CHAN 2016 - Leopards do it, again

DR Congo CHAN  Champions 2016

The 2016 African Nations Championship was the fourth edition of CHAN. It took place in Rwanda from 16 January to 7 February 2016 with sixteen (16) teams taking place in the finals. Forty-two (42) teams played in the qualifiers that were played on Zonal basis.

The finals saw the sixteen teams divided on four groups. Group A had the hosts Rwanda with Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Morocco. Group B included Angola, Cameroon, DR Congo and Ethiopia, while Group C had Guinea, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia. Group D included Mali, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Hosts Rwanda opened the tournament with a remarkable 1-0 victory over Cote d’Ivoire. Both teams went on to qualify from Group A on six points each. Cameroon and DR Congo reached the quarterfinals from Group B, while Tunisia and Guinea finished on five points each to qualify from Group C. Zambia and Mali joined the quarterfinals pack from Group D.

CHAN 2016 DR CONGO

In the last eight, DR Congo scored in extra-time to defeat hosts Rwanda 2-1. Extra-time was needed again, this time by Cote d’Ivoire to beat Cameroon 3-0. Mali came from a goal down to beat Tunisia 2-1, while Guinea prevailed 5-4 on penalties against Zambia after a barren stalemate in full and extra time.

After a goalless draw in full time, DR Congo and Guinea scored in extra-time, but the game was decided on penalties as The Leopards won 5-4 to reach the final. Mali scored two minutes from time to beat Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 and join them. Cote d’Ivoire finished third, beating Guinea 2-1.

DR Congo were crowned as Champions for the second time (after maiden edition triumph in 2009), defeating Mali 3-0 in the final. Meschak Elia brace and Jonathan Bolingi’s strike meant The Leopards became the first (and only to the moment) team to bag two CHAN titles.