The first day of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup continues and the host country of the next AFCON 2023 strikes hard from the outset. Côte d'Ivoire showed no mercy against the Seychelles. Tunisia, Mali and Cameroon also picked points while Burkina Faso were held to a draw.
Côte d'Ivoire delight their fans. The Elephants trounced the Seychelles in Group F of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on Friday November 17 at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Ebimpé. The Elephants took the lead in the 20th minute from the penalty spot. Sébastien Haller converted it. Côte d'Ivoire doubled their lead four minutes later, inspired by Ibrahima Sangaré.
Adinga scored the third (36th). Karim Konaté, who was heavily involved in the game and provided the decisive assist for the second goal, provoked a second penalty for the hosts. The youngster takes justice into his own hands and scores his first goal for Côte d'Ivoire. Score 4-0 but that was only the first half. In the second half, Côte d'Ivoire continued their festival. Seko Fofana took part in the Seychellois massacre by scoring the Ivorians' 5th goal (60th). Hamed Junior Traoré (77th, 90+5th) and Jean Philippe Krasso (84th) scored the Ivorians' 6th, 7th and 8th goals. Karim Konaté rounded off the Ivorians' impressive run with a brace (90+5). A perfect start for Côte d'Ivoire in these 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
Tunisia enjoy themselves
Tunisia also got off to a good start. The Carthage Eagles dominated Sao Tome and Principe in Group H at the Stade de Radès. In an indecisive first half, Y. Meriah gave his side the lead in the 37th minute. In the second half, the Tunisians were more clinical in front of goal. The experienced Youssef Msakni doubled the lead in the 53rd minute. The Eagles made the breakthrough in the 79th minute with a goal from Rafia. Ben Lardi put the visitors ahead in the 88th minute (4-0).
Cameroon also respected the hierarchy against Mauritius.
The Indomitable Lions overcame the Mauritians in Group D at Japoma stadium. Mbeumo scored the first goal of the game at the end of the first half (45+2). However, Rigobert Song's men pulled off a late save. N'Koudou (87th) and Magri (90+2) completed the scoring for the hosts. A victory that will undoubtedly do the Cameroon team a lot of good.
Mali scare but win
The Eagles of Mali shone on the first day of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The Malians won their first Group I match at the Stade du 26 Mars. The Malians came from behind to beat Chad. K. Doumbia opened the scoring for Mali in the 45th minute. The Chadians equalized a few minutes later thanks to Mouandilmadji (53rd). This 1-1 draw remained on the scoreboard for most of the match. It was around this time that the Malians managed to wrap up the match, thanks in particular to goals from Y.Niakhaté (77th) and I.Sissoko (81st).
Burkina Faso, on the other hand, failed to secure a win.
The Stallions drew with Guinea Bissau in Group A of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The Burkinabe were trailing for much of the match. Mama Baldé opened the scoring for the Djurtus in the 20th minute. It took until the 61st minute for Burkina Faso to get back on level terms and the scorer was none other than Bertrand Traoré, the spearhead of the Etalons' attack.