The 2026 World Cup Qualifying games in Africa are still ongoing, with Cote d’Ivoire starting their campaign extravagantly, pummeling Seychelles 9-0 on Friday November 17. However, several African heavyweights struggled to win.
The Ivorians delivered a superb performances in their Group F opener, led by teenage striker Karim Konate’s brace. Hamed Traore additionally scored two times subsequent to coming from the bench.
Seychelles goalkeeper Carlos Simoen made a few phenomenal saves to forestall further embarrassment for the minnows in the uneven defeat.
The results gives serious inspiration ahead of Cote d’Ivoire’s TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations hosting duties in January 2024.
On this proof, the Ivorians seem serious competitors to get a spot at the extended 2026 World Cup in North America.
In other games, top football nations like Cameroon and Ghana were found wanting as they lacked fluency despite beating low-positioned oppositions.
Cameroon beat Mauritius by 1-0 at halftime and just pulled away late for a 3-0 win. Ghana then again, fought extremely hard to finally break Madagascar’s resistance in the 96th minute through Inaki Williams, who scored his first goal for his country.
Tunisia were comparatively controlled in beating Sao Tome and Principe 4-0. Mali also beat Chad 3-1, with Zambia guaranteeing strong home win over Congo.
In Group I, the Comoros Islands beat the Central African Republic 4-2 in an entertaining encounter. While Malawi upset Liberia 1-0 away thanks to substitute Chifundo Mphasi’s winner.
The Full Results:
Burkina Faso 1-1 Guinea-Bissau (Group A)
Cameroon 3-0 Mauritius (Group D)
Eswatini 0-1 Libya (Group D)
Zambia 4-2 Congo Brazzaville (Group E)
Guinea 2-1 Uganda (Group G)
Ivory Coast 9-0 Seychelles (Group F)
Liberia 0-1 Malawi (Group H)
Tunisia 4-0 Sao Tome e Principe (Group H)
Comoros 4-2 Central African Republic (Group I)
Ghana 1-0 Madagascar (Group I)
Mali 3-1 Chad (Group I)
With only nine direct World Cup spots available, plus one inter-confederation playoff place, Africa’s giants know consistency is key as qualifying progresses.
A further three qualifiers will be played on Saturday November 18 to complete the first round of matches in the African zone.
There are nine groups in the African preliminaries where the winner qualifies for the 2026 finals.
The four best runners-up get a further chance to qualify in a two-tier playoff system.