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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 16:29 UK

Egypt and Nigeria in shock draws

Egyptian and Zambian players grapple during their match in Cairo
Tempers flare during Egypt's shock draw with Zambia in Cairo

Egypt and Nigeria have been held to shock draws at the start of their campaigns for a place at the World Cup in 2010.

Egypt, who are reigning African champions, were held 1-1 at home by Zambia.

Nigeria played out a goalless draw with Mozambique in Maputo.

In Sunday's other matches Ghana and Ivory Coast both secured expected victories.

Egypt have not been to the World Cup since 1990 but after winning back-to-back African titles the team are expected to make it to South Africa this time round.

But their campaign in Group C got off to a stuttering start when they dropped two points against visitors Zambia.

Wigan striker Amr Zaki put the Pharaohs in front on 26 minutes but they failed to extend their lead.

Zambia equalised after 10 minutes of the second half through Dennis Banda.

Egypt coach Hassan Shehata brought on BBC African Footballer of the Year Mohamed Aboutrika and striker Mido to try and secure a winner but the game ended one-apiece.

All four teams in the group have one point after both matches ended in a draw.

Mozambique fans
The crowd in Maputo were unlucky not to see a famous victory

In Group B Nigeria also failed to shine, grinding out a 0-0 draw with Mozambique - who should have won the game.

The hosts had two goals disallowed in Maputo, whilst the closest Nigeria came was an Obafemi Martins strike into the side-netting in the dying moments.

Injured Nigerian vice-captain Joseph Yobo, who watched from the touchline having paid his own way to Maputo, was philosophical after the match.

"A draw is a fair result," he admitted to the BBC's African sports programme Fast Track.

"We're still not out and there's still a lot to play for. It's not a bad result, a point is good enough. Hopefully in the next few games we can start winning."

Mozambique were unlucky not to take all three points, after having two goals disallowed.

Striker Dario Monteiro had two good headed chances disallowed which, had either stood, would have given the home side a famous victory.

The result leaves the Super Eagles trailing Tunisia by two points.

The Carthage Eagles top the group after securing a valuable 2-1 away win in Kenya on Saturday.

Ghana got off to the best start possible with a goal in the first minute of their match against Benin.

Prince Tagoe got the goal - but Ghana went through the whole of the rest of the game without scoring and held on for a one-nil win.

Ghana nevertheless top Group D after Mali and Sudan's 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Ivory Coast's 5-0 win over Malawi in Group E was overshadowed by the death of 22 fans in a stampeded before the game at the stadium in Abidjan.

Didier Drogba scored twice, including a penalty. Bakary Kone, Salomon Kalou and Romaric were the other scorers.

Burkina Faso are second in the group after their 4-2 win over Guinea on Saturday.

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see also
Mozambique dream of South Africa
27 Mar 09 |  African
Road to Angola and SA continues
27 Mar 09 |  African
Okocha issues Nigeria warning
25 Mar 09 |  African
Yobo to miss Mozambique clash
20 Mar 09 |  African
Obasi doubtful for Mozambique tie
10 Mar 09 |  African
Theft will not stop Nigeria game
20 Mar 09 |  African
2010 World Cup tables
07 Jun 09 |  African

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