South Sudan earn World Cup debut draw after interruption

South Sudan's national football team
South Sudan joined international football only three years ago

South Sudan earned a draw in the their first appearance in a World Cup qualifying match, which resumed on Thursday after rain forced an abandonment on Wednesday.

The 2018 preliminary round first-leg qualifier at home to Mauritania had been called off after only 10 minutes because of the extreme weather conditions, with the score at 1-1.

The remaining 80 minutes of the game were played out on Thursday morning, with neither side able to add to the scoreline.

South Sudan managed to mark their historic appearance by scoring their first World Cup goal - the honour going to Dominic Abui Pretino, who struck on five minutes to cancel out Boubacar Bagili's third-minute opener.

The sides will meet for the second leg in Nouakchott on Tuesday 13 October.

South Sudan joined international football only in 2012, a year after the country became independent from Sudan, and in September they achieved their first competitive win - beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

On Wednesday, Comoros avoided defeat for the first time in World Cup competition by playing out a stalemate with Lesotho in the first leg of their tie.

The 0-0 draw ended a run of four losses in their previous World Cup matches since they they first entered qualification for football's biggest tournament in 2007.

Comoros had gone into the game off the back of two defeats in their opening two games in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

But they shut out their visitors, who had goalkeeper Kuenane sent off after 84 minutes, to make history at at the Stade de Moroni and begin their campaign in a positive note.

Burundi have taken the advantage in their tie with Seychelles, earning a 1-0 away win in the first leg of their tie.

Fiston Abdul Razak scored the winner after 15 minutes and his side, who last won in the competition in 2008, will now be considered the favourites to reach the next round.

Also in a good position are Tanzania, who recorded a 2-0 home win over Malawi.

The hosts struck twice in the space of four first-half minutes, Mbwana Samata breaking the deadlock on 18 minutes and Thomas Ulimwengu doubling their advantage.

Victory continues Tanzania's improved form of this year since former national team star Charles Boniface Mkwasa replaced Mart Nooij from the Netherlands as coach.

Kenya proved too strong for Mauritius in Belle Vue, racing into a commanding lead against their hosts and then seeing off a fightback to win 5-2.

The Harambee Stars opened the scoring on 18 minutes when Johanna Omolo struck his first of the match and further efforts by Ajub Masika and Shakava put them 3-0 up well with less than hour played.

Mauritius responded well, however, and clawed two goals back through Sophie, who converted from the penalty spot, and captain Jonathan Bru.

But any hopes they had of salvaging a point were ended when Omolo hit his second goal of the game with eight minutes left and Michael Olunga completed the scoring to put Kenya firmly in control of the tie.

Only five African nations will make it to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, after going through two knockout rounds and a group stage.