AFCON 2021 qualifiers: Senegal wins, Equatorial Guinea stuns Libya

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CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 10: Sadio Mane of Senegal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match between Senegal and Benin at 30th June Stadium on July 10, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Visionhaus)
FILE PHOTO: Sadio Mane in action for Senegal. (Photo by Visionhaus via Getty Images)

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers resumed on Wednesday after months of suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic with five matches played across the continent.

The continent’s top-ranked side Senegal eased to a 2-0 home win against Guinea Bissau at the Stade Lat Dior in Thiès.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mané opened the scoring through a penalty just before half-time for his 20th international goal in 62 matches.

Mané then set up Opa Nguette 16 minutes from time to double the lead and secure victory and make it three wins from three games.

Senegal leads Group I with nine points, six ahead of Congo and Guinea Bissau while eSwatini is bottom with zero points.

In Group J, Equatorial Guinea registered a stunning comeback to defeat Libya 3-2 in Cairo.

A penalty by Sanad Al Warfali and a strike by Mohamed Bettamer saw Libya in three second-half minutes saw Libya take a 2-1 lead having trailed through Jose Antonio Miranda’s 33rd-minute goal.

However, with the game appearing to be destined for a Libya win, Pedro Obiang and substitute Salomon Obama scored within three minutes of each other in injury time to snatch victory at the death.

The win saw Equatorial Guinea move up to second on three points while Libya dropped to fourth with the same number of points.

In Group A, Guinea went three points clear of Mali following a narrow 1-0 win against Chad at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry. Mady Camara’s goal on the stroke of halftime moved the hosts to seven points and condemned the visitors to a third straight defeat.

Meanwhile, Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s first game in charge of the national side in several years nearly ended in disaster as Kenya salvaged a 1-1 draw against 10-man Comoros in Nairobi.

Youssouf M’Changama gave the island nation the lead shortly after the midway point in the first half. He, however, made his side’s task of defending their lead difficult after he was sent off four minutes before halftime for a second yellow card.

Masoud Juma would equalize for the Harambee Stars in the second half as the match ended 1-1, in what was the hosts’ third straight stalemate in the group.

Comoros, who are unbeaten, lead Group G with five points followed by Kenya, who are also yet to taste defeat, on three points.

Elsewhere, veteran striker Saidi Ntibazonkiza cancelled out Bakary N’Diaye’s first-half goal as Burundi held Mauritani to a 1-1 draw in their Group E encounter. Mauritania went top of the group on five points while Burundi remained bottom despite earning their first point.

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