African friendly round-up report: Togo stun Morocco, as Niger, Senegal & Cameroon settle for draws

The 2013 Afcon bound teams will use the midweek friendlies to prepare for the tournament while other nations tune their charges ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign

Niger 1-1 Senegal

Modibo Sidibe opened the scoring for Niger against visiting Senegal in a friendly match played in Niamey on Wednesday, as the Mena begin tune up for their second Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Both teams displayed laudable coordination and play pattern throughout the game, with Senegal, already out of the 2013 Afcon race, now focused on next year’s World Cup qualifying.

Sadio Mane, who plays for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, restored parity minutes after the break, and despite the blazing Niamey sun, the visitors were able to keep the plucky home side at bay till the final whistle.

Morocco 0-1 Togo

Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal of the encounter between Morocco and Togo on Wednesday at the Mohamed V Sports Complex in Casablanca, to up the West Africans’ motivation ahead their return to the continental scene next January.

It was also coach Rachid Taoussi’s first defeat since taking over from Eric Gerets in September this year, although the newcomer has led the team to just two matches.

The Atlas Lions had the game at their disposal during the first half and much of the second, but lacked coordination upfront to channel their finishing into the net, thanks in part to the Sparrow Hawks’ quick assembling defensive line that held off the final assaults of the North Africans.

Albania 0-0 Cameroon

Cameroon were held to a goalless draw by Albania in Geneva on Wednesday as the Indomitable Lions begin preparations for the 2014 World Cup after failing to book a place at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Samuel Eto’o captained the outfit to face a stiff Albanian side, which leapt 17 places to settle at 67 in Fifa’s recent ranking, with the Indomitable Lions still five points ahead.

Both sides wasted goal chances during both halves but the Albanians showed a tougher determination from start to finish.

Tunisia 1-2 Switzerland

Tunisia conceded a 2-1 loss against Switzerland on Wednesday after a hard-fought friendly played in Sousse, which saw the expulsion of Etoile Sahel defender Rami Bedoui to reduce Sami Trabelsi’s men to 10.

The visitors opened the scoring near end of first half through Hoffenheim forward Eren Derdiyok, but Evian midfielder Zouheir Dhaouadi pulled level for the home side by the hour mark to rekindle the tense hostilities.

The Eagles of Carthage were depleted in strength following the exit of Bedoui and would suffer domination which culminated in the Schweizer Nati’s eventual triumph after Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri netted home the winner in injury time.

Rwanda 2-2 Namibia

Rwanda were held to a 2-2 draw by Namibia at home in Kigali on Wednesday. Both teams failed to reach the finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but will be playing the 2014 World Cup qualifying set to resume next March.

Rwanda are pitted against Algeria, Benin and Mali in Group H while Namibia are in Group F alongside Nigeria, Malawi and Kenya.

Burkina Faso 1-0 DR Congo

Burkina Faso overcame DR Congo 1-0 on Wednesday in a friendly match played in El Jadida, Morocco thanks to a 25th minute penalty transformed by Rennes midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa.

Both sides qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations coming up next January in South Africa, and were able to put house in order considerably during the engaging encounter that drew hundreds of local fans and supporters of both teams in the diaspora.

Claude Le Roy, who returned to head the Leopards, had to do without two new invitees Stoke City defensive midfielder Steven N’Zonzi and Granddi Ngoyi of French side Troyes, who both declined the call up.

Algeria 0-1 Bosnia Herzegovina

Algeria were defeated at home 1-0 by Bosnia-Herzegovina in Wednesday’s friendly match played in Algiers.

The Zmajevi scrambled a late minute winner through Muamer Svraka, who outrun his marker from the left flank and cut in to finish his effort in the home side’s back net.

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic was without a number of his key players, who were sidelined after they sustained injuries while playing with their respective clubs.

Georgia 0-0 Egypt

Egypt and Georgia played a goalless draw on Wednesday in the Georgian capital Tbilissi, despite the seven-time African champions’ fierce domination that made the session looked it was taking place in Cairo before the North African team’s local fans.

Bob Bradley tried out almost all his veteran players to shake down the outfit ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying, which remains the only hope for the Pharaohs to bounce back to the international scene after their recent nosedive into oblivion.

Tanzania 1-0 Kenya

Tanzania defeated Kenya 1-0 at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza on Wednesday thanks to Azam defender Aggrey Morris, who exploited a goalmouth blunder from Kenyan ‘keeper Jeremy Onyango to seal the hosts’ victory.

Kenya are losing their second match in a row under newly recruited coach Frenchman Henri Michel, who led the Harambee Stars to a 2-1 defeat against South Africa last month at the Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.

Both teams did not qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.