2026 World Cup qualifying: Senegal, Tunisia pick up wins

Senegal kept up their unbeaten start to 2026 World Cup qualification with a 1-0 win away at Mauritania on Sunday, while Tunisia also stayed top of their group despite a goalless draw away against Namibia.

Both Senegal and Tunisia were among five African representatives at the last World Cup in Qatar and are fancied to qualify again for the tournament being co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Habib Diallo netted in the 27th minute — heading home a long cross from Pape Matar Sarr — to put Senegal at the top of Group B with victory in Nouakchott, despite them missing Sadio Mané and Nicolas Jackson through injury.

There was a lengthy delay in completing the match after frustrated home fans threw objects towards the pitch in the second half and proceedings were halted.

Senegal are one point above Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the group standings.

Congo beat Togo 1-0 in Kinshasa with Meshack Elia’s sixth-minute goal proving decisive.

Tunisia had been upset by Namibia at January’s Africa Cup of Nations and came close to losing again in the match played in Soweto, South Africa, because Namibia do not have a suitable home venue.

Namibia had the ball in the net after 14 minutes when Deon Hotto’s free kick was spilt by Tunisia goalkeeper Bechir Said and bundled in by centre back Charles Hambira.

But the Mauritanian referee Dahane Beida adjudged that the goalkeeper had been fouled after he spilt the ball, although television replays suggested there was minimal contact.

Tunisia have a two-point lead in Group H over Namibia with Liberia a further point back in third place.

Liberia needed a last-minute winner from Sheikh Sesay to edge 1-0 past Sao Tome e Principe in their match in Oudja, Morocco. Sao Tome have lost all four of their qualifiers in Group H.

Djibouti gained their first point in Group A in a 1-1 draw with neighbours Ethiopia.

Monday will see a further eight qualifiers played around Africa.

There are nine groups in the African preliminaries with the group winners advancing to the 2026 finals in North America. The four best runners-up will have a chance to advance through two series of playoff tournaments.

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