Lackluster Nigeria held by Zimbabwe in World Cup qualifiers

Published:
Lackluster Nigeria held by Zimbabwe in World Cup qualifiers

Nigeria continued their stumbling start to the African 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Zimbabwe, but there were wins for Egypt and Algeria as the continent's top sides flexed their muscles.

Nigeria could only manage a point in neutral Butare, Rwanda, after starting their bid to reach the global finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada with a desperately disappointing 1-1 draw at home to lowly Lesotho on Thursday.

The Super Eagles have therefore taken two points from their opening two games in the six-team Group C, with only the top side in each pool assured of one of Africa's nine automatic qualification places.

South Africa could open up an early four-point lead in Group C when they visit Rwanda on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe took the lead midway through the first half via Walter Musona, but Nigeria salvaged a draw when Kelechi Iheanacho equalised in the second half.

Zimbabwe are among the 19 African countries forced to move their home qualifiers to neutral venues because of poor facilities or security concerns.

Trezeguet scored a brace of goals as Egypt cruised to a 2-0 win over nine-man Sierra Leone in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, making it a full haul of six points for The Pharaohs in their opening two qualifiers.

The Leone Stars lost Tyrese Fornah to a first-half red card and never looked able to challenge Egypt after that as Mohamed Salah, who scored four goals against Djibouti on Thursday, completed another 90 minutes and provided the assist for his side's second.

The hosts also had Abdul Kabia sent off for a second bookable offence, while before that there were ugly scenes as several local fans invaded the pitch and at least one was involved in a fracas with Salah before being forcefully removed.

Algeria made it two wins from two but had to wait until the 69th minute to get the opener in a 2-0 victory in Mozambique. Fares Chaibi handed them the lead and Ramiz Zerrouki made sure of the points in the final 10 minutes.

Gabon have also made a perfect start to their Group F campaign after claiming a 2-1 victory against Burundi in neutral Dar-es-Salaam.

Jim Allevinah and Denis Bouanga scored in either half, before Abedi Bigirimana set up a tense finish when he pulled a goal back for Burundi near the end.

An own goal from midfielder Charles Pickel 11 minutes from full-time gave Sudan a 1-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Related News

Porto stun shot-shy Arsenal with last-gasp winner Porto stun shot-shy Arsenal with last-gasp winner

FC Porto snatched a shock last-gasp 1-0 victory against Arsenal with Galeno netting a sublime effort deep in stoppage time in their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.

Source: Shaw's Man United season could be over Source: Shaw's Man United season could be over

Manchester United fear Luke Shaw could be out for the rest of the season due to a muscle injury sustained during the team's 2-1 win over Luton Town, a source has told ESPN.

Napoli rally to draw with Barca in last-16 first leg Napoli rally to draw with Barca in last-16 first leg

Napoli fought back to hold visitors Barcelona to a dour 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday thanks to a goal from Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen.

Leaders Liverpool storm back to thrash Luton Leaders Liverpool storm back to thrash Luton

Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo scored two minutes apart in the second half to open the floodgates as an injury-bitten Liverpool opened some space at the top of the Premier League with a 4-1 victory over Luton Town at Anfield on Wednesday.

Bayern boss Tuchel to leave at end of season Bayern boss Tuchel to leave at end of season

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel will leave at the end of the season, after three defeats in a row left them eight points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen and with their Champions League prospects in the balance.

Ratcliffe: I want to knock rivals 'off their perch' Ratcliffe: I want to knock rivals 'off their perch'

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has said he wants to break the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League and believes he can do it in three years.

USL upset with handling of MLS-Open Cup row USL upset with handling of MLS-Open Cup row

USL CEO Paul McDonough expressed disappointment at the U.S. Soccer Federation's handling of a dispute involving MLS and the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which is having a ripple effect on the USL.

Ronaldo strikes as Al Nassr reach ACL quarters Ronaldo strikes as Al Nassr reach ACL quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday as the Riyadh-based side beat fellow Saudi Pro League outfit Al Fayha 2-0 to complete a 3-0 aggregate victory.