African Nations Championship: Egypt and Algeria fail to qualify

Egypt and Algeria fail to qualify for next year’s finals of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) as Morocco and Libya book their places at Kenya 2018.

 

Egypt and Algeria failed to qualify for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Kenya after suffering aggregate defeats to Morocco and Libya respectively.

Morocco beat Egypt 3-1 in Rabat on Friday to win the tie 4-2 overall.

Libya held Algeria to a 1-1 draw in Sfax to go through to the finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

The match was played in Tunisia for security reasons.

African Nations Championship qualifiers – first leg scores in brackets
Aggregate winners qualify for finals in Kenya from 11 January to 2 February
Friday: Ivory Coast v Niger (1-2)
Libya 1-1 Algeria (Libya win 3-2 on aggregate) Mali v Mauritania (2-2)
Morocco 3-1 Egypt (Morocco win 4-2 on aggregate) Sudan v Ethiopia (1-1)
Saturday: Nigeria v Benin (0-1)
Zambia v South Africa (2-2) Sunday:
Rwanda v Uganda (0-3) Namibia v Comoros (1-2)
DR Congo (holders) v Congo (0-0) Ghana v Burkina Faso (2-2)
Cameroon v Sao Tome e Principe (2-0) Tuesday:
Angola v Madagascar (0-0) Guinea v Senegal (1-3)

 

The Moroccans clinched their place thanks to three second-half goals from Jawad Yamiq, Abderrahim Maqran and Badr Belhrouz.

Hamid Hossam scored a late consolation goal for Egypt, who were making their debut in the biennial competition for home-based footballers.

Algeria knew they had to score at least twice against Libya to survive having lost the first leg 2-1, and they took the lead midway through the first half when Sofiane Bendebka scored off a rebound.

But first-leg match-winner Muaid Ellafi levelled on the stroke of half-time and Libya held on to take the aggregate win.

In other qualifiers this weekend, Nigeria and Namibia are among the sides who need to overturn first leg deficits in order to reach the finals in Kenya next year.

Benin won the first leg 1-0 against Nigeria in Cotonou thanks to a late penalty by captain Seibou Mama.

The second leg is set to be played in Kano on Saturday.

On Sunday, Namibia host Comoros looking to come back from a shock 2-1 defeat away from home.

Nigeria, coached by Salisu Yusuf, are hoping to avoid a shock like the one they suffered in qualifying for the finals of the 2011 tournament for locally-based players when they lost to Niger 2-0 on aggregate.

“We have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Benin coach Oumar Tchomogo.

“That said, I was disappointed we did not win the first leg more convincingly.”

Twice runners-up Ghana should reach the finals for the fourth time in five attempts by overcoming Burkina Faso in Kumasi.

Ghana led twice in the first leg only for Iliase Sawadogo to snatch a 2-2 draw five minutes from time.

Ivory Coast trail Niger 2-1 ahead of the second leg on an artificial pitch at Stade Robert Champroux in Abidjan.

Halidou Garba gave the Nigeriens victory late in the first match as they hunt another prized scalp having previously dumped Nigeria.

Defending champions Democratic Republic of Congo host neighbours Congo Brazzaville in Kinshasa after a goalless draw last weekend.

DR Congo have several survivors from the team that outplayed Mali 3-0 in the 2016 final, including goalkeeper Ley Matampi and striker Meschak Elia.

Having surrendered a two-goal lead to be held 2-2 in East London, a severely depleted South Africa have a tough task ahead against Zambia in Ndola.

South Africa’s Premier Soccer League kicks off this weekend and most clubs have refused to release players, saying the qualifiers are not being staged within a Fifa international window.

Despite CHAN matches only featuring locally-based footballers the games have full international status and count toward the monthly Fifa rankings.

 

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