CHAN: Cameroon sets up Ivory Coast date, Congo books hosts Rwanda

By alex wafula
Jan 25, 2016
  • Ethiopia striker Haile Mulualem attempts to outwit Angola defenders Domingos Silvano and Nelson Sumbo Fonseca. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Cameroon topped Group B of the 2016 African Nations championships by beating pre-match favorites DR Congo 3-1 in the final group match played at the Huye Stadium on Monday evening.

They will meet Ivory Coast who finished second in Group A in an all West African affair. Second-placed  DR Congo have a date with hosts Rwanda in the other quarter final.

In the other Group B match played played at the same time, both Ethiopia and Angola bowed out of the tournament after Angola won 2-1. Ethiopia had a slim chance of qualifying, but this depended on Cameroon’s result against Congo and whether they could beat Angola.

With the Indomitable Lions winning in Huye and the Stadium announcer at Amahoro belting out they were leading 2-1, Ethiopia’s fighting spirit was dampened.

“Obviously it was going to be difficult and we said we would play for pride. We did well, despite losing and there is a lot we have learnt from this match to take back home. We leave heads high,” Sahle assured after the loss.

In this match, Ethiopia needed to show initiative. They still kept to their short passing game but this time added a little punch.

Tesfaye Abelachew had Ethiopia’s first knock on Angola’s goal with a 13th minute shot that was off target. The Walia Antelopes were almost caught in the 26th minute when Abelachew lost the ball in midfield to Adriano Belmiro.

The dreadlocked midfielder picked up Jacinto Muondo at the edge of the box, but the latter’s shot at goal went wide.

Close miss for Ethiopia

Ethiopia had their first shot on target in the 34th minute Behailu Assefa shooting straight to Dominique’s arms. Four minutes to halftime, Ramkel Lok broke on the left before dipping in a cross to the far post but Assefa could not get a touch on it despite throwing his body to the ball.

In the second half, Angola came back from the dressing room a different side. Nelson Sumbo had an attempt in the 51st minute, controlling a pass from Adriano with his chest but his attempt with an overhead kick from the edge of the area missed the target.

They exerted pressure and finally broke the deadlock in the 54th minute through Manuel David Afonso. The striker tapped in from close range after shaking off Asechalew Tamene to pick up a Jacinto Muondo pass.

Ethiopia sought to make quick amends and skipper Seyoum Tesfaye had his shot saved by the keeper in the 67th minute. Ethiopia had built up a wonderful team move, Tesfaye picking up the ball at the edge of the box from a lovely Eliyas Mamo backheel.

As they sent bodies forward, the Walya Antelopes were caught on the counter, Afonso tapping in his second with a nifty touch into the near post from a Regio Francisco low cross in the 73rd minute.

Two minutes later, Ethiopia pulled one back through Tesfaye, the skipper shooting into the roof of the net from a lovely chip from Asrat Mergesa.

At the Huye Stadium, Florent Ibenge, the DRC coach made nine changes to the side that won against Angola in their last match. He paid the prize. Yazid Atouba opened the scores in the 40th minute for Cameroon before Jean Marc Makusu levelled straight after the break.

Weakened DR Congo side

But Cameroon were determined to top the group against a weakened Congolese side and had every reason to be adventurous. Moumi Nicolas Brice picked up a brace in the 51st and 63rd minutes, ensuring Cameroon finish top.

Tuesday will be Group C’s turn to determine the two sides to qualify for the quarters. Currently, Nigeria’s Super Eagles top the group with four points and will be facing second-placed Guinea who have two.

Third-placed Tunisia who are also on two points will be at the Regional Stadium in Nyamirambo, taking on bottom side Niger.

Arithmetically any side can qualify. Nigeria hope to finish top of the group top and will go all out for a win against Guinea. Tunisia must win to advance if Guinea doesn’t pick a result against Nigeria.

A scenario that would see Niger qualify would be if they beat Tunisia and Nigeria beats or draws against Guinea.

Groups and Results

Group A: Rwanda, Gabon, Morocco, Ivory Coast

January 16: Rwanda 1 Ivory Coast 0, Gabon 0 Morocco 0; January 20: Rwanda 2 Gabon 1, Morocco 0 Ivory Coast 1; January 24; Morocco 4 Rwanda 1, Ivory Coast 4 Gabon 1;

Group B: DR Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia

January 17: DR Congo 3 Ethiopia 0, Angola 0 Cameroon 1; January 21; DR Congo 4 Angola 2, Ethiopia 0 Cameroon 0; January 25; Ethiopia 1 Angola 2, Cameroon 3 DR Congo 1;

Group C: Tunisia, Nigeria, Niger, Guinea

January 18: Tunisia 2 Guinea 2, Nigeria 4 Niger 1; January 21; Nigeria 1 Tunisia 1, Guinea 2 Niger 2;

Group D: Zimbabwe, Mali, Uganda, Zambia

January 19: Zimbabwe 0 Zambia 1, Mali 2 Uganda 2; January 23: Zimbabwe 0 Mali 1, Uganda 0 Zambia 1;

Remaining Fixtures

January 26: Guinea v Nigeria (Rubavu), Niger v Tunisia (Nyamirambo)

January 27: Zambia v Mali (Nyamirambo), Uganda v Zimbabwe (Amahoro)

January 30: Quarter finals; Match 25. A1 v B2 (Amahoro), Match 26. B1 v A2 (Huye);

January 31: Quarter finals; C1 v D2 (Amahoro); D1 v C2 (Rubavu)

February 3: Semi finals; Winner 25 v Winner 28

February 4: Winner 27 v Winner 26

February 8: Play off, Final