VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Nigeria, Tunisia triumph, Algeria held

Nigeria opened their 2018 World Cup group-phase qualifying campaign with a 2-1 victory in Zambia on Sunday thanks to goals from English Premier League duo Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho

The 20-year-old strikers scored in the opening half before a capacity 40 000 crowd at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in central city Ndola that included President Edgar Lungu.

Zambia dominated the second half and veteran striker Collins Mbesuma set up a tense finish by halving the deficit 19 minutes from time.

But an equaliser eluded the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets), who are seeking a first World Cup appearance while the Super Eagles have already been to the finals five times.

The teams are in Group B which also contains three 2014 World Cup qualifiers in Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Iwobi of Arsenal pounced on a weak headed clearance to slam the ball past goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene from close range on 32 minutes.

Neat one-touch passing set Iheanacho of Manchester City free 10 minutes later and he rounded Mweene before calmly pushing the ball into the net.

A blunder from Nigeria defender Kenneth Omeruo allowed Mbesuma to score by firing past impressive goalkeeper Carl Ikeme from inside the box.

Algeria were surprisingly held 1-1 by Cameroon in Blida, a city 50 kilometres (32 miles) south-west of Algiers where the Desert Foxes have become accustomed to winning by wide margins.

El Arbi Hillel Soudani gave the hosts a perfect start by tapping the ball into the net on seven minutes after a corner.

But good teamwork allowed Benjamin Moukandjo to level midway through the opening half and the result leaves Algeria and Cameroon two points adrift of Nigeria.

Just a few hours after the Nigerians became the first away winners in the African group phase, Egypt matched the achievement by defeating Congo 2-1 in Brazzaville.

Ferebory Dore beat 43-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary with a far-post header to give the home side a first-half lead.

Mohamed Salah from Italian Serie A outfit Roma headed the equaliser just before halftime, then set up the winner for Abdallah Saied close to the hour mark.

Egypt, whose last of two World Cup appearances was 26 years ago, top Group E with three points, Ghana and Uganda have one each and Congo none.

Tunisia share the Group A lead with the Democratic Republic of Congo on three points after second-half goals produced a 2-0 win over Guinea in Monastir.

Valencia defender Aymen Abdennour broke the deadlock on 58 minutes by nodding in a corner and Anis Ben Hatira came off the bench to score his first international goal.

Libya reacted to a 4-0 thrashing from DR Congo in Kinshasa by firing Spanish coach Javier Clemente a month before his contract was due to expire.


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