Tunisia put a nightmare start to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™/CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign behind them Saturday with a comfortable 2-0 away victory over Seychelles.
The 'Carthage Eagles' suffered a sensational 2-1 home loss to Burkina Faso last weekend in their opening Group 9 match while Seychelles brought an unexpected point back from Burundi. But the North Africans confirmed their superiority over the Indian Ocean island nation thanks to first-half goals from Issam Jomaa and Chaouki Ben Saada in the capital Victoria.
Jomaa, who scored a hat-trick when Tunisia triumphed 3-0 at the same venue last year in a 2008 Cup of Nations qualifier, struck on 10 minutes and Saada added the second just before half-time.
It was the perfect start for Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho, who took over the 'Eagles' this week after Frenchmen Bertrand Marchand and Jacques Santini turned down the 2004 Cup of Nations champions. Coelho succeeds another Frenchman, UEFA EURO 2000-winning coach Roger Lemerre, who moves across the north of the continent next month to take charge of the 'Atlas Lions' from Morocco.
Guinea stumble again
France-based Dennis Oliech scored early in each half to give bottom seeds Kenya a 2-0 home victory over top seeds Guinea and their first points in Group 2 of the combined competition. The result was another blow for 2008 Cup of Nations quarter-finalists Guinea, who were held goalless by Zimbabwe in Conakry last Sunday, a day after Kenya conceded a late goal to lose in Namibia.
Success was especially sweet for Kenya as a lack of funds and a power struggle among officials threatened to prematurely end their interest in 2010 when South Africa become the first African hosts of the FIFA World Cup.
Oliech scored after three minutes and again five minutes into the second half as Kenya moved to the top of the table beside Namibia, who play Zimbabwe in Harare Sunday.
Egypt and Algeria win easy
There was no fairytale ending to the David-versus-Goliath Group 12 clash in the tiny Horn of Africa state of Djibouti as six-time Cup of Nations champions Egypt romped to a 4-0 win in blistering mid-afternoon heat.
Traditional poor travellers Egypt edged ahead on 40 minutes through striker Amr Zaki and goals from midfielders Hosni Abd Rabou, Ahmed Hassan and Ahmed Abdelmalek put the 'Pharaohs' four goals ahead midway through the second half.
Algeria collected their first Group 6 points by outplaying Liberia 3-0 in Blida south of Algiers with Karim Ziani scoring twice and Rafik Djebbour once for the 'Desert Foxes.' When France-based playmaker Ziani claimed his second goal just after half-time the game was up for the 'Lone Stars', who axed Francis Doe and Dior Williams after they arrived late in Monrovia for the flight to Algeria.
The Algerians conceded a late goal to lose in Senegal last weekend while Liberia could only draw at home to Gambia.