina Faso record a comfortable 2-0 win over Comoros – Aristide Bance and Jonathan Pitroipa with the goals.

Meanwhile, Angola eased to a 4-0 win over Central African Republic, and Guinea-Bissau earned a 0-0 draw with 2012 winners Zambia. 

Sat 13 Jun, 2015
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