Central African Republic (CAR) put aside the difficulties of being barred from using their national stadium when drawing 1-1 with Cape Verde as the Group C game kicked off the second round of African World Cup qualifying.
The match was played in the Cameroonian city Douala after the national stadium in CAR capital Bangui was deemed unfit to host international matches by African football body Caf last month.
Contesting the second qualifying round for only the second time in their history, CAR earned a vital point as Tresor Toropite fired home from close range after 53 minutes.
This levelled the scores after Julio Tavares had neatly side-footed Cape Verde in front nine minutes before the break, with the visitors then missing two decent chances to extend their advantage.
When they last contested the second round, CAR impressed in their opening game – when registering their sole World Cup qualifying win to date – before losing their remaining five matches.
The next game in Group C takes place on Friday when Nigeria host Liberia.
Later on Wednesday, Sadio Mane’s Senegal kick off their Group H campaign against Togo while Guinea-Bissau meet Guinea in Group I.
Wednesday’s evening games see an Egypt side missing Mohamed Salah host Angola and Gabon travel to Libya, with both games in Group F, while Mali take on Rwanda in Group E’s opening tie.
Like CAR, Mali should have been playing the game on home soil but will instead take to the field in the Moroccan city Agadir after Caf also deemed the national stadium in Bamako unsuitable.
Mali built new stadiums to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002 but none are now deemed suitable.
The post 2022 World Cup: CAR earns rare point as Africa’s second round of qualifying begins appeared first on Sporting Life.