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2022 World Cup qualifiers: Libya shock Aubameyang’s Gabon as Salah-less Egypt beat Angola

2022 World Cup qualifiers: Libya shock Aubameyang’s Gabon as Salah-less Egypt beat Angola

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The second round of the qualification for next year’s global showpiece started across the continent on Wednesday

Libya shocked Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon with a 2-1 defeat in their opening match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

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The Panthers gave up their early lead and conceded a goal in each half of Wednesday’s encounter which set them up for a poor start.

Andre Biyogo Poko got Gabon off to a flying start with his 11th-minute opener at the Martyrs of February Stadium but Libya responded shortly after with their equaliser.

In the 28th minute, Ali Salama drew Libya level and later in the second half, Sanad Al Warfali grabbed the match-winning goal that sealed maximum points for the hosts in the 89th minute.

Arsenal captain Aubameyang played the entire duration alongside Saint-Etienne’s Denis Bouanga and Nice’s Mario Lemina but the attacking trio could not find the back of the net to rescue Gabon.

The result was Libya’s first win since November 2019 when they defeated Tanzania 2-1, and it ended their nine-game winless streak across all competitions.

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They sit at the top of Group F with three points after a match while Gabon are third behind Egypt who defeated Angola 1-0 in Cairo.

In the absence of Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah, Ahly star Mohamed Magdi Kafsha steered the Pharaohs to victory with his effort from the penalty spot in the fifth minute.

He stepped forward to convert after Zamalek’s Ahmed El Fotouh was brought down in the penalty area.

Hossam El Badry’s men held on to the lead as they coped without their Premier League stars, however, former West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazi was solid in the defence.

Next up in Group F, is Gabon playing host to Egypt on Sunday with the aim of overturning their poor start and Angola welcome Libya on September 7.

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In Group E, Mali pipped Rwanda to commence their expedition for a ticket to Qatar with a 1-0 win, thanks to Adama Traore’s 19th minute goal. 

The Eagles had Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo, RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara and Rennes’ Hamari Traore on parade as they moved to the top of the table with three points pending the outcome of Kenya vs Uganda clash on Thursday.

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