CHAN: Nigeria ousted by Guinea, Tunisia run riot against Niger to qualify

By alex wafula
Jan 27, 2016
  • Nigeria's Muhammed Usman is a lone-ranger against Guinea's Mohammed Youla. Guinea won 1-0 to knock out Nigeria. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Tunisia, the 2011 African Nations champions qualified for the quarter finals of the CHAN 2016 by drubbing  a 10-man Niger 5-0 at Nyamirambo Stadium on Tuesday.

The win saw Tunisia top Group C with five points, same as second-placed Guinea. The West Africans beat pre-match favorites Nigeria by a solitary goal to reac te quarters.

Coming into the match, Nigeria were top of the group with four points and needed just a point against Guinea. Niger, Tunisia and Guinea all needed a win to progress.

At the Kigali Regional Stadium in Nyamirambo, Tunisia were in no mood of making errors and took the lead in the fourth minute through Saad Bguir. The winger doubled his tally in the 39th minute for a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Niger were reduced to 10 in the 73rd minute when Youssouf Oumarou was sent to the showers with a straight red card. Ahmed Akaichi struck the third for Tunisia and his fourth of the tournament before Ali Moulul added the fourth and Hamza Mathlouthi completed the rout.

At the Rubavu Stadium near the DR Congo-Rwanda border, the Super Eagles failed to soar high. Their wings were clipped by an Ibrahima Sory Sankhon goal for Guinea.

“We are sorry to Nigerians. We hoped to progress in the tournament and we never expected to exit this way. We played well in the first two games but got unfortunate in the last game, losing very many chances,” Vincent Ezenwa, the Nigerian goalkeeper told Sports News Arena after the match.

Nigeria will only have themselves to blame after losing the match, approaching it with a laid back attitude and failing to bury the chances they get. Guinea were hungrier, played with more punch and were deserved winners.

Curled effort off the mark

Nigeria had an early chance through a Chima Uche freekick in the 18th minute but was wide.

Guinea came to the party and believed they should have had a penalty in the 25th minute after Alimi Jamiu appeared to have handled inside the box but the referee waved play on. They were forced to bring on a substitute after 30 minutes after Alseny Camara Bangoura got injured. He was replaced by  Ibrahim Sory Bangoura.

Guinea came close in the 35th minute from a swift counter attack, Sylla feeding Sankhon, but the ball was poked off his feet by a racing Austin Obaorakpo as he prepared to pull the trigger. Moses Okoro had a brilliant opportunity after weaving into the box from the left, but his eventual shot after cutting in onto his weaker left foot went wide and over.

Unimpressed with how his midfield had handled the game, Sunday Oliseh pulled out Muhammed Usman and brought on Bature Yaro in the 42nd minute. But just two minutes later, Nigeria were trailing. Sankhon finished calmly inside the box after picking up a low cross from Daouda Camara.

Oliseh was forced to bring on his top scorer Elvis Chisom Chikatara at the start of the second period.  The striker had been rested after a slight groin problem, but he was deemed fit for 45 minutes. Chikatara had a chance in the 62nd minute after controlling with his chest a cross from Yaro Bature, but his eventual shot went straight to the Guinea keeper.

Obus Prince had another attempt for Nigeria in the 73rd minute, but his header at the far post from Ukechukwu’s cross was wide. Despite piling pressure, The Super Eagles could not find a way past a resolute Guinea defense.

Tunisia will now meet the second-placed team from Group D while Guinea will meet he winners. The group’s deciders will be on Wednesday with Zambia, Uganda and Mali. Zambia lead the group with six points and will take on second-placed Mali who have four points.

Third-placed Uganda with a point have a slight hope of qualification. Zambia need just a point from their match against Mali. This, will take both sides through to the last eight.

Uganda’s hopes of qualification is if they beat Zimbabwe in their final match and Zambia beats Mali. If both Uganda and Zambia win 1-0, the second-placed team will be decided by a drawing of lots as both Mali and Uganda will have tied on head to head, goal aggregate and goals scored.

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; January 26: Guinea 1 Nigeria 0, Niger 0 Tunisia 5;

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 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