Soccer Africa

Africa: Cote d’Ivoire Maintain Perfect Start in 2026 World Cup Qualifiers

Cote d’Ivoire continued their flawless start to their 2026 World Cup qualifying by defeating Gambia 2-0 away on Monday as visiting teams held sway across Africa.

Christian Kouame and Seko Fofana scored in Dar es Salaam, where Gambia were forced to host the Group F encounter.

Equatorial Guinea also won on their travels, edging 10-man Liberia 1-0 courtesy of captain Emilio Nsue’s early goal. Nsue now has two match winners in two games after netting during Wednesday’s win over Namibia.

Elsewhere, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya and Madagascar recorded emphatic away victories over Djibouti, Seychelles and Chad respectively.

However, Mali’s perfect start ended after they conceded a late equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Central African Republic.

The Ivorians top Group F on six points, level with Gabon. Michael Olunga bagged a double inside six minutes as Kenya thrashed Seychelles 5-0 in Abidjan.

The prolific striker has three goals in two games since Kenya returned from a FIFA suspension. Teammate Benson Omala also netted on his debut.

After beating Namibia 1-0 last week, Equatorial Guinea lead Group H thanks to Nsue’s clinical finish against Liberia.

Guinea-Bissau earned a 1-0 win in Egypt against Djibouti through Mauro Rodrigues’ strike. While Madagascar breezed past Chad 3-0 as Njiva Rakotoharimalala grabbed a brace.

Mali seemed set for another three points when Kamory Doumbia put them ahead against Central African Republic. But Geoffrey Kondogbia levelled almost instantly.

With only nine direct World Cup spots available to Africa, winning away is already proving vital. More qualifiers take place on Tuesday as teams aim to gain early advantages.

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