African World Cup qualifying: Rwanda demolish Seychelles 7-0

Djihad Bizimana Rwanda CHAN 2018BackpagePix

The First Round of African World Cup qualifying concluded on Tuesday, with Rwanda’s 7-0 demolition of Seychelles the pick of the day’s action.

The Amavubi held a 3-0 advantage following the first leg, but still sent ripples across the continent with a resounding 7-0 demolition in Kigali to progress.

Former Gor Maria duo Meddie Kagere and Jacques Tuyisenge scored two goals each, while Djihad Bizimana, Yannick Mukunzi and Muhadjiri Hakizimana were also on the scoresheet during a comprehensive victory.

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Elsewhere, Sudan progressed with a 0-0 draw at home against Chad having defeated Les Sao 3-1 away in the first leg, while Togo saw off Comoros 2-0 (3-1 on aggregate) to advance.

Guinea-Bissau’s 2-1 victory at home against Sao Tome e Principe was enough for them to get over the line, with Joseph Mendes scoring a brace, while Mozambique downed Mauritius 2-0 for a 3-0 aggregate result.

Namibia, Djibouti and Malawi were the other teams to progress, at the expense of Eritrea, Eswatini and Botswana respectively.

Earlier in the day, Zimbabwe evaded an almighty scare against Somalia to progress 3-2 on aggregate.

Khama Billiat was the 92nd-minute hero for Zimbabwe as they survived an almighty scare to defeat Somalia 3-2 on aggregate, eliminating the Ocean Boys from World Cup qualifying and advancing to the Second Round.

After falling to a 1-0 defeat in neutral Djibouti in the first leg, Zimbabwe were lacklustre as they looked to turn their fortunes around at the National Stadium, Harare against Africa’s lowest ranked side.

Danny Phiri Tendayi Darikwa Ovidy Karuru Marshal Munetsi Evans Rusike and Teenage Hadebe of Zimbabwe.

Marshall Munetsi levelled the aggregate shorelines with an overhead kick in the 77nd minute, but a horror error from Teenage Hadebe allowed Mohamed in to equalise for Somalia eight minutes later, leaving Zim needing two goals at the death to progress.

Substitute Admiral Muskwe scored a deflected free kick in the 86th minute to breathe life into the Warriors, before Billiat, capitalising on Somali’s narrow back four, slammed home a left-footed winner in the 92nd minute to secure a 3-1 victory on the day and a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

The first-leg victory had been Somalia's first in a qualifying game since they defeated Kenya in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying in 1984, their first-ever in a World Cup qualifying campaign, and their first win of any kind since January 2009.

Of the 54 African nations competing for one of five places at the global showpiece, the lowest-ranked 28 teams contested two-legged First Round qualifiers, with the 14 winners advancing to join the top 26 sides in 10 four-team groups.

Tanzania’s penalty shootout victory over Burundi was the highlight of Africa’s World Cup qualifying schedule on Sunday, as the Taifa Stars progressed to the Second Round of the Caf campaign.

The two Cecafa sides were tied 1-1 after the first leg showdown in Bujumbura on Thursday, and played out the same scoreline against after Fiston Abdul Razak cancelled out Mbwana Samatta’s opener.

Despite an open extra time in which both sides had chances to progress, the match went to penalties, with the hosts winning 3-0 after Les Hirondelles missed all three spot kicks.

Omar Ngandu, Saido Berahino and Gael Bigirimana were the fall guys for Burundi, while Erasto Nyoni, Himid Mao and Gadiel Kamagi converted for the hosts during a one-sided shootout.

Tanzania advance to the Group Stage, along with Liberia, who held on to progress 3-2 on aggregate against Sierra Leone, while Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea also reach the next round.

The 10 winners of those groups will now compete in home-and-away ties for places at the tournament in Qatar.

For the first time in history, Fifa is broadcasting all of the Round One matches across the continent live on their digital platforms.