Argentina, Nigeria upset in World cup qualifiers

HABARI DAILY I Kampala, Uganda I Global football landscapes were shaken as qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup unfolded, witnessing unexpected results that left fans in awe and teams in turmoil. From South America to Africa, the football powerhouses faced unexpected challenges and upsets.

In a surprising turn of events, the reigning champions of the 2022 World Cup, Argentina, faced a 2-0 defeat on their home turf against Uruguay. Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo and Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez found the net, marking Uruguay’s second consecutive victory after their earlier upset against Brazil. The 1930 and 1950 World Cup winners are making waves as they upset the established order.

Brazil, the most successful team in World Cup history with wins in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002, suffered another setback, falling 2-1 to Colombia. The Selecao, playing without the injured Neymar, took a first-half lead through Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli but couldn’t hold on as Liverpool’s Luis Diaz scored two second-half goals. 

Caretaker manager Fernando Diniz, in charge since Tite’s resignation, is under increasing pressure following three consecutive defeats.

Speculation is rife that Real Madrid’s current boss, Carlo Ancelotti, might take over national team duties at the end of the 2023/4 season. Brazil’s struggles raise questions about Diniz’s tenure and the team’s prospects in the upcoming qualifiers.

In the African zone, Nigeria, a football powerhouse, was held to a surprising 1-1 draw by Lesotho on their home turf. Other shocking results included Burundi’s 3-2 victory over Gambia and Mozambique’s Mambas prevailing over Botswana’s Zebras by the same scoreline.

Record African champions Egypt, led by Mohamed Salah’s four goals, dominated Djibouti 6-0. Algeria’s Desert Fenecs secured a 3-1 win against Somalia, while Gabon needed a last-minute goal to overcome Kenya’s Harambee Stars with a score of 2-1.

The qualifiers showcased the unpredictable nature of football, with unexpected outcomes leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next round of matches. The stage is set for an intense and unpredictable journey to the 2026 World Cup, as teams continue to battle for a coveted spot in the prestigious tournament hosted by the USA, Mexico, and Canada.

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