Libya, Morocco confirm tickets to Kenya

Libya, Morocco confirm tickets to Kenya
18 August 2017 11:37

Libya became the first team to qualify for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Kenya after a 1-1 draw with Algeria in Sfax, joined by Morocco which beat Egypt 3-1 in Rabat both on Friday.

Winners in 2014 in South Africa, the Libyans advanced 3-1 on aggregate, on the wings of a a 2-1 win in the first leg in Constantine last week. It is the third time, after the maiden edition in 2009 that the Mediterranean Knights have qualified for the finals of the competition designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues.

Despite hosting the game in the Tunisian city of Sfax due to the political instability back home, the Libyan side dominated by players of Total CAF Champions League 2017 quarter finalists, Ahly Tripoli, gave a good account of themselves against a very determined Algerian team, who made clear their intent from the start.

‘Les Fennecs’, whose fourth position at the 2011 edition in Sudan remains their only participation in the biennial championship, deservingly took the lead on 23 minutes through Sofiane Bendebeka. The MC Alger midfielder slammed home after Libya goalie Mohamed Nashnush spilled Abdelraouf Benguit’s shot his way.

Ahly Tripoli youngster, Muaid Ellafi, scorer of the winner in the previous fixture was on hand to haunt the Algerians yet again, netting the equalizer on the stroke of half time.

The second half was a balanced affair with the Libyans surviving onslaughts by the Algerians coupled with superb saves from Nashnush.

Elsewhere in Rabat, an improved second half performance from Morocco prolonged Egypt’s much awaited debut at the finals to the next edition. Defender Jawad El Yamiq’s header from Abdelilah Hafidi’s well-taken free-kick gave the Atlas Lions the lead on 50 minutes.

Three minutes later, Abderrahim Makran added the second before Badr Boulhroude converted a penalty on 69 minutes to take the game beyond the Egyptians, gifted a consolation after an own goal by defender Hamza Semmoumy five minutes from time.
The Moroccans went through 4-2 on aggregate to make a hat-trick of qualifications for the finals after 2014 and 2016 in South Africa and Rwanda respectively.

The 12 other finalists will be decided at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the final tournament will take place from 12 January to 4 February 2018 in Kenya.

Fixtures
Central Zone
19.08.2017 Kinshasa DR Congo vs Congo (0-0)
19.08.2017 Yaounde Cameroon vs Sao Tome (2-0)

Central-East Zone
19.08.2017 Kigali Rwanda vs Uganda (0-3)
19.08.2017 El Obeid Sudan vs Ethiopia (1-1)

North Zone
18.08.2017 Sfax Libya 1-1 Algeria (2-1)
18.08.2017 Rabat Morocco 3-1 Egypt (1-1)

South Zone
19.08.2017 Ndola Zambia vs South Africa (2-2)
19.08.2017 Luanda Angola vs Madagascar (0-0)
20.08.2017 Windhoek Namibia vs Comoros (1-2)

West A Zone
19.08.2017 Bamako Mali vs Mauritania (2-2)
22.08.2017 Conakry Guinea vs Senegal (1-3)

West B Zone
20.08.2017 Kumasi Ghana vs Burkina Faso (2-2)
19.08.2017 Kano Nigeria vs Benin (0-1)
19.08.2017 Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire vs Niger (1-2)

Photo: frmf.ma

Media

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