07 September 2015 08:57
African champions, Cote d’Ivoire began the campaign in unfamiliar fashion settling for 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone in their Group I clash on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The Elephants, playing without captain Yaya Toure and his Manchester City colleague, Wilfried Bony, were unconvincing against the Leone Stars in a rain-soaked Adokiye Amiesiemaka Stadium.
Both teams struggled to control the game on the soggy pitch with Sierra Leone, who was hosting the game away from their favourite grounds in Freetown, due to the home ban over the outbreak of the Ebola virus giving the highly fancied Ivorians a good run for their money.
The Ivorians have just a point, two poorer than leaders Sudan, who have played a game more. Sierra Leone also have a one point after two matches.
Four-time winners, Cameroon were in blistering form beating Gambia away at a wet Independence Stadium in Bakau for their second win of the qualifiers. Portugal-based Vincent Aboubacar scored the only of the Group M encounter on 65 minutes.
There were shocking results in Curepipe and Bangui, where Mauritius and Central African Republic posited wins over Mozambique and DR Congo respectively.
Fabien Pithia’s 47th minute strike was enough for Mauritius to land their first win in Group I whilst Central African Republic shocked neighbours DR Congo 2-0 in Group B.
West African duo, Benin and Mali settled for a 1-1 draw in a Group C clash in Cotonou. Abdoulaye Diaby put Mali ahead on 19 minutes before Stephane Sessegnon equalized for the hosts on 33 minutes.
In Group F, Libya paid the price for missing two first half penalties as Cape Verde beat them 2-1 in Cairo. Hamdou El Houni missed an early penalty with the post denying him just as Mohamed Zaebiaa’s shot from the short distance bounced off the crossbar.
The visiting Blue Sharks went up on 57 minutes but Almoatasem Bellah Mohamed levelled five minutes to the end. With the game heading for a draw, substitute Ryan Mendes slotted home the winner with a low shot past Libya goalie Mohamed Abdaula on 89 minutes to ensure victory.
Click on the link below for full results