South Sudan earned their first ever competitive victory with a 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.
The minnows joined the ranks of international football in 2012 and had not found the net since a 3-1 defeat to Kenya in November 2013, but Atak Lual’s 52nd-minute strike was enough to seal a 1-0 win in Juba.
The momentous result lifts Lee Sung-Je’s side to second place in Group C ahead of Benin’s clash with Mali on Sunday.
There was similar joy for Liberia, who shocked Group A rivals Tunisia with a 1-0 victory despite being without first-choice goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman, who reportedly suffered a serious eye injury after inadvertently barging into a glass door at the team’s hotel.
But a Francis Forkey Doe strike in the 11th minute proved decisive, in the first international match to be held in Monrovia since the lifting of the Ebola ban.
Ghana, runners-up to the Ivory Coast in 2015, look well-placed for another finals berth after preserving their 100 per cent record in Group H by edging to a 1-0 win over Rwanda thanks to Mubarak Wakaso’s superb 88th-minute free-kick.
Morocco were more emphatic in securing their second win in Group F, brushing aside Sao Tome and Principe 3-0.
In Group K, Senegal took advantage of Burundi’s 2-0 win over Niger with 2-0 win away to Namibia, courtesy of goals from Premier League stars Cheikhou Kouyate and Sadio Mane – a win that leaves them three points clear at the top.
Meanwhile, three-time champions Nigeria were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at Tanzania and could be knocked off the top of Group G should Egypt beat Chad on Sunday, while South Africa’s difficulties in Group M continued with a 3-1 defeat to Mauritania.
A solitary 25th-minute strike from Tonny Mawejje saw Uganda rise to the top of group D with a 1-0 win away to Comoros, overtaking Burkina Faso, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Botswana.
Elsewhere, 10-man Seychelles lifted themselves off the bottom of Group J with a 1-1 draw to Ethiopia, while Group E remains wide open after Congo’s 1-1 draw with Guinea Bissau.
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