Niger in command after victory over Somalia



Niger have taken take command of their 2018 World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Somalia by winning Friday’s first leg 2-0.
Moussa Maazou struck both goals in the space of four minutes in the second half.
The first came on 58 minutes and the striker, who plays for Chinese side Changchun Yatai, completed the scoring from the penalty spot on 62 minutes.
Somalia had to ‘host’ their home tie on neutral territory – in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia – because of the long-standing conflict in the horn of Africa.
Later on Friday, The Gambia take on Namibia.
Friday’s fixtures
Somalia 0-2 Niger
Djibouti v Swaziland
The Gambia v Namibia
Swansea City winger Modou Barrow will not play in either the home or away leg because he wants to concentrate on his career at the English Premier League side having only just returned there form a loan spell at Blackburn.
There has been speculation that the 22-year-old asked not to be included in the squad over the selection of Omar Jagne.
Barrow said: “I am 100% disappointed with the claims that I rejected the call-ups over Omar Jagne. This is false and meant to tarnish my image.”
And in Friday’s other fixture, Djibouti host Swaziland.
The 13 winners of the two-legged preliminary round ties advance to the second round, where they will be joined by the 27 seeded countries.
The teams have already been drawn into ties, which will be played on a home-and-away basis. The 20 winners advance to the group phase, where they will be drawn into five groups of four teams each, with the winners of the groups advancing to the finals.