‘Homeless’ Somalia shock Zimbabwe for first World Cup victory

Zimbabwe, at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, above, was defeated 1 – 0 by Somalia in Djibouti. (AFP Photo)
Updated 05 September 2019
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‘Homeless’ Somalia shock Zimbabwe for first World Cup victory

  • Unable to play at home because of the unstable security situation in the east African country, the Somalis moved the first round first leg to Djibouti
  • The Ocean Stars shrugged off the disadvantage to win the match four minutes from time when Ali soared to head home a perfectly weighted cross

JOHANNESBURG: A late Anwar Sid Ali goal enabled Somalia to shock Zimbabwe 1-0 Thursday and achieve their first World Cup qualifying victory.
Unable to play at home because of the unstable security situation in the east African country, the Somalis moved the first round first leg to Djibouti.
The Ocean Stars shrugged off the disadvantage to win the match four minutes from time when Ali soared to head a perfectly weighted cross into the corner of the net.
Zimbabwe, who competed at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations three months ago, host the return match in Harare Tuesday.
This is the sixth appearance of the Somalis in World Cup qualifying and they have been able to play at home only once, in a 1982 eliminator.
The best results they managed before facing Zimbabwe were three draws. They lost eight other qualifiers, including five-goal hidings from Ghana and Ethiopia.
Somalia are ranked 202 of 211 football nations — 90 places below Zimbabwe in the latest world rankings.
Sudan and Rwanda achieved comfortable away victories in other first legs, virtually guaranteeing progress to the second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Ramadan Agab scored a hat-trick to give Sudan a 3-1 victory in neighboring Chad, only the third away win for the Jediane Falcons in 32 World Cup qualifiers.
He completed his treble midway through the second half in N’Djamena before Chadian Ezechiel N’Douassel converted a penalty.
Rwanda cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Seychelles in Victoria with two goals within four minutes during the opening half setting them up to succeed.
Muhadjir Hakizimana and Yannick Mukunzi netted for the Rwandan Wasps before half-time and Maddie Kagere added a third goal nine minutes from time.
On Friday, former World Cup qualifiers Angola and Togo start their campaigns. Comoros host the Togolese in Moroni and the Gambia have home advantage over the Angolans in Bakau.


Wales assistant rugby coach sent home over betting case

Updated 17 September 2019
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Wales assistant rugby coach sent home over betting case

  • Rob Howley, who has been part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team since 2008, has left the squad’s base in Japan
  • Howley enjoyed a glittering playing career, winning 59 caps for Wales and captaining his country on 22 occasions

TOKYO: Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been sent home from the Rugby World Cup in Japan over a potential breach of betting rules.
The former Wales captain, who has been part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team since 2008, has left the squad’s base in Japan.
The Welsh Rugby Union says “Howley has returned to Wales to assist with an investigation in relation to a potential breach of World Rugby regulation 6, specifically betting on rugby union. The decision was taken to act immediately in light of recent information passed to the WRU.”
Wales’ opening World Cup game is against Georgia on Monday.
The WRU says Howley has “co-operated fully with our initial discussions” but adds that “if required, an independent panel will be appointed to hear the case.”
Howley had been due to leave his Wales coaching role after the World Cup, along with Gatland and fellow assistants Shaun Edwards and Robin McBryde.
Howley enjoyed a glittering playing career, winning 59 caps for Wales and captaining his country on 22 occasions, while also helping Wasps to be crowned European champions in 2004.
He played for the British and Irish Lions in 1997 and 2001, and was part of the Lions coaching staff on their last three tours.