Nigeria suffer setback while Ayew hits hat-trick

Spread the love

WhatsApp Image 2024 06 10 at 21.06.22
Jordan Ayew celebrates with Black Stars teammates

Nigeria’s 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign suffered another setback as they lost to Benin, while Jordan Ayew marked his 100th cap with a hat-trick to inspire a 4-3 Ghana victory over Central African Republic.
The Super Eagles have just three points from four matches in Group C after Benin came from behind to win 2-1, with coach Gernot Rohr inflicting defeat on his former employers.
Ayew put Ghana ahead against Central African Republic with an early penalty, but the Black Stars trailed 2-1 at the break after the visitors took advantage of defensive frailties.

The Crystal Palace forward netted twice in the second half and the West Africans eventually saw out a win to go top of Group I, with Louis Mafouta’s treble for CAR in vain.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah salvaged a 1-1 draw for Egypt against Guinea-Bissau to ensure the Pharaohs remain unbeaten at the summit of Group A, and Algeria also avoided a potential shock by recovering from a goal down to beat Uganda 2-1 in Kampala.
The nine group winners at the end of the 10-game campaign will all seal spots at the expanded 2026 World Cup, while a 10th African side could reach the finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada via an intercontinental tournament.
The fourth round of matches culminates on Tuesday, after which the qualifiers will resume again in March 2025.
Super Eagles have wings clipped
Nigeria had drawn their first three games in Group C, which has already provided several surprise results and left minnows Lesotho top after three games.
Raphael Onyedika’s composed 27th-minute strike put the Super Eagles ahead in their away game against Benin in neutral Ivory Coast, but the three-time continental champions were behind before the break.
First Jodel Dossou caught Calvin Bassey napping and curled across goal to equalise, and then ex-Huddersfield striker Steve Mounie smashed in at the back post after Nigeria failed to deal with a corner from the right.
Nigeria’s best chance to level came when an unmarked Ademola Lookman headed wide, with striker Paul Onuachu arguably better placed to meet the cross.
Rohr, who had been discarded by Nigeria before the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, was carried on to the pitch by substitutes as Benin celebrated just their second-ever win over their West African neighbours.
Benin climb to the top of Group C on seven points while Nigeria are fifth, increasing the pressure on Finidi George – who was only appointed by the Super Eagles on a permanent deal in April.
In-form Ayew inspires Black Stars
Ghana made a good start in Kumasi after Abdul Fatawu was brought down in the box, but two smart finishes on the counter-attack from Mafouta gave Central African Republic a surprise lead.
Three goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes turned the game in Ghana’s favour, with Ayew nodding in Gideon Mensah’s cross to make it 2-2 on the hour mark.
Two minutes later Ghana were back in front when a shot from Leicester forward Fatawu was deflected in, and Ayew pounced to make it 4-2 from close range after Mohammed Kudus had a low effort saved.
That goal – Ayew’s eighth in his past five outings for Ghana – proved pivotal as Mafouta curled in a 25-yard free-kick in the final minute.
Ayew had also netted an injury-time winner for Otto Addo’s men in Mali on Thursday and the Black Stars now sit three points clear of Madagascar and Comoros in Group I.
Pharaohs stay unbeaten as Salah strikes
Image caption: Mohamed Salah is the joint-top scorer in African qualifying for the 2026 World Cup on five goals, alongside Egypt team-mate Trezeguet
Guinea-Bissau threatened an upset against Egypt after Mama Balde’s low strike gave the West Africans a surprise lead just before the break.
Emam Ashour and Salah went close for the Pharaohs before the Liverpool forward’s strike took a deflection into the top left corner with 20 minutes remaining.
Salah had a chance to win it for the North Africans in stoppage time but his effort was smothered by Djurtus goalkeeper Manuel Balde.
Egypt, on 10 points, have a four-point advantage in Group A over second-placed Guinea-Bissau, who have drawn their first two matches under former Fulham assistant coach Luis Boa Morte.
Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone are both a point further behind after the Leone Stars fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away against the Stallions in neutral Mali.
Algeria avoid upset in Kampala
Uganda also took the lead against higher-ranked opponents thanks to a fine low long-range strike from Travis Mutyaba, but Algeria were a side transformed after the break.
Houssem Aouar smashed in within 50 seconds of the restart and Said Benrahma made it 2-1 just before the hour mark when he rounded off a swift counterattack.
Algeria had suffered a shock home defeat against Guinea on Thursday, but stay top of Group G on goal difference after Geny Catamo’s 93rd-minute penalty gave Mozambique a 1-0 win over the Guineans.
Mozambique join Algeria on nine points, with Botswana beating Somalia 3-1 to move on to six points alongside Guinea and Uganda.
Elsewhere, Iban Salvador gave Equatorial Guinea a 1-0 win against Malawi which moved the Central Africans on to three points in Group H, pending a potential appeal to Fifa.
The Equatoguineans won their first two qualifiers but were then sanctioned with 3-0 defeats after the world governing body ruled that striker Emilio Nsue was ineligible.
Monday’s African World Cup qualifying results

Burkina Faso 2-2 Sierra Leone (Group A)
Guinea-Bissau 1-1 Egypt (Group A)
Benin 2-1 Nigeria (Group C)
Guinea 0-1 Mozambique (Group G)
Somalia 1-3 Botswana (Group G)
Uganda 1-2 Algeria (Group G)
Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Malawi (Group H)
Ghana 4-3 Central African Republic (Group I)

Source link

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Comodo SSL