Tunisia continue perfect start in World Cup qualifying

Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (left) celebrates a goal for Tunisia

Tunisia sealed a late 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea as qualifying for the 2026 Fifa World Cup resumed across Africa.

A penalty from Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane in Rades made it three wins from three for the Carthage Eagles as they went two points clear at the top of Group H.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Namibia were held by Liberia, former England Under-21 international Curtis Davies was on target as Sierra Leone beat Djibouti, South Sudan drew in Togo and Central African Republic were winners over Chad.

Africa has a guaranteed nine qualifiers for the 2026 finals in Canada, Mexico and the United States, with all group winners booking a spot at the tournament.

Tunisia took on an Equatorial Guinea side who played for the first time since being stripped of the points from their opening two wins last November for fielding Emilio Nsue.

The striker was deemed to have been ineligible for "several" international matches by Fifa, who awarded opponents Namibia and Liberia 3-0 victories.

The sanction is subject to appeal from the Central African nation.

Equatorial Guinea had little creativity up front, with their talisman Nsue - the top scorer at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year - a big miss in their bid to claw back ground in the qualification race.

Tunisia also found chances hard to come but, with the home crowd getting increasingly frustrated, were handed a golden chance when Jannick Buyla was adjudged to have dragged down Hamza Mathlouthi in the box.

It was left to Ben Romdhane to convert the penalty in the 82nd minute and continue a perfect start for the North Africans.

Namibia, who started the third round joint-top of the group after benefitting from Equatorial Guinea's points deduction, failed to pull away after being held to a 1-1 draw by Liberia earlier in the day.

Tjipe Karuuombe put Namibia ahead with a smart flicked finish off the outside of his left boot but Terry Sackor steered in an equaliser with 25 minutes remaining after Brave Warriors goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua failed to deal with a cross.

Namibia, who were denied what looked like a clear-cut penalty when Deon Hotto was brought down by Sebastian Teclar, almost netted a winner late on as Liberia defender Sampson Dweh headed against his own bar and Erastus Kulula then had an effort tipped over on the follow-up.

The match was held at the Orlando Stadium in South Africa because Namibia's home stadia are not of international standard.

Davies rolls back the years

Sierra Leone and Cheltenham Town defender Curtis Davies
Former Premier League defender Curtis Davies now plays for Cheltenham Town in the fourth tier of English football [Getty Images]

Meanwhile, former Premier League regular Curtis Davies scored his first international goal as Sierra Leone beat Djibouti 2-1 to secure their first win of Group A.

The 39-year-old, whose CV includes spells with Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Hull City and West Bromwich Albion, only made his debut for the Leone Stars in October.

It took just 12 minutes for the centre-back to give the Leone Stars an early lead in a 'home' match played in Morocco.

Gabriel Dadzie equalised for Djibouti from the penalty spot 10 minutes before the break, but a second half goal from Augustus Kargbo sealed the win for Sierra Leone, who now have four points from three matches.

Togo, who are looking to secure a second appearance at a World Cup after their 2006 qualification, were held at home by South Sudan in a 1-1 draw in Lome in Group B.

Khaled Narey's opener for the hosts was cancelled out by an own goal from Roger Aholou.

Togo are fourth in Group B on three points - a point behind the joint leaders Senegal and Sudan who both play on Thursday.

Central African Republic enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Chad to maintain their challenge in Group I.

Venuste Baboula's first half goal gave CAR a vital win in another match played in neutral Morocco.

The qualifiers continue on Thursday with 10 fixtures with Mali against Ghana one of the standout games in Group I as Otto Addo returns as Black Stars coach.

Wednesday's African 2026 World Cup qualifying results

  • Sierra Leone 2-1 Djibouti (Group A)

  • Togo 1-1 South Sudan (Group B)

  • Central African Republic 1-0 Chad (Group I)

  • Namibia 1-1 Liberia (Group H)

  • Tunisia 1-0 Equatorial Guinea (Group H)