The 2021 Afcon qualifiers kicked off with many continental heavyweights in action.
Nigeria came from behind to get their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign to a positive start with a 2-1 Group L win over Benin at Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo.
After a scare from Stephane Sessegnon’s early goal for Benin, the Super Eagles recovered to collect three points at home and take an early lead in Group L.
Victor Osimhen converted from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time while Samuel Kalu struck just after the hour mark to complete the comeback for Nigeria.
Thanks to Sierra Leone and Lesotho’s 1-1 draw on the same day, Nigeria top the group.
The Super Eagles will now try to build on Wednesday’s result when they visit Lesotho on Sunday while Benin host Sierra Leone.
In Group I, Senegal beat Congo 2-0 to start their campaign on a high.
First-half goals – both scored within two minutes – by Sidy Sarr and Habib Diallo carried the day for the Teranga Lions at Stade Lat Dior, Thies.
Guinea-Bissau, however, lead Group I following a 3-0 win over Eswatini earlier on.
It is an interesting start in this pool where Senegal would be keen to maintain their good start when they collide with Eswatini on Sunday.
Congo would be looking to recover from their setback at home against Guinea-Bissau on the same day.
For 2017 African champions Cameroon, it was a slow start after they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Cape Verde at home.
The Indomitable Lions will have to pick themselves up in their next match away in Rwanda, the same day Cape Verde host Mozambique.
Elsewhere, Sudan fired warning shots on South Africa with a 4-0 home thumping of Sao Tome e Principe.
It was the biggest win of this round so far as Sudan now visit Bafana Bafana for Sunday’s Group C clash high on confidence.
Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates winger Gabadinho Mhango’s goal was the decider as Malawi edged South Sudan 1-0 in a Group B match in Blantyre.
Mhango continued with his fine form across all competitions, having been on fire for Pirates recently.
In a shocking result on Wednesday, Angola were stunned 3-1 at home by visiting Gambia in Luanda.
A brace by FC Zurich forward Assan Ceesay and a late goal by Belgium-based Sulayman Marreh saw Gambia come from behind to overturn Wilson Eduardo’s early opener for Angola.
The result could have complicated Angola’s campaign in Group D which also includes DR Congo and Gabon.
In other results, Burkina Faso were held 0-0 by Uganda while Namibia edged Chad 2-1.