Maiga shines for Mali

Modibo Maiga was on target for Mali on another busy afternoon for West Ham United's internationals.

The Hammers' new No11 scored the third for Mali with a powerful header as they ran out 3-0 winners in Botswana in a 2013 CAF African Nations Cup first-leg final-round qualifier. Cheick Diabate's penalty and Mahamadou Ndiaye's close-range finish had given Mali the lead before Maiga wrapped up the scoring with 20 minutes to go.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Diame (pictured) started for Senegal as they lost their first-leg to the Ivory Coast 4-2. The match swung from end-to-end but it was the hosts that eventually ran out winners at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, courtesy of goals from Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Didier Drogba and Max Gradel.

The respective second legs will take place next month, with the winners going through to the finals in South Africa early next year.

On Friday, Winston Reid led the way as he helped New Zealand get off to a winning start in the final stage of the Oceania 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Shane Smeltz and Chris Wood scored the goals as the All Whites clinched a 2-0 win at New Caledonia. The Stade Numa Daly fixture saw Reid make his eleventh appearance for New Zealand. Next up for the All Whites on Tuesday is a top-of-the-table clash with the Soloman Islands, who also recorded a 2-0 win against Oceania champions Tahiti.

Elsewhere, the UEFA qualifiers got underway on Friday.

Yossi Benayoun was a second-half substitute in Israel's 1-1 Group F draw with Azerbaijan. The on-loan Chelsea player, now in his second spell with West Ham, came on in the 73rd minute for Itay Shechter. Bebars Natcho opened the scoring for Israel but Azerbaijan hit back and equalised through Ruslan Abbasov in the 65th minute.

Joey O'Brien was an unused substitute as the Republic of Ireland snatched a 2-1 Group C win in Kazakhstan. The home side had outplayed their opponents for much of the game and grabbed a deserved lead in the 38th minute when Kairat Nurdauletov nodded home.

Defeat seemed all but sealed until former Hammer Robbie Keane slotted in an 89th-minute penalty that seemingly earned a draw. But there was to be more drama as Kevin Doyle volleyed home just a minute later to grab a 2-1 win. O'Brien will hope to feature in Tuesday's friendly meeting with Oman at Craven Cottage.

James Collins' first appearance for Wales in 18 months ended in disappointment as the centre-back was sent-off for a strong tackle after 26 minutes as they lost 2-0 to Belgium in Cardiff in their opening Group A fixture.

Meanwhile, Blair Turgott made his England Under-19 debut as a second-half substitute as the Young Lions lost 3-1 to Germany in Hamburg.

Turgott came on in the 75th minute for Liverpool's Adam Morgan but it was another of the Reds starlets who stole the show. Summer signing Samed Yesil scored a superb double, opening the scoring after just two minutes, showing fine trickery in the box before smashing the ball home.

After Yesil's opener the Under-19s rallied and drew level on 31 minutes when Nick Powell expertly chipped Odisseas Vlachodimos. But Yesil once again put the hosts in front when Jordan Pickford was only able to palm the youngster's initial effort straight back at him and he tapped the ball into the empty net two minutes into the second half.

SC Freiburg's Sebastian Kerk completed the scoring, slotting the ball calmly past Pickford to ensure that there was no way back for England. Dan Potts was also part of the squad but was an unable to play after picking up a minor injury in training on Wednesday.

Both Turgott and Potts will be hoping to be part of the Under-19s squad for the UEFA European Championship qualifiers against the Faroe Islands, Ukraine and Estonia later this month.

Finally, Raphael Spiegel helped Switzerland Under-20s to achieve a 2-1 friendly victory over Poland.

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