Football: African minnows wreak havoc in World Cup qualifiers

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JOHANNESBURG: Giants Egypt, Ghana and Morocco were among the shock losers Saturday as minnows wreaked havoc in 2010 World Cup-African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Nations Cup holders Egypt conceded a goal three minutes into stoppage time to lose 1-0 against resurgent Malawi in Blantyre, Ghana were beaten 2-0 by Gabon in Libreville and Morocco slumped 3-1 to Rwanda in Kigali.

Angola, Cameroon and Mali also surrendered 100 percent records in the third round of matches, leaving Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Rwanda and Swaziland the only countries with maximum points.

Uganda overpowered shock 2006 World Cup qualifiers Angola 3-1 in Kampala, Mali fell 3-2 to Sudan in Omdurman and Cameroon were held 0-0 by Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.

Moumouni Dagano scored a hat-trick as Burkina Faso triumphed 3-2 against Seychelles in Victoria while Nigeria and Swaziland will be in action Sunday when a further seven fixtures are scheduled.

Sierra Leone humbled 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa 1-0 in Freetown, Botswana held Ivory Coast 1-1 in Gaborone and there was a rare victory for Chad, who came from behind to edge Congo 2-1 in N Djamena.

Guinea finally clicked to defeat Namibia 2-1 in Windhoek with playmaker Pascal Feindouno scoring the winner on the stroke of half-time and Gambia claimed their first success by pipping Algeria 1-0 in Banjul.

Kenya secured a second consecutive 2-0 home win with Zimbabwe the latest victims in Nairobi while French coach Michel Dussuyer celebrated his Benin debut via a 2-0 triumph over Niger in Niamey.

The Democratic Republic of Congo overwhelmed Djibouti 6-0 in the tiny Horn of Africa state and Ethiopia captured their first points by beating Mauritania 1-0 in Nouakchott.

Chiukepo Msowoya was the Malawi hero as he snatched the 93rd-minute goal that beat six-time African champions Egypt and continued a revival under new coach Kinnah Phiri.

Malawi top Group 12 on goal difference from DR Congo and Egypt with Djibouti, lowest ranked of the 47 second round competitors, out of their depth having conceded 18 goals in three outings.

Roguy Meye put Gabon ahead three minutes before half-time against Ghana and Stephane Nguema added a second midway through the second half for a team coached by former France midfield star Alain Giresse.

The Black Stars of Ghana still lead Group 5 with six points followed by Gabon and Libya with three each while Lesotho get another chance to secure their first victory when they host the North African Greens Sunday.

Rwanda clinched victory over Morocco through a last-minute goal from Olivier Karekezi after Youssef Safri had scored 11 minutes from full-time to spark a Atlas Lions revival in the top-of-the-table Group 8 clash.

With nine points in the bag and another home fixture to come, the Wasps seem set to make the third and final qualifying phase either as group winners or one of the eight best runners-up from the 12 mini-leagues.

Uganda shrugged off a Group 3 hiding in Benin last weekend with Eugene Sepuya, Andrew Mwesigwa and Dan Wagaluka scoring to establish a commanding lead before Angolan Pedro Mantorras Manuel snatched a consolation goal.

Cameroon, whose five World Cup appearances is an African record, will not be unduly troubled by the stalemate in Tanzania as they remain in control of Group 1, four points clear of the Cape Verde Islands.

Dagano was the individual star, raising his goal tally to five from two matches and becoming the leading scorer in the qualifying competition with one more than Faneva Andriatsima of Madagascar. -AFP

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