Djibouti won an Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) qualifier for the first time since 2007 when they defeated South Sudan 2-0 at home Wednesday.
Hamza Abdi Idelh and Med Salam scored for the â€śShoremen of the Red Seaâ€ť in Djibouti City to end their long winless run since defeating Somalia. Madagascar won 1-0 away to Sao Tome e Principe in another preliminary round first leg as qualifying for the 2019 Cup of Nations in Cameroon began.
Djibouti are among the whipping boys of African football, losing all six matches and conceding 24 goals in the last Cup of Nations qualifying competition.
Those results triggered a change of coaches with Mauritanian Moussa Ghoussam replacing Tunisian Noureddine Gharsalli.
The teams meet again next Tuesday in South Sudan and the overall winners join Mali, Gabon and Burundi in Group C. Greece-based Sao Tomean Jordao Diogo deflected a cross into his net on 61 minutes to give Madagascar victory. It was a winning debut for coach Nicolas Dupuis, who succeeded fellow Frenchman Auguste Raux after a string of poor results. Should Madagascar qualify, they go into Group A with Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan. Comoros host Mauritius Friday in the remaining first leg.