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Lesotho ‘Babes’ edge Burundi – posted by

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Lehlomela Ramabele © Backpagepix

11 November 2011, 23:55

Lesotho and Equatorial Guinea were the only home teams to win Friday as Africa kicked off its qualifying competition for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with 10 first round games.

A late Lehlomela Ramabele goal earned Lesotho a 1-0 first leg victory over Burundi in Maseru while 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosts Equatorial Guinea scored in each half to defeat Madagascar 2-0 in Malabo.

Ramabele struck seven minutes from time as Likuena (Crocodiles) coach Leslie Notsi saw his faith in football ‘babes’ pay off with more than half the team coming from the stars who qualified for the 2011 African youth championship.

Equatorial Guinea, automatic Cup of Nations qualifiers as co-hosts and forced to play friendly instead of competitive fixtures, went ahead midway through the opening half thanks to Spain-based Juvenal Edjogo-Oweno.

A second Equatoguinean goal in the closing stages leaves a team coached by experienced Frenchman Henri Michel well placed to survive the return match in Antananarivo Tuesday.

Rwanda come from behind to force a 1-1 draw in Eritrea and give Serb coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic a satisfactory start while Serge Gakpe was on target for 2006 World Cup qualifiers Togo in a 1-1 away draw against Guinea Bissau.

Democratic Republic of Congo, called Zaire when they competed at the 1974 World Cup and crumbled 9-0 to Yugoslavia, were among six away victors as they overcame Swaziland 3-1 in Lobamba.

Kaluyituka Dioko and Mputu Mabi scored within 22 minutes of the kick-off and Sidumo Shongwe pulled one goal back midway through the second half before Gladys Bokese struck a third for the visiting Leopards.

Neighbours Congo Brazzaville were the most convincing winners, thrashing Sao Tome e Principe 5-0 in Sao Tome via goals from Christopher Missilou, Ladislas Douniama, Francis Malonga, Prince Oniangue and Harris Tchilimbou.

Namibia triumphed 4-0 away to Djibouti in the first match of the day with South Africa-based strikers Rudolf Bester and Henrico Botes among the goals in the tiny Horn of Africa nation.

Pascal Ochieng, Kevin Kimani and Dennis Oliech were on target as Kenya won 3-0 on the Indian Ocean island of Seychelles as coach Francis Kimanzi celebrated a perfect start to a second spell in charge of the Harambee Stars.

Mozambique maintained their recent dominance over the Comoros Islands with a 1-0 win in Mitsamiouli thanks to an early second-half penalty converted by long-serving Miro Lobo.

Bakari Hamadi was the toast of Tanzania as his 80th-minute goal delivered a 2-1 victory in Chad where Mrisho Ngassa opened the scoring for the visitors on 10 minutes and Mahamat Labo levelled almost immediately.

The last first leg fixture will be staged Saturday between East African neighbours Somalia and Ethiopia with the game switched to Djibouti because of the security situation in Somali capital Mogadishu.

Liberia, who received a bye after cash-strapped Mauritius withdrew, and the 11 first round winners join 28 other countries in the second phase with the 10 group winners advancing to the final round which will produce five teams for Brazil.

Ghana, who reached the quarterfinals before losing a penalty shoot-out to Uruguay, hosts South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria represented Africa at the 2010 World Cup.

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