Ivory Coast beat Tanzania 2-0 in their opening Group C 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Saturday.
Salomon Kalou scored first for the home side in the ninth minute after finding a breach in the Tanzanian defence during a goalmouth scramble.
With the score still at 1-0 after the hour mark and the Taifa Stars still holding their ground, coach Sabri Lamouchi brought on Hannover striker Ya Konan Didier and Kader Keita of Al Sadd to inject more firepower and it paid off immediately.
Keita sharply set up Chelsea’s Didier Drogba from the left edge of the Tanzanian box. The Ivorian captain escaped his marker and hit the back of the net to double the lead with 10 minutes remaining.
The other Group C match saw Gambia take the lead through defender Abdou Jammeh on 16 minutes before Fiorentina midfielder Houssine Kharja rescued a point for Morocco with 14 minutes to play.
In Group J, Senegal overcame Liberia 3-1 to start their second round of qualifying on a winning note, despite new captain Papiss Cisse missing a penalty in the first half.
They fell behind just two minutes into the game when Francis Doe hit the back of net but Ibrahima Balde restored parity for the hosts 13 minutes before the interval.
After the break, Senegal took the lead courtesy of substitute Dame N’Doye in the 72nd minute and Sadio Mane put the result beyond doubt, tucking away a third with seven minutes left.
Tunisia conceded a goal against the run of play in the first half but admirably overcame a nervy start to score three second-half goals through Issam Jemmain, Hamdi Harbaoui and Chedi Hammemi to take maximum points and join fellow Group B side Sierra Leone on three points, who defeated Cape Verde 2-0 in Freetown.
A solitary 53rd minute penalty from Cameroon striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was enough to edge the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0 in Group I at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium.
African champions Zambia suffered a 2-0 loss to Sudan in their opening Group D qualifier at the Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman; a brace from Foxi Kethevoama delivered all three points for Central African Republic in a 2-0 victory against Botswana in Group A and Algeria thrashed Rwanda 4-0 in Group H on the back of two goals from El-Arbi Hilal Soudani and one each to Sofiane Feghouli and Slimani Islam.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Group E opponents Burkina Faso and Congo drew 0-0, while Kenya v Malawi was scoreless in Group F.
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