Johannesburg - Stirring Swazi and Namibian comebacks and
Moroccan muscle flexing were 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN)
qualifying highlights at the weekend.
Hosts Swaziland wiped out a two-goal deficit in the first leg
of a preliminary tie to draw 2-2 against Angola with Sabelo Ndzinisa levelling
seven minutes from time.
Namibia came from behind under new coach Ronnie Kanalelo to
edge visiting Zambia 2-1 in another southern Africa showdown.
And an early Mouhcine Iajour goal set up Morocco to maximise
home advantage with a 3-0 triumph over title-holders Libya.
A huge crowd cheered Ethiopia to a 2-0 win over Kenya and
Zimbabwe achieved a similar result at home to the Comoros Islands.
Also read: Super Eagles to face Burkina Faso for CHAN 2016 ticket
Mauritania conceded a late goal and had to settle for a 2-1
victory over Sierra Leone in the regional qualifying competition.
Djibouti held visiting Burundi 1-1 and Lesotho and Botswana
fought a goalless draw in Maseru in other matches.
CHAN games are restricted to home-based players, offering
international exposure to footballers who would otherwise struggle to get
call-ups for squads dominated by foreign-based compatriots.
All qualifiers carry full-international status, caps are
awarded, and the results count toward the monthly FIFA world rankings.
Veteran Swaziland captain Tony Tsabedze turned the tide with
a mid-second half goal after Dario and Ary Papel had struck either side of
half-time for Angola at a packed Lobamba stadium.
Promoted from assistant when Ricardo Mannetti quit just
three days before the Zambia fixture, former Namibia goalkeeper Kanalelo
survived a scare to make a winning debut.
Winstone Kalengo gave the visitors an early lead in Windhoek
that was cancelled by Willy Stephanus and Benjamin Nenkavu snatched the
After Iajour broke the deadlock, Abdelilah Hafidi and
Marouane Saadane scored for Morocco in a surprisingly comfortable victory.
The three North zone contenders for two finals places are
playing a double-round mini-league rather than knockout games and Morocco lead
with four points after the first triangular tournament.
Libya have three points from a 1-0 win over Tunisia, whose
only point came from holding Morocco 1-1 in the opening game.
Aschalew Girma and Gatoch Panom scored for Ethiopia in
northern city Bahir Dar before Kenya wasted a chance to minimise the damage
when Kevin Kimani had a penalty saved.
Tatenda Mudewe netted in the last minute on an artificial
Harare pitch to seal victory for Zimbabwe, whose other goal came early in the
first half via Evans Rusike.
Mauritania were sitting pretty after Aly Abeid and Taghy
Denna scored until five minutes from time when Sierra Leone pulled one goal
back to keep the tie alive.
On-going Ebola epidemic concerns prevent Sierra Leone
playing at home so the return match will also be staged in Nouakchott.
The return match will be staged this weekend with other
second legs scheduled for the first weekend of July.For
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