EXCLUSIVE: Decisive weekend for CHAN 2016 hopefuls
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A NUMBER of countries that won their opening matches for the CAF 2017 African Nations Championship (CHAN) are tipped to progress to the next stage while others face an uphill task.
Among the highlights of the preliminary rounds is an East African Derby pitting Kenya and Ethiopia with the former expected to sail through after an impressive 2-0 away win in Addis Ababa in the first leg two weeks ago.
Down south, Bafana Bafana , as South Africa are know, are also heavily favoured to progress to the next round with the second leg against minnows Mauritius seeming a mere formality after they won three-nil at home a fortnight ago.
The 2014 hosts are sure to finish the job when they travel to Mauritius for the return leg.
South Africa’s neighbours Zimbabwe are also on course.
In the first leg in Harare two weeks ago, the 2014 semifinalists beat Comoros 2-0.
A close contest is however set for Botswana where the Zebras host visiting Lesotho in the back of a goalless draw in Maseru two weeks ago.
The highlight of this round of fixtures is arguably the match pitting a resurgent Namibia and hosts Zambia.
The first leg finished 2-1 in favour of the visitors but they have in recent weeks proven a hoodoo team for the Zambians, whom they deposed as Southern African champions last month.
Elsewhere, in another encounter expected to produce fireworks, Guinea Bissau play Mali having drawn 1-1 in the first tie in Guinea Bissau.
Uganda are firm favourites to qualify against Tanzania, having won the first leg 3-0 away. Mozambique are also in control after hammering Seychelles 5-1 in the first encounter.
Senegal have one foot in the next stage ahead of a second leg match against Gambia, leading 3-1.
Politically-troubled Burundi are square with Djibouti at one-all while Mauritania carry a slender 2-1 lead on a trip to Sierra Leone.
The CHAN features locally-based players.
Rwanda will host the next edition in 2016 while Libya are the defending champions.
– CAJ News
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