HomeSportSoccerTogo stun Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon settle for draws

Togo stun Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon settle for draws


CAIRO — The 2013 Afcon-bound teams used Wednesday friendlies to debug ahead of the tournament while others tuned up for the 2014 World Cup qualifying set for next March.

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Modibo Sidibe opened the scoring for Niger against visiting Senegal in a 1-1 friendly match played in Niamey on Wednesday, as the Mena begin to tune up for their second Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Both teams displayed laudable coordination and play pattern throughout the game, with Senegal, already out of the 2013 Afcon race, now focused on next year’s World Cup qualifying.

Sadio Mane, who plays for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, restored parity minutes after the break, and despite the blazing Niamey sun, the visitors were able to keep the plucky home side at bay till the final whistle.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal of the encounter between Morocco and Togo at the Mohamed V Sports Complex in Casablanca, to up the West Africans’ motivation ahead of their return to the continental scene next January.

It was also coach Rachid Taoussi’s first defeat since taking over from Eric Gerets in September this year, although the newcomer has led the team in just two matches.

The Atlas Lions had the game at their disposal during the first half and much of the second, but lacked coordination upfront to channel their finishing into the net, thanks in part to the Sparrow Hawks’ quick assembling defensive line that held off the final assaults of the North Africans.

Cameroon were held to a goalless draw by Albania in Geneva as the Indomitable Lions begin preparations for the 2014 World Cup after failing to book a place at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Samuel Eto’o captained the outfit to face a stiff Albanian side, which leapt 17 places to settle at 67 in Fifa’s recent ranking, with the Indomitable Lions still five points ahead.

Both sides wasted goal chances during both halves but the Albanians showed a tougher determination from start to finish.

Tunisia conceded a 2-1 loss against Switzerland after a hard-fought friendly played in Sousse, which saw the expulsion of Etoile Sahel defender Rami Bedoui to reduce Sami Trabelsi’s men to 10.

The visitors opened the scoring near end of first half through Hoffenheim forward Eren Derdiyok, but Evian midfielder Zouheir Dhaouadi pulled level for the home side by the hour mark to rekindle the tense hostilities.

In other matches, Rwanda and Namibia drew 2-2, Burkina Faso defeated the DRC 1-0, Bosnia beat Algeria 1-0, Georgia and Egypt also played a goalless draw while Tanzanian overcame Kenya 1-0.

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