2019 AFCON Qualifiers - Big wins, Bailly redemption & Salah's corner kick goal
The 2019 AFCON qualifiers action resumed on Friday with a total of ten matches played all across the continent. Friday could easily be summarised as a goal fest with many sides winning big and obviously a sizeable not losing small. Here is what happened.
You might have not predicted this but, Aubameyang was not on the scoresheet as the Panthers grabbed a much needed 3-0 home victory against lowly ranked South Sudan who are still pointless after three matches. We will wait and see if the South Sudanese will be able to salvage some pride in the return leg on Tuesday.
The most talked about thriller will be Liverpool forward, Mohamed Salah’s goal, scored direct from a corner kick in the Pharaohs 4 - 1 victory over Swaziland. Egypt and Salah’s international form is hitting some serious levels as they are proving to be the most free scoring side in the whole campaign as they have bagged 10 goals in the last two matches.
The wait for an international goal continues for Crystal Palace’s Zaha as he only managed an assist in Ivory Coast’s 4-0 demolition of Central African Republic. The Elephants fielded a strong lineup which was no match for the travelling team. Fulham’s Seri, AC Milan’s Kessie, Basel’s Serey Die, Zaha, Manchester United’s Bailly and Spurs’ Aurier were all among the notable names on the starting team sheet. The biggest redemption came for Eric Bailly who has been struggling this campaign under Jose Mourinho in the English Premier League. Eric scored the second goal of the match, shortly after assisting J.Kodja for the first of the contest. Lyon’s Maxwell Cornet continued his club form with a goal and C.Doukoure also added another as Ivory Coast moved to within three points of group leaders, Guinea who beat Rwanda 2-0 and are still yet to drop a single point in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.
The Sable Antelopes of Angola came from behind at home to beat the qualifiers’ dark horses, Mauritania, 4-1. The two finished the night tied on six points in group I and will await Saturday’s results of the Burkina Faso and Botswana match before they fix their eyes on the return leg on Tuesday. The 2019 hosts, Cameroon, who automatically qualify by virtue of being hosts edged Malawi 1-0 courtesy of powerful strike by Paris St Germain’s forward, Eric Maxim Choupo Moting. The 29-year-old handed Clarence Seedorf’s first victory as the Indomitable Lions coach.
Elsewhere, the Islanders, Cape Verde grabbed their first victory of the campaign as they comfortably saw off the Taifa Stars of Tanzania, 3-0 with forward Ricardo Gomes scoring a brace in the encounter. The Blue Sharks climbed up to top of group L after being rock-bottom as a result of that victory, with Uganda and Lesotho still to play their third match on Saturday.