Reigning African champions Algeria stretched their unbeaten run, after picking up a point away from home in the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Khartoum, Guinea Bissau earned themselves a massive 4-2 victory against hosts Sudan while in Luanda, Libya won 1-0 away to Angola.
Burkina Faso 1-1 ِAlgeria
The Algerians came into the match with heaps of confidence after their opening day 8-0 thrashing of Djibouti and wanted to pick a successive win to get themselves squarely on the driver’s seat.
They threatened early in the 10th minute when Royad Mahrez’s teasing cross from the right evaded the target by inches with Islam Silimani arriving a few seconds late to try make a touch on goal.
But The Desert Foxes got themselves ahead after 17 minutes in sublime fashion. Youce Belaili won the ball deep in his team’s own half before sending Silimani through on the right with a peach of a pass. The forward then cut back a cross into the box which Soufiane Feghouli tapped into an empty net.
They should have been 2-0 up seven minutes later, but Rami Bensebaini’s point blank header from a Mahrez freekick was well saved by the keeper.
The Burkinabe were not taking the early trail hands behind their backs and they equally gave in a good performance. They had a chance in the 28th minute when Issa Kabore drifted into the box from the right, but he dragged his shot straight to the keeper.
On the half hour mark, Algeria had a brilliant chance. Another precise pass from Belaili fell on Slimani who did well to sit one defender down, but his shot at goal from a tight angle was blocked by the keeper.
In the second half, Burkina Faso came with more speed and precision. They were patient in attack and that ultimately paid off after 64 minutes when Abdoul Tapsoba drew them level. A long ball started by the keeper landed on Lassina Traore who dragged a cross into the box.
Algeria should have retaken the lead off a counter in the 72nd minute when they defended a corner well. Mahrez picked the ball at the edge of the six yard box and checked on substitute Baghdad Bounedjah’s run, but the ball clipped the latter’s heels when he was through on goal.
The home side attempted to increase the pressure on the North Africans, but their efforts came to nothing.
Algeria tops Group A on four points, on goal difference to Burkina Faso. Niger (3 points) and Djibouti (0) follow in that order.
Sudan 2-4 Guinea Bissau
In Omdurman, Guinea Bissau’s Djurtus went top of Group I with an assured 4-2 victory over host nation Sudan. Piqueti scored a brace while Frederic Mendy and Mama Balde grabbed one each in the healthy win.
Guinea Bissau went 1-0 up after only eight minutes when Piqueti picked the ball at the edge of the box, drove in and shot low past the keeper.
Piqueti was to be included in the second goal as well when he brought in a cross from the right. Skipper Mendes Jonas miscued his shot before leaving space for Mendy to score as they went to the break with a 2-0 lead.
The tempo was raised and the Djurtus went 3-0 up with Piqueti completing his brace with a smart low shot into the bottom left after Moreto Cassama had played a good dummy to take away one defender and give his teammate space to kill off the game.
In the second half, Sudan got themselves into the game through Mohamed Abdel Rahman. The Sudanese had turned over possession and made it count, giving themselves a slight belief of a comeback just 10 minutes after the restart
But all their efforts to climb the massive mountain came to nothing and it was Guinea Bissau who would add a goal with eight minutes left, Balde powering a header home off a well weighted corner.
Sudan scored a late consolation goal, Abdel Rahman reacting fastest after the Guinea Bissau keeper had spilled a shot from distance.
Guinea Bissau moved to top of Group I on four points, one more than Morocco. Guinea has one while Sudan trail pointless. Guinea – Morocco game was postponed.
Angola 0-1 Libya
Elsewhere in Luanda, Libya defeated Angola 1-0 away from home to go on top of Group F on maximum points.
Omar Al Khoja scored what proved to be the game’s lone goal in the first half, as The Mediterranean Knights continued their dream start to their qualifiers’ campaign.
Libya leads the group on 6 points, two more than North African neighbors Egypt. Gabon follows with a lone point, while Angola trails having lost two games out of two.
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