Togo overcame the handicap of being barred from playing at home to edge Zambia 1-0 this weekend in a key 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier.

However, Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor was not the Sparrowhawks scorer for once with the 16th-minute winner in Ghanaian capital Accra coming from Adekamni Olufade.

The Group 11 clash in a mini-league completed by minnows Swaziland after Eritrea withdrew was switched from Lome after crowd violence at an CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cup qualifier last year.

Togo were hit with a four-match home ban, meaning they will also have to host Swaziland at a neutral venue and stage two of their three third-round home fixtures away from Lome should they qualify.

With a four-team pool, 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers Togo, and Zambia, would have harboured realistic ambitions of progressing, one as group winners and the other as one of the best eight runners-ups from the 12 mini-leagues.

Now, with four fixtures instead of six, that appears unlikely, leaving Togo and Zambia fighting for survival with goal difference or even goals scored possibly determining who squeezes through.

The match pitted two French coaches against each other with Henri Stambouli officially taking over Togo only four days ago and less experienced Herve Renard put in charge of Zambia two months ago.

Success for Senegal
Senegal overcame a troubled build-up to their Group 6 showdown with Algeria to win 1-0 in Dakar thanks to a goal from Newcastle United midfielder Abdoulaye Faye 11 mintues from full-time.

It may have been too close for comfort, but this was a match where only the result counted as 2002 FIFA World Cup giantkillers Senegal tried to recover from one of the darkest spells in the football history of the west African country.

A shock loss to Angola last January in the Cup of Nations tournament triggered an unforeseen first round exit, Franco-Pole coach Henri Kasperczak quit and 29 of the 40 national football federation officials resigned.

There has been no competitive matches in the country since last September, but fortunately for new coach Lamine Ndiaye he relies totally on foreign-based footballers.

Algeria are another fallen giant with FIFA World Cup appearances in 1982 and 1986 and victory in the 1990 Cup of Nations followed by an 18-year drought and Rabah Saadane is the latest coach tasked with executing a u-turn.

The man who has coached his country many times will hope, at worst, to claim second spot in a group completed by modest Gambia and Liberia and qualify as one of the best runners-up.

Morocco scored twice within 13 minutes of the kick-off en route to an expected 3-0 victory over Ethiopia in Group 8 where Rwanda achieved a similar result against Mauritania in Kigali.

Abdessalam Benjelloun and Hicham Aboucherouane were the early marksmen in Casablanca and Houssine Kharja struck on 85 minutes as stand-in coach Fathi Jamal notched another win before Frenchman Roger Lemerre arrives next month.