CAF Qualifying, Group F: Nigeria through after beating Malawi

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The second of Africa’s World Cup qualifying rounds won’t be finished until tomorrow, when Cameroon and Libya play to determine who moves on from Group I. There’s also a late match on Saturday night, with Senegal and Uganda facing off to see who moves on from Group J.

But even before the match between Nigeria and Malawi kicked off, we already knew five of the ten countries that would advance to the third, and final, round of CAF qualifying. Earlier on Saturday, Central African Republic very nearly pulled off an upset that would’ve put South Africa through, but Ethiopia came back to win and advance. On Friday, Ghana beat Zambia to take top in Group D. Egypt, Algeria, and the Ivory Coast have also clinched a place in the final playoff round.

Now we add Nigeria, who beat Malawi 2-0 to advance. The Flames, who’d made it through to second in the second round of qualification by virtue of four draws and one win, had a rather spectacular explosion before their last spark flickered out. Just before the break, Emmanuel Emenike made it 1-0 to Nigeria. But rather than calming down during the interval, Malawi got a bit desperate. In the 52nd minute, they conceded a penalty, which Victor Moses converted beautifully. Moments later, Limbikani Mzava was shown a straight red. That was it for Malawi, and Nigeria cruised on through to victory.

EURO 2016: Spain, Switzerland earn qualification

<> on October 9, 2015 in Logrono, Spain.
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Catch up on all of Friday’s EURO qualification action, as two more teams have booked a ticket to France.

Spain 4-0 Luxembourg

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla hadn’t scored a competitive goal for Spain in more than six years, but he scored twice today to help earn his country a berth in EURO 2016. Cazorla and Paco Alcacer scored all four goals for the Spanish, while Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas became Spain’s all-time leader in assists. However, both David Silva of Manchester City and Alvaro Morata of Juventus were forced off with injuries, with Morata’s looking to be serious.

Switzerland 7-0 San Marino

Switzerland led just 1-0 at halftime, but a six-goal second half which included three penalty kicks means the Swiss have secured qualification from Group E for EURO 2016. As expected, Switzerland dominated every aspect of the match against minnows San Marino, and Vladimir Petkovic’s side had seven different goalscorers.

[ MORE: Thursday’s EURO 2016 roundup — Northern Ireland qualify ]

England 2-0 Estonia

England remained perfect in Group E, taking their ninth win from nine matches today at Wembley. Theo Walcott‘s great scoring form from Arsenal carried over to the national side, opening the scoring just before halftime. In the second half, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy came on as a substitute and assisted to Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who made it 2-0. With a few minutes to play, Tottenham teenager Dele Alli got a short run in his England debut.

Elsewhere in EURO qualifying

Group C

Macedonia 0-2 Ukraine
Slovakia 0-1 Belarus

Group E

Slovenia 1-1 Lithuania

Group G

Liechtenstein 0-2 Sweden
Moldova 1-2 Russia
Montenegro 2-3 Austria

Sergio Aguero expects to miss a month with hamstring injury

Sergio Aguero
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After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.

The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury. 

Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.

If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.

To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.