Nigeria continued their stumbling start to the African 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Zimbabwe, but there were wins for Egypt and Algeria as the continent’s top sides flexed their muscles.
Nigeria could only manage a point in neutral Butare, Rwanda after starting their bid to reach the global finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada with a desperately disappointing 1-1 draw at home to lowly Lesotho on Thursday.
The Super Eagles have therefore taken two points from their opening two games in the six-team Group C, with only the top side in each pool assured of one of Africa’s nine automatic qualification places.
South Africa could open up an early four-point lead in Group C when they visit Rwanda on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe took the lead midway through the first half via Walter Musona, but Nigeria salvaged a draw when Kelechi Iheanacho equalised in the second half.
Zimbabwe are among the 19 African countries forced to move their home qualifiers to neutral venues because of poor facilities or security concerns.
Trezeguet scored a brace of goals as Egypt cruised to a 2-0 win over nine-man Sierra Leone in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, making it a full haul of six points for The Pharaohs in their opening two qualifiers.
The Leone Stars lost Tyrese Fornah to a first-half red card and never looked able to challenge Egypt after that as Mohamed Salah, who scored four goals against Djibouti on Thursday, completed another 90 minutes and provided the assist for his side’s second.