The Democratic Republic of Congo were held to a 1-1 draw by Tanzania in their
Group J opener in Lubumbashi.
DR Congo veteran striker Dieumerci Mbokani marked his return to the national team
with a goal.
The 35-year-old, who has just completed a move to Kuwait Premier League side
Kuwait SC, put the hosts 1-0 up in the 23rd minute.
Tanzania struck back 13 minutes later with an equaliser from Simon Msuva to collect
what could be a vital point away from home.
In a later game in the same group on Thursday, Benin went top of the standings with
a 1-0 win away to Madagascar courtesy of a Steve Mounie strike in the first half.
Namibia’s draw with Congo Brazzaville in Group H on Thursday proved eventful for
defender Charles Hambira who scored at both ends.
He put Namibia ahead in the 24th minute only to hit an own-goal in the second half
as the match finished 1-1.
In another late kick-off on Thursday, Morocco began their Group I campaign with a
2-0 win over Sudan in Rabat. A Nayef Aguerd strike and an own-goal from Abuaagla
Abdalla gave the Atlas Lions a winning start to their group campaign.
The countries who finish first in each of the 10 groups will progress to the final round
of qualifying with five African nations progressing to the World Cup finals in Qatar