Islam Slimani became Algeria’s all-time leading goalscorer as he netted twice in a 6-1 thrashing of Niger in 2022 World Cup qualifying.
Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez celebrated his Ballon d’Or nomination as he scored a free-kick for the African champions’ only goal of the first half.
Niger did not help their own cause in the second half with two own goals either side of Mahrez’s second from the penalty spot in Blida.
Daniel Sosah, who plies his trade in Belarus, had briefly given Niger hope with a goal that had made it 2-1 for the 10 minutes before Mahrez’s spot-kick.
Lyon striker Slimani came on as a 67th minute substitute and then scored twice to take his international tally to 38 and go clear of Abdelhafid Tasfaout on 36.
Burkina Faso kept pace with Algeria at the top of the group thanks to a 4-0 win over Djibouti in the Moroccan city Marrakech.
The game was moved from Djibouti as they are one of 11 African nations whose stadia do not meet the requirements to host international games.
Both Algeria and Burkina Faso have seven points after three matches – but the Desert Foxes have a far superior goal difference (+13) compared to the Stallions (+6). Niger have three points and Djibouti remain pointless.
Burkina Faso and Djibouti face each other again in the same stadium on Monday, with the Burkinabe also not having a stadium deemed fit to host internationals.
Niger, whose national stadium has been improved sufficiently since September’s qualifiers, host Algeria on Tuesday.
Egypt leapfrog Libya
Egypt moved back to the top of Group F thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over visiting neighbours Libya in Alexandria.
The Pharaohs had much of the possession in the first half but it was Libya who came closest to scoring with a shot that hit the post.
The only goal was a brilliant strike into the top corner from Stuttgart’s Omar Marmoush shortly after the break.
In the other group game, Angola beat Gabon 3-1 in a match that was delayed by more than 90 minutes because of an unspecified problem with pre-match Covid-19 testing procedures.
The results mean Egypt have seven points, one more than Libya, while Angola have three and Gabon are bottom with a single point. Both reverse fixtures are on Monday.
No stopping Choupo-Moting
Cameroon’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has scored seven goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich this season
Earlier on Friday, Cameroon and Ivory Coast both won as the two heavyweights continued their battle for the single play-off place from Group D.
Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored twice as Cameroon beat visitors Mozambique 3-1 at the Japoma stadium in Douala.
In the other Group D tie, Ivory Coast scored two late goals to secure a 3-0 win over ‘hosts’ Malawi in a match played in the South African city Johannesburg.
Malawi are another of the nations whose stadia do not meet requirements to host internationals, says African football’s ruling body Caf.
The Elephants took the lead seven minutes before half-time through 31-year-old Max Gradel.
The winners of Africa’s ten qualifying groups will contest next March’s play-offs to decide the continent’s five representatives at Qatar 2022.
Saturday, October 9th 2021 Fixtures
Ethiopia Vs South Africa
Ghana Vs Zimbabwe
Togo Vs Congo
Senegal Vs Namibia
Guinea Vs Sudan
Sunday, October 10th,2021 Fixtures
Benin Vs Tanzania
Madagascar Vs DR Congo
Zambia Vs Equatorial Guinea
Mauritania Vs Tunisia
Central African Republic Vs Nigeria
Cape Verde Vs Liberia
Kenya Vs Mali
Uganda Vs Rwanda