22 June 2015 11:35
There were mixed fortunes for holders Libya and former winners, Tunisia during the weekend preliminary matches of the qualifying rounds for the African Nations Championship Rwanda 2016.
The Mediterranean Knights as the Libyans are nicknamed managed three points out of a possible six in the three-team Northern Zone; beating 2011 winners, Tunisia 1-0 last Thursday and succumbing to a 3-0 loss to Morocco last Sunday.
On the otherhand, Tunisia bagged just a single point, which came from a 1-1 draw with Morocco last Monday in the opening day of the campaign.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco were the best performers bagging four points, beating holders Libya 3-0. Despite ending the game against Libya with a man down after defender Abderrahim Achchakir was sent off in the dying minutes, a goal each from Iajour Mouhssine, Abdelilah Hafidi and Mohammed Ounajem was enough to secured victory in Casablanca.
Two teams will qualify from the Northern Zone for the final tournament next year in Rwanda.
In Zone West ‘A’, Senegal outclassed neighbours Gambia 3-1 in Dakar with striker Mamadou Niang netting a brace and Abdoulaye Ba scoring the other. Salifu Krubally scored the consolation for the visitors.
Mali came from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw away in Bissau against Guinea Bissau to keep their chances intact. Obed Da Costa Walid gave the hosts a fifth minute lead before Abdoulaye Sissoko drew level for Mali on the quarter-hour mark.
Burundi and Uganda caused major upsets in the Central-East Zone recording victories away from home at the expense of Djibouti and Tanzania.
‘Les Hirondelles’ beat Djibouti 2-1 with Shassiri Nahimana’s 65th minute winner separating the two sides. Earlier, Bizimana Hassan saw his 51st minute opener cancelled by Djibouti midfielder Darar Djama Aboubaker three minutes later.
The Cranes of Uganda took a giant step towards a place at the next round after putting three unanswered goals past Tanzania in front of their fans at the Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar.
SC Villa striker, Erisa Ssekisambu scored in either halve before local favourite Farouk Miya converted late penalty to seal victory. The result served the final straw for Tanzania’s Dutch coach, Mart Nooij, who was relieved of his post as head coach of the Taifa Stars after a string of poor results.
In Bahir Dar, the Walias of Ethiopia made light work of neighbouring Kenya beating them 2-0, with Aschalew Girma and Gathoch Panom hitting target in either halve.
For the Southern Zone, Mozambique recorded the biggest win beating Seychelles 5-1 in Beira just as South Africa thumped 10-man Mauritius 3-0 at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg. Bafana Bafana scored all the goals in the first half with Thamsanqa Gabuza opening the scores on 26 minutes and new sensation Siphelele Ntshangase scored twice before the break to wrap up victory.
Mauritius, who suffered a 7-1 loss to Ghana’s Black Stars in a 2017 AFCON qualifier a fortnight ago, had their woes deepened ending the game with a man-less after David Alain L’enclume was sent off after a second yellow card on 80 minutes.
The Brave Warriors of Namibia continued with their COSAFA fairytale story, coming from behind to beat the Chipolopolo of Zambia 2-1 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek. Despite the shocking resignation of coach, Ricardo Mannetti few days before the encounter, the hosts came back strongly in the second half after Winston Kalengo had gave the Chipolopolo a 15th minute lead.
Willy Stephanus drew level on 53 minutes before Benyamen Nekavu scored the winner ten minutes later to cap off a superb comeback.
“I will take the 2-1 win. I have said it before, Namibian players can't play a tactical defensive game, so with the speed and tactical discipline we have, we have to go at them and try and get something out of the second leg game. If we play the way we did in the second half today, anything is possible,” Namibia coach Ronnie Kanalelo was quoted by local daily, Namibian.
At the Rufaro Stadium in Harare, a goal each from Evans Rusike and Tatenda Mudehwe in either halve was enough for Zimbabwe to beat Comoros 2-0, whereas Lesotho and Botswana played out a barren draw in Maseru.
Angola gave up a two-goal lead allowing hosts Swaziland to bounce back and draw 2-2 in Lobamba. Dario de Sousa Cardoso put the 2011 losing finalists in the lead on the half-hour mark and Manuel Daivid Afonso doubled the lead on 54 minutes. The Swazis came back stronger and Tony Tsabedze reduced the tally on 68 minutes before Sabelo Ndzinisa grabbed the equalizer seven minutes from time.
The second leg matches will be played on the weekend of 3-5 July 2015.
The final tournament has been fixed for 16 January to 7 February 2016.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Morocco 1-1 Tunisia
Thursday, 18 June 2015
Libya 1-0 Tunisia
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Morocco 3-0 Libya
WEST ZONE A
Saturday, 20 June 2015
Guinea Bissau 1-1 Mali
Senegal 3-1 Gambia
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Mauritania 2-1 Sierra Leone
Monday, 22 June 2012
Guinea vs Liberia
Saturday, 20 June 2015
Tanzania 0-3 Uganda