Central African Republic (CAR) put aside difficulties over banning use of their national stadium in 1-1 draw against Cape Verde as Group C match kicked off second African World Cup qualifying round.
The match took place in the Cameroonian city of Douala after the national stadium in Bangui, the capital of CAR, was deemed unfit to host international matches by African football body Caf last month.
Entering the second qualifying round for just the second time in its history, CAR got a vital point as Tresor Toropite shot from close range after 53 minutes.
It evened the scores after Julio Tavares carefully put Cape Verde to the side nine minutes before the break, with the visitors then missing two decent chances to extend their advantage.
The last time they played in the second round, CAR impressed in their opener – upon entry their only victory in qualifying for the World Cup to this day – before losing their remaining five matches.
The next Group C game is on Friday when Nigeria host Liberia.
Later Wednesday, Sadio Mane’s Senegal begin their Group H campaign against Togo while Guinea-Bissau meets Guinea in Group I.
Wednesday night games see Egyptian team Mohamed Salah disappeared Host Angola and Gabon travel to Libya, with both matches in Group F, while Mali face Rwanda in Group E opener.
Like CAR, Mali should have played the game at home, but will instead head to the pitch in the Moroccan city of Agadir after Caf also deemed Bamako’s national stadium unsuitable.
Mali built new stadiums to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002, but none are now deemed appropriate.