01 June 2015 07:30
Cameroon and Ghana were the major casualties at the second round of the qualifiers of the African U-23 Championship Senegal 2015, after suffering shocking results.
The duo, who count amongst the African countries to have won medals at the Olympic Games were dumped out of the qualifiers for the successive time.
A one-all draw against Sierra Leone at home was not enough for Cameroon, going out via the away goal rule whereas Ghana lost out 5-4 on penalties after a 1-0 loss in normal time against Congo in Pointe-Noire.
‘Les Lionceaux’ bid farewell via the away goal rule after a 1-1 tie on aggregate, and it was so painful for coach coach Pierre Ndjili Ndengue and his charges suffering the sorry fate before their fans at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
Lazio forward Joseph Minala put the hosts in the lead on 33 minutes and with victory staring at them, the Leone Stars leveled in stoppage time after captain Sorie Barrie converted a penalty.
Gold medalists in 2000, Cameroon for the second successive time have failed in their bid to reach the multisport event for the first since the 2008 edition in Beijing, China, after Tanzania edged them four years ago at the same stage.
And what makes it more disturbing is the fact that both games were played in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé, due to the home ban on Sierra Leone due to the Ebola outbreak.
After a barren draw in the first leg last week, the Leone Stars left it late against their hosts to book their place at the third round of the qualifiers of the African U-23 Championship Senegal 2015, where they are due to face Algeria.
Congolese forward Sylvere Ganvoula scored the only goal on 26 minutes to send the game into penalties, where the hosts triumphed over the Ghanaians, who missed a kick out of the initial five. The Black Meteors have not qualified for the Olympics since Athens 2004, where they failed to go past the group stage.
The exit is a huge setback for the West Africans who pride themselves in being the first African side to win a medal in the history of the Olympic Games, bronze medal at the 1992 edition in Barcelona, Spain.
Elsewhere in Bamako, Mali accounted for Mauritania 3-1 to progress 4-2 on aggregate and set up a date with Gabon at the third round. Adama Niane scored a brace whilst Moctar Mohamed Cisse added the other with Boubacar Bagili grabbing a consolation for the visitors.
The Chipolopolo of Zambia swept past Botswana with a 2-0 win in Lusaka to set up a third round meeting with South Africa. Egypt-based Ronald Kampamba set the stadium alive with the opener on 47 minutes before Kelvin Kampamba decided the tie with the second eight minutes later.
The Kobs of Uganda completed a double over neighbours with a 2-0 win in Kampala and advance on 4-1 on aggregate. Second half strikes from John Ssemazi and captain Farouk Miya ensured firm up a date with Egypt at the ultimate round.
Visiting Zimbabwe twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with ten-man Swaziland in Lobamba and earn a place at the next round courtesy the away goal rule after a 3-3 tie. Mkhontfo Mxolisi gave the Swazis a first half lead scoring a penalty five minutes before recess.
The Warriors resumed stronger and Philana Kadewere drew level on 56 minutes but the hosts restored the lead four minutes later through Dlamini Saneliso. Ten minutes from time, Swaziland captain Dlamini Sibusiso turned villain after handling in the vital for a penalty that was converted by Tapiwa Pfumbidzai to settle matters.
The top three teams at the final tournament scheduled for 28 November to 12 December in Senegal, will qualify for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Saturday, 30 May 2015
Uganda 2-0 Rwanda (2-1)
Cameroon 1-1 Sierra Leone (0-0)
Mali 3-1 Mauritania (1-1)
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Congo 1-0 (5-4pen) Ghana (0-1)
Sudan 0-2 Tunisia (0-1)
Swaziland 2-2 Zimbabwe (0-0)
Zambia 2-0 Botswana (1-1)
Third round Fixtures
Gabon vs Mali
Nigeria vs Congo
Côte d’Ivoire vs Zambia
Zimbabwe vs South Africa
Algeria vs Sierra Leone
Egypt vs Uganda
Morocco vs Tunisia