Zambia Defeat Algeria 3-1 In World Cup Qualifier

Zambia fans

Zambia beat Algeria 3-1 at home in Lusaka on Saturday to end their losing jinx in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against "Les Fennecs" and give a breather of hope to ther ambitions of reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation. The Southern African side arguably has the weakest squad in Group B with Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria also forming part of the group.

Algeria pulled a goal back with powerful left-footed shot from Yacine Brahimi in the 55th minute and were given a further window of opportunity when debutant Sakala, 20, was dismissed for a second cautionable foul a minute later.

Zambia failed to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and started their World Cup qualifying campaign sluggishly, but were vibrant from the off against Algeria, taking the lead in the sixth minute when Mwila rose above the visiting defence to head past Rais M'Bolhi.

Marc Wilmots led Ivory Coast to a 3-0 win in Gabon in his first competitive match in charge.

Depending on the results, Nigeria could become the first qualifiers from Africa for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with two matches to spare.

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Mwepu then put the result beyond reach in the 88th minute when his low shot from wide on the right from outside the box beat Mbolhi.

Gabon sorely missed 2015 African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker declined to return home from German club Borussia Dortmund.

Group D remains the tightest of all five groups after Burkina Faso held Senegal in Dakar on Saturday, with only two points separating the Stallions in top spot and fourth-placed Cape Verde. 60 seconds later, Fashion Sakala was red-carded after picking up a second yellow.

Tunisia replaced the Democratic Republic of Congo as Group A leaders thanks to a 2-1 victory in Rades on the outskirts of Tunis.

They have nine points, DR Congo six, Guinea three and Libya are without a point at the halfway stage of the mini-league.

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