Senegal 1-0 Cape Verde
Coastal West African neighbours Senegal and Cape Verde dug it out at a scantily packed Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium with more emphasis on testing their fitness than entertaining the slim home crowd whose enthusiasm for Senegal’s football has long ebbed. Senegal’s coach Amara Traoré’s fielded a squad of old and new players to help him experiment the remaking of the Lions of Teranga following the fading out of a once brilliant generation. But the Cape Verdeans, although not a serious football nation, are used to Senegal’s football having played a number of matches against each other in the past. Furthermore, the proximity probably afforded the visitors enough confidence to integrate the encounter as if they were at home. The Lions displayed a neat domination quite well but couldn’t get past one goal because of the functional defence and midfield of the Blue Sharks. The goal came from Blackburn’s newly signed Mame Birame Diouf who rose to connect with a corner kick executed by Ndiaye Dème Ndiaye and planted an invisible header into the visitor’s back net in the 46th minute.
Uganda 1-1 Zambia
Handicapped with the withdrawal of most of Zambian professionals on the eve of the friendly against Uganda in Kampala, the new Chipolopolo coach Italian-born Dario Bonetti had to make do with his locals mixing the bunch with two from last Nations Cup goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and Rainford Kalaba. The match was considerably balanced during both halves but when the visitors had their opening they pounced wide with a long cross from Rainford Kalaba which was too tricky for Ugandan full back Simon Masaba to remove. It rebounded off him and jumped into an own net giving Zambia a quick lead. But a more settled Ugandan team pushed forth until they levelled near end of the match saving coach Bobby Williamson’s day as the AFCON qualifiers loom.
Mali 0-2 Guinea
Far away in Marignane, France, both West African teams - well familiar to each other – faced off in cool spirit as their many pros knew their clubs needed them soon after. However, the match intensified every now and then but with little to show for a clash. Guinea’s Syli National led by French manager Michel Dussuyer manifested greater will to carry the day which eventually paid off minutes before half time with a goal from Hull City’s Kamil Zayatte. FC Augsburg’s (Bundesliga 2) centre-forward Ibrahima Traoré Guinea sealed victory just before the final whistle. Mali’s star-studded squad needs to readjust before the qualifiers kick off properly.
Egypt 6-3 DR Congo
At a jam-packed Cairo International Stadium, current African champions dealt with visiting DR Congo in a 6:3 goal galore. Ismaily’s Ahmed Ali opened the scoring for the Pharaohs in the 3rd minute but before the hosts could know it Diba Ilunga levelled for The Leopards in 17th minute setting off the rage of the Egyptians that saw Ali restoring their lead before Ahmed Fathy and Mohamed Aboutreika knocked one goal each to make it 4-1 at half time. In the 49th minute captain Ahmed Hassan scored his side’s fifth goal while Zola Matumona tried to reduce the gap with a 54th minute goal. But Geddo’s goal and Matumona’s double wrapped it up at 6:3.
Saudi Arabia 1-0 Togo
Togo’s brief sojourn in Riyadh was worthwhile even though the Africans lost their friendly. Reports say much of their bills were footed by the Arabians. On the pitch, the Sparrow Hawks, composed of a number of locals, endeavoured to hold their own till The Green Falcons made way into the visitors back net in the 43rd minute thanks to Saud Kearairi. Much of the reminder of the game went quite boring.
Algeria 1-2 Gabon
The evening’s biggest surprise came from up north at the 5 Juillet 1962 Stadium in Algeria where visiting Black Panthers of Gabon beat hosts team - The Desert Foxes – in a remarkable style. Larissa’s striker Daniel Cousin fired a strike straight into the net in the 25th minute, followed by another goal against the hosts from Aubameyang in the 56th minute. Algeria had to labour till the 80th to pull one back thanks to Djebbour.
Malawi 1-1 Botswana – AFCON Qualifier
Chad 1-3 Tunisia - AFCON Qualifier
Tanzania 1-1 Kenya
Italy 0-1 Cote D’Ivoire
Mozambique 2-1 Swaziland
South Korea 2-1 Nigeria
Poland 0-3 Cameroon
South Africa 1-0 Ghana
Angola 0-2 Uruguay
Burkina Faso 3-0 Congo
Benin 0-0 Niger