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Stirring CHAN comebacks for Swaziland, Namibia

22 June 2015, 17:19

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 match-winner.

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.

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