3rd September, 2021
Reigning African champions Algeria got off to a perfect start in Group A of the 2022 FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers by defeating Djibouti 8-0 in Blida on Thursday night.
Also, Morocco defeated visitors Sudan 2-0 in Rabat to top Group I.
Islam Slimani’s four goals guided Les Fennecs to a clear win at Moustapha Tchaker stadium in Blida, while visitors Djibouti had to play with 10 men for almost 70 minutes.
This was after Youssof Batio was shown the red card in the 25th minute.
Slimani’s goals on the night made him go just one goal behind Algeria’s all-time top scorer Abdelhafid Tasfaout with 36 goals.
The Algerian goal festival started as early as the fifth minute, when Riyad Mahrez’s cross from the right side found Slimani’s head past visiting goalkeeper Mbounihamkuye Innocent.
Twenty minutes later, Batio touched the ball with his hand in the penalty area, to earn the marching order and Slimani to complete his brace.
Just a minute later, Ramy Bensebaini took advantage of Youcef Belaili’s cross to make it 3-0.
Djamel Belmadi’s players did not stop there and were still pushing, leaving no chance for their opponents.
Bensebaini was fouled inside the penalty area five minutes from the break, and this time Baghdad Bounedjah scored from the penalty spot as the first half ended 4-0 for the hosts.
After the break, Slimani added two more goals in quick succession (47th and 53rd), before Mahrez added his name to the night’s scorers’ list seven minutes after the hour mark.
In spite of being 7-0 up, the Algerians continued to press, and a couple of minutes later Ramiz Zerrouki scored his first international goal to complete the rout.
It was a good start for the Algerians who now lead Group A on goal difference from Burkina Faso, their next opponents.
In Rabat, Morocco scored in each half to beat Sudan 2-0 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah stadium.
Vahid Halilhodzic men started the game on a high note, and took the lead after 10 minutes through Naif Aguerd.
The Rennes centre-back took advantage of the Sudanese defence’s hesitation to send a sharp shot in the net.
The Atlas Lions dominated the game, but failed to add more goals before the break.
Eight minutes into the second half, Abuaagla Abdalla deflected the ball with a header into his own net to double Morocco’s lead.
Morocco lead Group I on three points, and will face Guinea who earlier had a 1-1 draw with Guinea-Bissau on Monday