Algeria hit seven as African big guns qualify

Johannesburg: Seven-goal Algeria led the way Tuesday as 18 of the top 20-ranked African national teams reached the group stage of 2018 World Cup qualifying.


Algeria humiliated Tanzania 7-0 after being held 2-2 away and Egypt scored four goals in 36 minutes to trounce Chad 4-0 in Alexandria following a shock 1-0 first-leg loss.

African champions Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and Morocco are also through to the 20-nation group stage, that starts next October.

Cape Verde, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Uganda, Gabon and non-top 20 teams Burkina Faso and Libya complete the line-up.

Only two seeded sides in the 20 home-and-away second round ties played over seven days, Equatorial Guinea and Rwanda, failed to make the cut.

Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam and Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani bagged two goals each, including a penalty apiece, as Algeria ran riot in Blida after leading 3-0 at half-time.

Yacine Brahimi, Riyad Mahrez and Carl Medjani also scored for the Desert Foxes, who came from two goals behind to draw in Dar es Salaam last Saturday.

Egypt whipped Chad by four goals for the second time in three months after winning an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier 5-1 in N’Djamena.

Mohamed Elneny and Abdallah El Saied scored within 10 minutes of the kick-off at the 85,000-capacity Borg El Arab Stadium near Alexandria.

Ahmed ‘Kouka’ Hassan added two more within five minutes later in the opening half before a crowd restricted to 25,000 because of post-Arab Spring security concerns.

Nigeria missed numerous scoring chances as they overcame Swaziland 2-0 in Port Harcourt after a goalless first leg.

Moses Simon broke the deadlock off a superbly executed 51st-minute free-kick and Efe Ambrose scored three minutes from time by side-footing a free-kick into the net.

Mubarak Wakaso after 16 minutes and Jordan Ayew five minutes from time got the goals that gave Ghana a 2-0 victory over minnows Comoros in Kumasi after a goalless first encounter.

Giovanni Sio bagged a first-half brace and Jean Michael Seri struck in the second half as Ivory Coast romped to a 3-0 triumph over Liberia in Abidjan having taken a one-goal advantage back from Monrovia.

Beset by poor preparations, including unsent airline tickets to foreign-based players and unpaid squad bonuses, Kenya fell 2-0 to Cape Verde in Praia with Heldon Ramos scoring twice.

Cape Verde, a country with a population of only 500,000 but ranked fourth in Africa behind Ivory Coast, Algeria and Ghana, trailed 1-0 after the first leg.

Cameroon, holders of the African record for World Cup appearances with seven, and three-time qualifiers South Africa had less success at home after impressive away victories last Friday.

Niger held Cameroon 0-0 in Yaounde after losing 3-0 in Niamey while South Africa needed a Manucho Diniz own-goal to edge Angola 1-0 in Durban having built a 3-1 lead in Benguela.

English Premier League stars Cheikhou Kouyate and Mame Biram Diouf were among the goals as Senegal outplayed Madagascar 3-0 in Dakar for a 5-2 overall success.