Powerhouses Cameroon, Ghana and Tunisia started their group stage campaign of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on a high note having all recorded home wins on Friday night.
In Yaounde Cameroon scored twice in the opening half to defeat visitors Malawi 2-0 and go top of Group D. While Ghana needed a lone goal ten minutes from halftime to beat Ethiopia in Cape Coast and lead Group G. Meanwhile Tunisia scored three goals after the break to see off visitors Equatorial Guinea and go top of Group B.
Cameroon 2-0 Malawi
Cameroon claimed top spot in Group D after a convincing 2-0 win over Malawi at the newly built Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.
Vincent Abubakar put the Indomitable Lions in the lead as early as the tenth minute, finding his way past goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
The hosts continued to dominate the opening half, and doubled their lead after 22 minutes through Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui. They went to the break leading 2-0.
In the second half there were no further goals, despite the hosts’ trials to extend their lead, while Malawi had chances to reduce the deficit but could not scare Cameroonian defense and goalkeeper Devis Epassy.
Cameroon will face Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan next, while Malawi hosts Mozambique in an all-southern affair.
Ghana 1-0 Ethiopia
In Cape Coast, Ghana started their campaign with a home 1-0 win over Ethiopia, courtesy to Mubarak Wakaso first half strike.
Led by brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew, the Black Stars dominated the game from the first whistle, and had numerous attacks on Ethiopian defense and goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko.
But it was not until the 35th minute that Ghana took the lead when Wakaso shot from 20 yards was wrongly received by Shanko as the Black Stars went to the break with a goal up.
The second half was a story of rare chances as the Black Stars held to their lead to go on top of the group on 3 points, two more than South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Bafana Bafana hosts Ghana in Matchday 2 top game, while Ethiopia entertains Zimbabwe in Bahir Dar.
Tunisia 3-0 Equatorial Guinea
Carthage Eagles Tunisia started their Group B campaign with a convincing home 3-0 win over Equatorial Guinea, to go on top of Group B on goal difference from Zambia, who defeated Mauritania 2-1 earlier on the day in Nouakchott.
In Rades, Tunisia pushed hard in the first half, but could not find the opener despite many chances from Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Wahbi Khazri and Saif Eddine Khaoui, but the visitors’ defense and goalkeeper Jesus Owono stood tall against all the Tunisian attacks.
After the break, the hosts continued to press, and finally got their deserved lead nine minutes from the restart. Ali Maaloul cross from a corner kick found Dylan Bronn who scored past Owono to break the deadlock for Carthage Eagles.
Ellyes Skhiri doubled Tunisia lead after 78 minutes, sending a beautiful shot home. It soon became 3-0 after skipper Khazri scored from the spot four minutes later to put the icing over Tunisia’s win cake.
Tunisia will travel to Zambia next, while Equatorial Guinea hosts Mauritania.