MLSers make their mark in African qualifying

Revolution's Nyassi scores as Gambia start with an impressive win

AMSTERDAM — Qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations got into full swing this weekend, and several MLS players shined on the day.

New England Revolution winger Sainey Nyassi scored to help Gambia grab the top in Group F with a 3-1 win over Namibia.

The 21-year-old – who suited up alongside his New England Revolution teammate Kenny Mansally and his twin brother, Seattle's Sanna Nyassi – nodded home dutifully on 10 minutes to bag his first international goal in his full Gambia debut.

The other involved MLS player, Kansas City Wizards forward Kei Kamara, got the start as Sierra Leone impressed with a 1-1 Group G draw at defending champs Egypt.

South Africa assumed the pool perch, getting first half goals from Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker to top Niger 2-0.

Among the other highlights from weekend play, Obafemi Martins and Michael Eneramo rung the bell as Nigeria got off the Group B mark with a 2-0 victory over Madagascar.

In Group D, Algeria had to rally for a 1-all home share with Tanzania, a result that compelled manager World Cup manager Rabah Saadane to resign.

Senegal raced to the top of Group E after Mamadou Niang bagged a hat trick in their 4-2 win at the Democratic Republic of Congo. New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul didn't see any action.

Cameroon are level on points from a 3-1 win at Mauritius sparked by a Samuel Eto'o double on either side of intermission.

Over in Group H, Ivory Coast cruised to a 3-0 win over Rwanda, while Ghana assumed early control of Group I with an identical result at Swaziland.

Finally, former Chicago Fire man Dipsy Selolwane and continental mites Botswana went clear at the top of Group K by virtue of a 2-1 defeat of Togo.