Here is a comprehensive round-up of how Zambia’s 2021 AFCON Group H and 2022 World Cup Group B qualifier opponent’s spent their October FIFA International Match Week.
Algeria had a high-profile October with a win and draw and in the process extended their unbeaten run to 20 successive internationals.
On October 13, the defending AFCON champions and Group H leaders traded blows with Mexico at The Hague in Holland to finish 2-2 against the Concacaf champions.
Ismael Bennacer equalized for Algeria in the 45th minute after Corona had put Mexico ahead three minutes earlier.
Riyad Mahrez then put 10-man Algeria ahead in the 67th minute just twelve minutes after midfielder Adlene Gueioura received his second yellow card.
Diego Lainez denied Algeria victory when he restored parity in the 86th minute.
The draw came after Algeria beat Nigeria 1-0 on October 9 in Klagenfurt, Austria thanks to a 6th minute goal from Ramy Bensebaini.
It has been two years since Algeria last lost a match in a 1-0 away defeat to Benin on October 16, 2018 during a 2019 AFCON qualifier and have now raked-in 16 victories and four draws.
Zimbabwe played just one friendly during the break with a trip to Malawi on October 11 where they drew 0-0 in Blantyre.
The Zebras have spent their entire October FIFA week in a closed-door training camp and total media blackout since October 4.
However, coach Adel Amrouche did not preside over the training camp after leaving Botswana in early September for Belgium to visit after being away from his family for over five months.
Botswana face Zambia next month in an AFCON Group H doubleheader.
Equatorial Guinea’s October 12 away friendly against Ghana in Antalya, Turkey fell through after Zambia’s 2022 World Cup Group B opponents failed to assemble their European call-ups due to Covid-19 logistical problems to delay new coach Jorge Costa’s debut.
World Cup Group B opponents Tunisia had a busy schedule that begun with a roaring 3-0 home win over Sudan at Rades on October 9.
Goals by Saif Aldin Khaoui in the 16th minute, Ali Maaloul in the 24th and one from Denmark-born midfielder Anis Ben Slimane in the 34th minute set the tone for the Carthage Eagles.
Tunisia then travelled to Austria to face Nigeria at Sankt Veit an der Glan on October 13.
That match ended 1-1 when Mohamed Dräger grabbing the equalizer after Kelechi Iheanacho had put Nigeria ahead in the 21st minute.
But Tunisia were very fortunate to leave town with a draw and earlier had goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha to thank after he denied Iheanacho a brace via a 28th minute penalty.
2022 World Cup Group B opponents had an eventful October and collected a 2-1 home win over Sierra Leone on October 9 at Stade Cheikha Ould Boïdiya in Nouakchott.
Egypt-based striker Amadou Niass put the home side ahead in the 20th minute but the two sides when into the break level after Hassan Kamara scored in the 31st minute for Sierra Leone.
Naiss’ replacement in the 62nd minute, Hemeya Tanjy, gave Mauritania the home win in the 78th minute.
However, Mauritania’s hopes of their derby test against neighbours and hosts Senegal on October 13 away just across the border at Thies suffered a setback due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the visitors camp and the match was cancelled at the 11th hour.