Thursday, March 27, 2008
Much of the world played World Cup qualifying last night.
Others played friendlies in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.
Africa was no exception as the continent prepares itself for the much-anticipated 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
First up, African champions Egypt were beaten 2-0 by the world's top ranked side, Argentina.
A full strength Egypt side, including controversial keeper Essam El Hadary, conceded two goals in the last 20 minutes to go down to the South American giants.
But in Pretoria, the upcoming World Cup hosts, South Africa, secured a deserved 3-0 victory over their own South American opposition, Paraguay.
In the process, striker Benni McCarthy became his country's top international goalscorer.
In other matches, Ghana lost to Mexico 2-1.
Ghana took the lead in this game, held at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground in London, but they were not able to hold on to it.
After a goalless first half, Michael Essien gave the Black Stars the lead with a driving shot from outside the area, which went in off the post.
But Mexico equalised in simple fashion, when Ghana's substitute goalkeeper, Patrick Antwi, slipped as he prepared to deal with a back pass.
Carlos Salcido punished his mistake.
Four minutes from time, Ghana captain John Mensah hauled down Adolfo Bautista in the box and Mexico's Pavel Pardo stepped up to convert the penalty and give his side the win.
Also, Morocco bounced back from their dreadful Cup of Nations campaign with a 4-1 win over Belgium.
It was a first win for stand-in coach Fathi Jamal, who took over after the departure of Henri Michel.
"After our dramatic exit in the Africa Cup, this really feels great. It has been a long time since we played like this," Morocco playmaker Mbark Boussoufa said.
Tunisia met Ivory Coast in France, and came away with a 2-0 win.
Goals from Tijani Belaid and Radhouane Felhi gave Roger Lemerre's side victory, although the coach is soon to leave his post.
Liberia scored a surprise 2-0 win over Sudan in Khartoum, in their first game under new coach Antoine Hey.
The first result of the day was a 1-1 draw between Uganda and Libya in Kampala.
Caesar Okhuti put the Cranes ahead in the 48th minute, with the equalizer coming in the 90th minute from Younes Shidani.
DR Congo and Algeria were in France for another match taking place near Paris.
Dieumerci Mbokani put the Simbas ahead in the 35th minute, but a late penalty converted by Kamel Ghiles meant the game ended 1-1.
Tanzania's game against Mozambique was canceled due to heavy rains at the old national stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Mozambique turned down a proposal to have the match played on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Zimbabwe beat Botswana 1-0 in Gaborone, with the goal scored by Cuthbert Malajila.