[QODLink]
Football
Algeria beat Morocco in qualifier
Yebda scores early penalty to give Algeria boost in Africa Cup of Nations quest as Drogba hits two in Cote d'Ivoire win.
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2011 06:29
The May 19 Stadium in Annaba was a sea of green, white and red for the match against Morocco [Reuters]

Algeria won the North African derby against Morocco with a Hassan Yebda penalty after just five minutes of their Africa Cup of Nations 2012 qualifier in Annaba.

It was a major boost for the World Cup 2010 finalists, who had been struggling in Group D before Sunday's home match but now go level on four points with the Central African Republic, Tanzania and Morocco.

Didier Drogba scored twice to maintain Cote d'Ivoire's perfect start to the Africa Cup of Nations 2012 qualifiers while other top contenders Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia also won.

The Ivorians are now effectively one win away from booking a place at next January's tournament, to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, after having to come from behind to beat Benin 2-1 in Accra.

They have won all three matches to open up a five point lead in Group H.

Forced to play the match in neighbouring Ghana because of the security situation in their own country, the Ivorians were behind when a slip by goalkeeper Daniel Yeboah allowed a long range shot from Seidath Tchomogo to trickle in.

But Drogba, who has spoken before the match of the importance of a win to lift the mood of the country, equalised on the stroke of half-time and headed home the winner 15 minutes from the end.

Dash to London

Ghana, who face a dash from central Africa to London for their Tuesday friendly against England at Wembley, kept ahead in Group I with a comfortable 3-0 away win in Brazzaville against Congo.

Prince Tagoe opened the scoring after 20 minutes and Dominic Adiyiah, who also plays at Partizan Belgrade, nodded in a John Paintsil cross before the break.

Sulley Muntari, who had been doubtful before the match, scored within three minutes of coming on as second half substitute.

Sudan, who beat Swaziland 3-0 at home on Sunday, are just behind Ghana on goal difference.

Peter Utaka and Ike Uche got two goals each for Nigeria in their 4-0 romp over Ethiopia in Abuja but they are still one point behind Guinea in Group B.

Guinea equalised only five minutes from time through Mamadou Bah to draw 1-1 in Madagascar in Group B.

Goals from James Chamanga and Emmanuel Mayuka ensured a 2-0 win for Zambia away in Mozambique in Group C.

They take over top place from Libya, who play on Monday against the Comoros Islands in neutral Mali. 

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list