Senegal and Nigeria were among the winners on Wednesday as the qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kicked off across the continent.
Senegal’s Lions of Teranga, runners-up at AFCON 2019 in Egypt earlier this year, secured a 2-0 win against Congo in Group I at the Stade Lat Dior in Thiès courtesy of goals from Sidy Sarr and Habibou Diallo.
Senegal lies in second place in the group behind Guinea-Bissau who beat eSwatini 3-0 at the Estádio Nacional 24 de Setembro in Bissau.
In Group L, Nigeria came from a goal down beat neighbours Benin 2-1 at the Ibom Stadium in Uyo. Stephane Sessegnon opened the scoring for Benin before a late first-half penalty from Victor Osimhen and a second half strike from Samuel Kalu secured the win.
The group’s other game saw Lesotho score an injury-time equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw against Sierra Leone in Freetown.
Meanwhile, in Group F, five-time African champions Cameroon settled for a goalless draw against Cape Verde at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé. This was the second match in which the Indomitable Lions were led by coach Toni Conceicao, who was appointed in September to replace Clarence Seedorf.
In Group D, Assan Ceesay scored twice and Sulayman Marreh added a late goal as Gambia came from behind to claim a 3-1 win away to Angola.
Central Africa Republic scored a goal in either half to beat Burundi 2-0 in Group E.
Burkina Faso and Uganda played out to a 1-1 draw while Malawi defeated South Sudan by a solitary goal in Group B.
In Group A, Namibia edged Chad 2-1 in Windhoek with all the goals coming in the second half.
Sudan went top of Group C following a 4-0 thumping of 10-man Sao Tome e Principe ahead of the game between Ghana and South Africa.