World Cup qualifiers: Central African Republic shock Nigeria in Lagos

Nigeria suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat against Central African Republic in African qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

Substitute Karl Namnganda, who plays in the French fourth tier for Les Herbiers, latched on to a long ball which the Super Eagles defence had failed to clear to score in the 91st minute in Lagos.

Nigeria remain top of Group C with six points from three matches, but Central African Republic are now just two points behind Gernot Rohr’s side after registering their first win.

Meanwhile, Steve Mounie scored a stunning winner against hosts Tanzania which could be key to Benin’s hopes of reaching next year’s play-offs.

Steve Mounie
Steve Mounie plays in France for Ligue 1 side Brest

The forward’s 72nd-minute strike from the edge of the area secured the visitors not only a crucial 1-0 win in Dar es Salaam but also top spot in Group J.

Benin now have seven points and are being chased by DR Congo, who won their first game after beating Madagascar 2-0 at home to move two points behind the leaders.

Tanzania, who play in Benin on Sunday, stay on four points while Madagascar are propping up the group at the halfway stage after a third straight defeat.

The Malagasy held out until the 35th minute when Chadrac Akolo opened the scoring in Kinshasa before Dieumerci Mbokani grabbed his third in as many qualifiers from the penalty spot late on.

Madagascar can gain revenge when hosting the Leopards, the only team in the group to have reached a World Cup, on Sunday.

Equatorial Guinea registered a 2-0 home win over 10-man Zambia, who had midfielder Prince Mumba dismissed for a straight red card in the 25th minute.

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Saul Coco put the hosts ahead 10 minutes before half-time in Malabo, and captain Emilio Nsue secured victory with his goal two minutes from time.

Equatorial Guinea’s second win in Group B lifts them to six points and level with Tunisia, who host Mauritania at Rades later on Thursday.

Saul Coco in action for Las Palmas
Equatorial Guinea defender Saul Coco plies his trade in Spain for Las Palmas

In Group E, a tap-in from striker Fahad Bayo gave Uganda a 1-0 win against Rwanda in Kigali.

The victory lifts the Cranes on to five points – one point ahead of unbeaten Mali, who play Kenya in neutral Morocco later.

Elsewhere, Liberia may rue the poor state of their stadium in Monrovia after losing 2-1 in stoppage time against Cape Verde in neutral Ghana.

Van-Dave Harmon opened the scoring for Liberia deep into first-half stoppage time before Jamiro Monteiro, just on as a substitute, levelled matters seven minutes after the break.

The drama still remained as Cape Verde snatched victory in the 92nd minute at the Accra Sports Stadium as another substitute, Garry Rodrigues, provided their first win in Group C. The islanders are second in the group, two points behind Nigeria.

Liberia is one of 11 countries, representing over a quarter of Africa’s teams in the second round, to be barred from playing at home because of poor infrastructure.

Sudan, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Mozambique have been added to the eight countries that received bans for last month, with Niger having been removed from the list after being given the go-ahead to host games.

The winners of Africa’s ten qualifying groups will contest next March’s play-offs to decide the continent’s five representatives at Qatar 2022.

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Source: BBC