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Aussie-based M’Mombwa has a debut to remember for Tanzania

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M'Mombwa celebrates his goal against Niger. PHOTO/TFF
  • M’Mombwa earned his first ever call up to the Tanzanian team
  • He plays his club football in Australia
  • Nigeria’s World Cup journey off to a shaky start

Australia based 25-year old midfielder Charles M’Mombwa had a debut to remember for Tanzania’s Taifa Stars, as he scored the lone goal in their 1-0 victory over Niger in their first match of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in Marrakech.

M’Mombwa was handed his first ever call up by head coach Adel Amrouche and was handed a start. He paid dividends for the start with a brilliant performance and capped it off with a goal.

His shot in the 56th minute off a Mbwana Sammatta pass took a wicked deflection off a defender and landed in the back of the net.

“I am really happy to have scored on my debut. I am thankful for the support and thankful for everyone who was behind the team,” he said after the game.

The midfielder now hopes he can have a similar performance when they play Morocco at home, a tougher duel this week.

Nigeria in wobbly World Cup qualification journey

Elsewhere, Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ qualification journey for the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Mexico and Canada has taken off to a wobbly start after being held to a second consecutive draw.

Having played to a stalemate against Lesotho in the opening match, the Super Eagles picked a point yet again in their second match, as they came from behind to tie 1-1 away to Zimbabwe.

The result, in a match played in Rwanda, piles pressure on head coach Jose Peseiro, with the team struggling to impress.

Against Zimbabwe, Nigeria didn’t settle in the match early and it was the hosts who had several chances in the opening minutes, with Marshall Munetsi testing Francis Uzoho early on with a long range shot.

They finally broke the deadlock after 26 minutes when Walter Musona struck an unstoppable freekick from almost 35 yards out that ended in the roof of the net.

Nigeria worked their way to try and salvage atleast a point with the goal having given the Zimbabweans more confidence.

In the second half, Nigeria started on the front foot and had a chance in the 54th minute when the Zimbabwean keeper was punished with an indirect freekick for holding on to the ball for long.

Victor Boniface passed to Joe Aribo quick, but the winger’s tap from close range was cleared off the line.

The Super Eagles ultimately drew level in the 67th minute when Kelechi Iheanacho found the back of the net with a side footed finish from a Moses Simon assist.

Broos delighted as Bafana down Benin

Meanwhile, South Africa head coach Hugo Broos said he was delighted with the performance of his charges, as they downed Benin 2-1 in Durban to start their 2026 World Cup qualifier on a positive note.

Broos praised the attitude and hard working nature of his players, and believes they are on the right track.

“We played really well in a difficult match but I am happy we managed to get the win. Scoring early really helped us to settle quick into the game and we dominated. We had a slight lapse to concede but that is something we can work on,” said the tactician.

He added; “We hope to keep playing better and better and our next match will be even tougher but we will be ready.”

Bafana got into the lead as early as the second minute when Tau found the back of the net with a clipped finish from a Sphephelo Sithole through pass.

Khuliso Mudau then doubled their tally in first half added time when he volleyed a lose ball home from close range after the Benin defense struggled to clear in the box.

In the second half, Benin pressed in the second half and they halved the deficit in the 70th minute through Steve Mounie, but they couldn’t rally the comeback to the end.

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