Monday , October 3 2022

2023 African Nations Championship first round qualifiers wrap!

Matches counting for the first round of qualifiers for the 2023 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship, have wrapped up across the continent.

Ethiopia and Malawi were the biggest winners of the first round, following their big aggregate wins over South Sudan and Zimbabwe respectively. Ethiopia recorded a five-zero aggregate win over their South Sudanese counterparts. The away game had ended zero all, but Ethiopia fired five goals without a reply in the return game, to set up a clash against Rwanda in the Second round of Qualifiers.

Tanzania defeated Somalia both home and away, to go through 3-1 on aggregate, and will face Uganda in the next phase.

Djibouti needed penalty shoot out to separate them from Burundi. The latter had won the first leg two goals to one, but Djibouti also recorded a similar 2#1 win in the return game, and went ahead to win 4-2 on penalties. Djibouti will now meet Sudan in the second round of Qualifiers.

In the West Zone A qualifiers, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau progressed to the next phase of qualifiers, following wins over Liberia, Cape Verde and Gambia respectively. Senegal had beaten Liberia 3-0 at the Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex in the first leg. Though they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home in the return game, the local Terenga lions went through, and will face Guinea in the second round.

Sierra Leone won 2-0 in the first leg, but went through despite Cape Verde winning the return game two_one. Sierra Leone are now paired to face the runners up of the 2020 edition, Mali. Guinea Bissau on their part defeated Gambia 5#3 on penalties to book a bet against Mauritania. Both Guinea Bissau and Gambia had won each leg by an identical 1-0 scoreline.

In the West Zone B, Ghana recorded a four-nil aggregate win over Benin. The home based Black Stars won 3-0 at home and 1-0 away, to set up a second round clash against Nigeria.

In the other results, Angola ousted Mauritius three_zero on aggregate, South Africa narrowly escaped Comoros 1-0 on aggregate, while Botswana needed the away goal rule to go past Eswatini. Botswana were held to a zero all tie at home, but the return game at the Orlando Stadium (home to Eswatini), ended two goals either way.

Madagascar scored four goals as compared to none from the Seychelles in both legs, to sail through, as Malawi eliminated Zimbabwe on a 6-0 goal aggregate.

Mozambique shocked Zambia at the National heroes stadium in Lusaka. Both sides had played a zero all tie in the away game at the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto, but Pachoio Lau Ha King scored the lone goal for Mozambique in the return game as Zambia bowed out in front of their home crowd.

The first leg second round matches will take place from August 26 to 28, with the second leg coming up between September 2 to 4.

Countries like Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Chad, DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Sudan,will make their entry, after standby in the previous round

The 2023 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship will be hosted by Algeria, who are automatically qualified for the competition.

Morocco and Libya, under the North zone (UNAF), are also qualified for the 2023 event.

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