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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Nigeria and Ghana advance to CAF group stage in World Cup qualifying

Ivory Coast players celebrate during their win against Liberia.

Nigeria advanced to the third round of African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup with a 2-0 win over Swaziland on Tuesday.

After a goalless first leg, the Super Eagles finally found a breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Moses Simon curled in a free kick.

Nigeria allowed the visitors few chances from that point and doubled their advantage with Fefe Ambrose's free kick in the 87th minute.

Phumlani Dlamini was sent off in stoppage time for Swaziland as Nigeria reached the group stage.

Ghana also moved...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana all draw as Cape Verde fall in World Cup qualifying

African giants Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana were all held to draws away from home as their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaigns got off to shaky starts.

All of the African sides must get through a two-legged tie before reaching the group stage, and many of the major sides failed to gain an edge in their away legs on Friday.

Senegal needed to rally from a two-goal deficit to force a 2-2 draw at Madagascar, a nation 79 places below them in the FIFA rankings.

Faneva Andriatsima and Njiva Rakotoharimalala...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

South Sudan's World Cup dreams end in African qualifying

South Sudan's first World Cup qualifying campaign ended early following a 4-0 defeat at Mauritania on Tuesday.

Moulaye Khalil and Boubacar Beyguili had already scored for the hosts before Aluck Akeuch Deng's 79th-minute red card for the new nation, and Moussa Samba Moussa and Ismail Diakite completed the rout.

Mauritania won 5-1 on aggregate and advance to face Tunisia in the second round of qualifying in November.

Chad advanced on away goals despite a 2-1 defeat at Sierra Leone, a team 54 places...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Fernando Santos: Portugal distracted during shock Cape Verde Islands loss

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said that his strategy "decided the match" as his team beat Serbia 2-1 in the 2016 European Qualifiers Group I.
Nemanja Matic scored a wondergoal in what was otherwise a dominating performance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos believes his side were distracted as they fell to a shock 2-0 home defeat to Cape Verde Islands in Tuesday's friendly.

Santos fielded an entirely different starting XI to that which beat Serbia 2-1 in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday, with Cristiano Ronaldo left out.

And Cape Verde Islands made them pay as first-half goals from Odair Fortes and Gege sealed a surprise win for the visitors at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota.

Portugal's misery was compounded when...