Upset-filled Match Day 3 in Africa’s World Cup qualifiers

Upset-filled Match Day 3 in Africa’s World Cup qualifiers
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Group C of the qualifiers for the World Cup produced two away wins as Liberia and Nigeria crumbled at the dot of regulation m=time in their respective home games with Cape Verde and Central African Republic (CAR).

 

In Lagos, substitute Karl Namnganda scored a sensational 90th minute goal as the CAR stunned Nigeria’s Super Eagles at home, beating them by a solitary goal in their third Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

In Monrovia, Liberia could not hold on to their first lead as Cape Verde came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win, with the winning goal coming two minutes into the added time.

In Kigali meanwhile, Uganda picked their maiden victory in Group E after beating hosts Rwanda by a solitary goal.

Before the shock 1-0 loss, Nigeria had won their first two matches and were out to pick a third successive victory at home, but their failure to use their chances was punished with the visitors using one of their best two chances of the game to earn maximum points.

From the result, Nigeria remains top of Group C with six points while CAR climb up to third with four points, same as second placed Cape Verde who had earlier come from behind to beat Liberia 2-1.

The Super Eagles will have themselves to blame having dominated the match and played literally three quarters of the match in CAR’s half, but they could not find the killer instinct for a much needed goal.

The Nigerians had lots of chances to get ahead.

In the 33rd minute, Kelechi Iheanacho came very close when he turned on his favourite left boot, but his curling effort skipped just wide.

In the second half, the Nigerians continued their dominance. In the 52nd minute Osimhen was denied by the bar after striking low inside the box while substitute Taiwo Awoniyi saw his follow up effort deflected for a corner.

CAR had a rare chance in the 64th minute but Nigerian keeper Francis Uzoho who had been idle all game made a decisive save to deny Namnganda with his feet.

Nigeria continued to pile the pressure with Osimhen having two chances, first heading just wide from a cross while in the 84th minute, he swung a volley inches over.

Off a counter, Nigeria were made to pay. Namnganda was off on a counter and battled two defenders, Leon Balogun falling on his way before he fired low past the keeper at the stroke of 90 minutes.

The visitors just but managed to hold on to the slim lead to the end.

Rwanda 0-1 Uganda

In Kigali, Uganda moved top of Group E after a 1-0 win over hosts Rwanda at the Stade Nyamirambo. Fahad Bayo scored the lone goal for the Cranes in the 41st minute as they moved to five points from three matches and kept another clean sheet.

Jack Tuyisenge and York Rafael had two early chances for Rwanda. Tuyisenge headed wide from a corner while Rafael volleyed over from inside the box.

The Ugandans picked the lead four minutes to the break when Bayo tapped the ball home from a goalmouth melee after the Rwandese backline struggled to clear a freekick.

In the second half, Rwanda did all they could to get back in the game, pinning Uganda in their own half but couldn’t score. Haruna Niyonzima completely miscued a shot inside the box from a cutback while Kevin Muhire shot over from the edge of the area.

Equatorial Guinea 2-0 Zambia

Equatorial Guinea moved to second in Group B after beating 10-man Zambia 2-0. Saul Basilio Coco-Bassey Oubina gave the home side the lead after 35 minutes, 10 minutes after the Zambians were reduced to 10 men.

The visitors were slapped with a numerical disadvantage after striker Prince Mumba was shown red in the 25th minute.

Equatorial Guinea used their numbers to an advantage and cemented the win with an 87th minute second goal scored by Emilio Nsue.

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