2026 FIFA WC Qualifiers: DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea get off to winning start

By Chimezie Nebolisa
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On the first day of African 2026 World Cup qualification, YoaneWissa scored the first goal to put the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead 2-0 against Mauritania at home on Wednesday.

Equatorial Guinea also won as the two-year long qualifying process got under way but Zimbabwe’s return to the competition ended in a draw at lowly-ranked Rwanda.

Substitute Theo Bongonda, a former Belgian Under-21 international, played the ball through for Wissa to chip the goalkeeper and put the Congolese ahead in the 63rd minute of their Group B game in Kinshasa.

Bongonda broke away and sprinted more than half the length of the field before rounding the goalkeeper for the second goal in the 81st minute.

DR Congo, then known as Zaire, qualified for the 1974 World Cup but have not played in the tournament since and Senegal are their potentially toughest opponents in the six-team group.