The Squirrels of Benin moved top of Group J in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after a precious 1-0 away win against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, October 7, 2021.
Steve Mounie scored the lone goal for The Squirrels in the 72nd minute to hand the West Africans maximum points, moving them on top with seven points after two wins and a draw in the opening three matches.
The Tanzanians will rue their missed chances, especially a glorious opportunity that Saimon Msuva failed to grab in the first half. The Morocco-based striker had a clear chance in the 22nd minute but he took a weak shot at goal with a sliding Cedric Hountondji scrambling back to block the effort.
After going down, the Tanzanians gave their all in search of an equalizer. Substitute Abdul Hamisi Suleiman came close twice at the dying minutes of the game. First, a ferocious shot from the edge of the area which came off the bar while his second chance, two minutes later, was saved by the goalkeeper.
DR Congo 2-0 Madagascar
Elsewhere at the Stade de Martyrs in Kinshasa, goals from Chadrac Akolo and skipper Dieumerci Mbokani gave the DR Congo a 2-0 victory over Madagascar to move second in the group with five points.
While the Congolese hand themselves some massive hope of qualification, Madagascar sees its hopes now hang on a lose fitting after a third successive loss.
Akolo broke the deadlock in the 35th minute with a well taken low shot into the box. He picked up the ball from a poorly defended corner, played a one-two with Mbokani, before shooting into the bottom left. Undoubtedly, the Congolese had dominated the game with Mbokani and Cedric Bakambu coming close before the opener.
In the second half, they were even more dominant and should have been two up after 72 minutes but Chancel Mbemba’s low shot in the box came off the upright.
The DRC however, got the second in the 79th minute when Mbokani converted a penalty after Edo Kayembe was brought down inside the box.
Liberia 1-2 Cape Verde
In Accra, Ghana, Garry Rodrigues scored a sensational 92nd minute winner as Cape Verde crawled from a goal down to beat hosts Liberia 2-1. The islanders’ first win of the qualifiers takes them to four points in Group C, two behind leaders Nigeria.
The hosts took the lead at the stroke of halftime through Van-Dave Harmon. However, Cape Verde came off the breather more determined, drawing parity just seven minutes after the restart when Jamiro Gregory Monteiro smashed the ball into the roof of the net after a cross from the left was headed down for him.
Cape Verde kept fighting and eventually grabbed the winner in the 92nd minute when Rodrigues took a shot from outside the area after some patient build up, the keeper stretching all but to no avail.
Later tonight, Nigeria faces Central African Republic, Rwanda hosts Uganda, Mali takes on Kenya in a tricky encounter whilst Tunisia faces Mauritania. The rest of match day 3 will continue on Friday, October 8 to Saturday, October 9, 2021. The Ghanaian interest will be on Saturday when the Black Stars of Ghana clashes with the Warriors of Zimbabwe in a crucial encounter.
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