Iheanacho gives Nigeria a victorious start in World Championship qualifying

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THE CAP. South Africa (AP) – Kelechi Iheanacho’s two goals gave Nigeria a winning start on Friday in their attempt to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

Nigeria beat Liberia 2-0 thanks to Iheanacho’s brace in the first half, and former African champions Tunisia, Cameroon and Ghana also won on a day when the heavyweights avoided any upset. major.

Only the Ivory Coast came out disappointed with their start to qualifying for the World Cup after a 0-0 draw in Mozambique despite controlling the match.

Iheanacho put Nigeria ahead in the 22nd minute in Lagos with a left-footed shot from the far right of the penalty area that surprised Liberian goalkeeper Ashley Williams and beat him at the near post. Iheanacho’s second just before half-time was the result of subtle footwork as a header fell on him and he controlled the ball with his left foot, and pivoted and scored with his right.

Tunisia scored all of their goals in the second half and Wahbi Khazri’s penalty in the 82nd minute closed the 3-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea.

Cameroon were at ease in a 2-0 home win over Malawi, with early goals from Vincent Aboubakar and Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui. This gave Cameroon the advantage over Group D rivals Côte d’Ivoire.

The Ivorians created several clear chances in Mozambique and came closer as Max Gradel’s long-range free kick was repelled by Emanue Siluane, who smiled broadly after making a successful save. Côte d’Ivoire simply could not overtake it.

Ghana weren’t at their best against Ethiopia, but Mubarak Wakaso’s goal in the 35th was enough to secure a 1-0 victory.

“The Ethiopians did well and if we had lost it would have been a disaster,” said Ghana coach Charles Akonnor.

Ghana lead Group G ahead of South Africa and Zimbabwe, who drew 0-0 in Harare as coach Hugo Broos was unable to call a start to victory as coach of South Africa.

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