Johannesburg - There was no happy homecoming for Liberia at
the weekend as a 1-1 draw with Guinea spelt elimination from 2016 African
Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying.
The west African nation had been barred from hosting
international football for more than a year because of the Ebola epidemic,
which the World Health Organization estimates has claimed 11,200-plus lives in
Liberia was declared Ebola-free two months ago and Guinea
were the first national team to visit since.
When prevented from playing in Monrovia, Liberian national
teams and clubs fulfilled home fixtures at neutral venues or the ground of their
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg of a preliminary tie two
weeks ago, Liberia took the lead in Monrovia when Vitalis Sieh converted a
Also read: International football returns to Liberia after Ebola scare
But Alseny Camara levelled just before the hour to give
Guinea an ultimately comfortable passage into the final qualifying round of a
competition for home-based footballers.
Guinea, who failed to reach the three previous CHAN
tournaments, play Senegal during October for a place at the finals in Rwanda.
Ismael Kone and Abdoulaye Sissoko scored in the final 15
minutes to earn Mali a 3-1 home victory over Guinea-Bissau, and a first-round
date with Mauritania.
Malam Fati put the visitors ahead on the day and on
aggregate after a drawn first leg and Boubacar Diarra equalised before
South Africa completed a double over lowly Mauritius with a
2-0 victory in Belle Vue on the Indian Ocean island.
Mauritian boasts that they would wipe out a 3-0 first-leg
loss never looked like materialising, although the visitors took time to
William Twala rattled the woodwork during the second half
before Mandla Masango broke the deadlock with a free-kick that was deflected
past goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis.
Defender Wandisile Letlabika was rewarded for a forceful
burst down the middle when he scored the second goal six minutes from time.
Angola promise to be tougher opponents for South Africa in
the next round.
Seeds Burundi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia
and Zimbabwe were other aggregate winners while Lesotho upset Botswana.For
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