Sudan defeated Zambia 1-0 in their 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) quarter-final clash on Saturday in Morocco, with Malik Saifeldin’s first-half strike proving to be the difference between the teams.
The win at the Marrakech Stadium saw the Falcons of Jediane advancing into the final four to play in the second semi-final on Wednesday against either Nigeria or Angola.
The teams took a while to find their feet in the match, though Sudan definitely looked threatening through the likes of Malik Saifeldin, Mohamed Hashim and Abdelraheem Maaz.
The Falcons of Jediane duly claimed the lead in the 32nd minute when some poor defending from Chipolopolo handed Saifeldin a sight of goal.
He then got the better of goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata to put his side 1-0 up.
Hashim very nearly forced an own goal out of Zambian defender John Mwengani in the opening minutes of the second half as Sudan picked up where they left off in the first.
However, Zambia soon went on the attack when coach Wedson Nyirenda replaced Mwengani with midfielder Jackson Chirwa, giving the Southern Africans some extra fluency in their build-ups.
On 66 minutes a low cross from Martin Phiri picked out substitute Friday Samu.
But his glancing effort hit the outside of the near post as Zambia continued to search for a way back into the game.
Yet that was as good as it got for Chipolopolo, who were unable to find a way back into the game and exit the tournament in the quarter-finals for the second successive time.
Mahrez hands Algeria 2019 AFCON ticket
Riyad Mahrez scored two stunning goals as former winners Algeria qualified for next year’s African Nations Cup finals on Sunday, with Guinea, Mauritania and the Ivory Coast also sealing their places.
Mahrez struck twice in the opening half hour as Algeria, who won the continental title in 1990, sped into a three-goal lead away against Togo before eventually winning 4-1.
The victory pushed them to top place in Group D.
Mauritania qualified for the first time from Group I as they came from a goal down to beat Botswana 2-1 in Nouakchott with Ismael Diakite scoring an 84th minute winner.
Guinea qualified without kicking a ball several hours before their Group H game against Cote d’Ivoire in Conakry, when Rwanda and the Central African Republic drew 2-2 in Kigali.
Guinea then went on to win the group with a 1-1 home draw.
The Ivorians got the point they needed for qualification when Jean-Michael Seri equalised Mohamed Yattara’s early goal for the hosts.
Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Zimbabwe all missed out on a chance to book their berths.
Burkina Faso were beaten 2-1 in Angola while captain Willam Jebor scored the only goal as Liberia checked Zimbabwe 1-0 in Monrovia.
Tanzania lost 1-0 away in Lesotho, who won a rare competitive international with a header from tall centre back Nkau Lerotholi.
2012 champions Zambia were eliminated from the race in Group K as they went down in Maputo to Mozambique with Reginaldo’s 63rd minute goal separating the two teams.
Jordan Ayew scored twice as he and his brother Dede returned to the Ghana team for the first time in a year to help beat Ethiopia 2-0 away in Group F.
The derby between Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo ended 1-1 in Brazzaville, keeping both sides’ chances alive in Group G.
The top two teams in the 12 groups qualify except Group B which includes already-qualified tournament hosts Cameroon, where Morocco have made sure of the lone slot.
Egypt, Madagascar, Senegal and Tunisia all booked their place last month while Mali, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda were added to the list on Saturday.
The rest of the 24-team line-up will be decided in the final round of qualifying in March.
AFCON 2019: Buhari hails Super Eagles
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Cameroon in June 2019.
The Eagles secured their ticket following the 1-1 draw against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Johannesburg Saturday.
The Super Eagles now led the Group E, with ten points. South Africs are second with nine points but have a difficult last game to play away to Libya who are third with seven points.
Either of the two teams can pick the last ticket of the group to Cameroon. South Africa need a draw, and Libya a win.
President joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in commending the Super Eagles for their spirited and disciplined performance against a very formidable opponent which earned them qualification with the final match against Seychelles a mere formality.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, the media adviser, President Buhari has keenly followed the senior national football team’s progress in the qualifying stages.
“President Buhari is enthused by their confidence, sense of patriotism and professionalism, and commends these attributes to other Nigerians.
“He equally commends the coaching crew, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Supporters Club, especially Nigerians residing in South Africa who turned out in great numbers to cheer the players, for a job well-done, and assures them of the unflinching support of the Federal Government going forward.
“The President wishes the young Nigerian football ambassadors more successes as they prepare for the AFCON tournament in Cameroon,” Adesina added.
250 golfers set to participate in Lagos Golf Open
No fewer than 260 golfers from across the country will converge on the Ikoyi Club 1968 for the 57th edition of the prestigious Lagos Amateur Golf Open.
Folake Ani-Mumuney, the Head of Marketing /Corporate Communications, First Bank (FBN) PLC, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.
The event is scheduled for Nov. 16 to Nov. 18.
Ani-Mumuney explained that the tournament was not just a competition, but a tradition that FBN was honoured to be part of for 57 years.
“Our identification with the competition is in line with the promotion of talents that fly the green and white colours of Nigeria beyond the shores of the country.
“We recently signed an endorsement deal with a 17-year Georgia Oboh, who has set her sight on playing on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) circuit, who will be participating in this edition.
“With this, she will be the youngest African female golfer to have reached the milestone of playing a minimum of 20 tournaments annually,” said Ani-Mumuney.
She added that the three-day Championship, open to registered members of the Golf club with handicap of 14 or below, would be concluded with a grand finale and award ceremony.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Championship, which made its debut 57years ago, has also sired professional golfers like Sunday Okpe, Willy Gift, Oche Odoh, the number one golfer in the country, among others.
NAN also reports that Samuel Amadi and J. Ajiboye hold the record title of highest winners of the Champion Trophy, with five trophies each. Ajiboye won in 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1979.
Amadi won the trophy in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2007 and 2010, while in 2014 and 2015, Monday Eze and Uche Eze won the coveted title respectively.
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