African champion Algeria pummeled Djibouti 8-0 to open its World Cup qualifying campaign on Thursday in ferocious form and extend its unbeaten run to 28 games.
Islam Slimani scored four, including the first goal in the fifth minute in Blida. Djibouti had defender Batio Mohamed Youssouf sent off in the 23rd minute, leading to the Algerian onslaught.
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Slimani made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 25th, Ramy Bensebaini scored a minute later and it was 4-0 at halftime after a second Algeria penalty, this time converted by Baghdad Bounedjah.
Slimani netted his third and fourth in the opening eight minutes of the second half and Riyad Mahrez and Ramiz Zerrouki also scored for the 2019 African Cup of Nations winner.
That gave the Algerians a convincing start in Group A, which they were already favorites to top. The winners of the 10 groups will make the final playoffs and five teams from Africa will ultimately qualify for the World Cup in Qatar next year.
Burkina Faso, which is in Algeria’s group, Benin and Morocco also won on the second day of the qualifiers, which should have got underway at the start of the year but were rescheduled twice because of the coronavirus pandemic.