Somalia wins first ever World Cup qualifying match

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HAMBURG, GERMANY - MAY 25: The FIFA World Cup is pictured at the city hall on May 25, 2006 in Hamburg, Germany. The FIFA World Cup will be presented to the public on May 26, 2006 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: The FIFA World Cup is pictured at the city hall on May 25, 2006 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Somalia made history on Thursday after it won its first ever World Cup qualifying match by defeating Zimbabwe 1-0 in the first leg of their preliminary round of the African qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the El Hadj Hassan Gouled Stadium in Djibouti.

Somalia is ranked 202nd (out of 211 countries) in the world while Zimbabwe is ranked 112th.

Somalia was winless in its previous 11 World Cup qualifying matches having drawn three games and lost eight.

The development of men’s and women’s football in Somalia has seriously been hampered over the years by the ongoing civil war and the presence of extremist groups such as Al-Shabaab.

Zimbabwe will host the second leg of the fixture at the Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on September 10.

The preliminary round of African qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup features 28 teams with the 14 winners advancing to join the continent’s 26 exempted teams in the group stage of the African qualifiers.

Thereafter, there will be 10 groups of four teams with the group winners being drawn to play against each other in a two-legged tie. The five winners will eventually advance to represent Africa at the World Cup set to be held in Qatar.

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