Reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions, Nigeria, began their 2015 qualifying campaign on a sour note after suffering a shock 3-2 home defeat to Congo Brazzaville in Calabar.
Boasting an incredible 33-year run without defeat at home in a competitive match, the Super Eagles started in the best possible manner with Efe Ambrose headed them in front with 13 minutes on the clock.
However, the lead lasted for only two minutes as Congo’s Prince Oniangue pounced on some suspect defending from the 3-time Africa champions to net the equalizer.
The visitors grabbed their second goal five minutes before the breather, UD Almeria forward Thievy Bifouma beating Austin Ejide in Nigerian goal with a lovely freekick.
Bifouma made it 3-1 to Congo 8 minutes into the second half through a spotkick after he had been fouled inside the box by Ogenyi Onazi. Gbolahan Salami reduced the deficit to 3-2 as Stephen Keshi’s men launched a late onslaught led by Emmanuel Emeneki but the Red Devils survived to claim a famous and vital victory.
Ghana once again failed to convince as they were held to a 1-1 stalemate by visiting Uganda. Tony Mawejje put the East Africans in the lead in the first half but Andrew Ayew’s penalty after the interval ensured the points were shared in Khumasi.
Vincent Aboubakar and Clinton N’jie netted for a new-look Cameroon in their 2-0 win over DRC Congo as Algeria collected three points in Addis Ababa with a 2-1 win over Ethiopia. Gervinho netted the winner for Ivory Coast against Sierra Leone in Abidjan. Kei Kamara put Sierra Leone in the lead but Seydou Dumbia grabbed the equalizer before Gervinho secured the three points for the hosts. Tunisia came from behind to beat Botwsana 2-1 while Zambia and Mozambique battled to barren draw.
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