Sunday 08 September 2013
Victor Moses helped Nigeria reach the African qualifying play-offs for the FIFA World Cup, while Ramires made a happy return to international action.
Liverpool's Victor Moses was on target as Nigeria secured top spot in African World Cup qualifying Group F with a 2-0 win over Malawi in Calabar.
The Super Eagles, for whom Chelsea's John Mikel Obi played the full 90 minutes and Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi made a six-minute substitute's appearance, dominated for large parts of the contest, and sealed the win with goals either side of half-time, from Emmanuel Emenike, top scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, and Moses - who has joined the Reds in a season-long loan from Chelsea - from the penalty spot.
A Kenya side captained by Southampton's Victor Wanyama finished third in the same group after completing a 1-0 victory over Namibia, thanks to David Owino's early strike.
Nigeria will now enter a play-off against another group winner to determine which nation progresses to next summer's tournament in Brazil. The draw for the play-offs will be made on 18 September.
Nigeria 2-0 Malawi
Nigeria: Victor Moses (Liverpool), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United)
Kenya 1-0 Namibia
Kenya: Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
Senegal joined Nigeria in the play-offs thanks to a slender victory over Uganda in neutral Marrakesh. Sadio Mane scored the only goal of the game six minutes from time for the side featuring West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame.
Senegal 1-0 Uganda
Senegal: Mohamed Diame (West Ham United)
Chelsea's recent signing Samuel Eto'o played for an hour as Cameroon won Group I thanks to a solitary goal by Aurelien Chedjou against a Libya team who would themselves had advanced with a victory.
It was a disappointing end to a campaign that had promised so much for Congo DR, who were captained by West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu. Despite winning their opening three matches, they managed only two victories from their remaining three. Their campaign finished in a 2-1 defeat by Togo.
Cameroon 1-0 Libya
Cameroon: Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea)
Togo 2-1 Congo DR
Congo DR: Youssouf Mulumbu (West Brom)
Ivory Coast required a late goal by former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to earn a 1-1 draw with section runners-up Morocco. The Elephants, featuring Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure and the former Arsenal winger Gervinho, had already qualified for the play-offs as Group C winners in June, but salvaged a point when Drogba's spot-kick cancelled out Youssef El Arabi's opener with seven minutes to go.
Ivory Coast 1-1 Morocco
Ivory Coast: Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi was on the winning side as South Africa completed a comfortable win over Botswana, but Bafana Bafana also needed the other result in the group to go their way and Ethiopia's 2-1 win over Central African Republic put an end to the 2010 hosts' hopes of going to Brazil next year.
South Africa 4-1 Botswana
South Africa: Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace)
Elsewhere in Africa qualifying Cape Verde Islands pulled off another big upset by landing a 2-0 victory in Tunisia to advance to the last phase of Africa's World Cup qualifying along with Burkina Faso who also edged a nailbiting contest against Gabon 1-0.
Ramires enjoyed his return to international football by scoring a goal and setting up another in Brazil's 6-0 friendly rout of Australia.
Ramires, who along with Chelsea team-mate David Luiz started the match for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, scored the fourth goal on the night, arriving at the far post to meet Maxwell's cross and power a header past another club colleague, Mark Schwarzer, in the visitors' goal.
Two minutes later the Blues' midfielder almost doubled his tally, only to see his strike from outside the penalty area crash against the foot of the post. Ramires, who set up Neymar for Brazil's third goal, came into the side in place of Oscar, also of Chelsea, who was reported to have suffered an ankle injury in training in the build-up to the fixture.
Brazil 6-0 Australia
Brazil: David Luiz, Ramires (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur)
Australia: Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace)