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The weekend’s first leg matches of the final round of the qualifiers for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020 was headlined by surprising results which puts some big forces in a tight corner.

Surprises were aplenty in the West B Zone, where Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo recorded wins over Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria respectively. There were also setbacks for Tanzania and Ethiopia beaten at home by Sudan and Rwanda in the Central-East Zone.

The second leg matches take place next month, and it is all tall order for some established teams as far as the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues is concerned.

Central Zone

DR Congo, champions of maiden edition in 2009 and six years later in Rwanda took a giant step towards making a return after missing out on the last edition, beating Central African Republic 2-0 away in Bangui. Joel Beya and Jackson Muleka scored in either half for Les Leopards.

Elsewhere in Malabo, Congo came from two goals down to hold host Equatorial Guinea 2-2. A brace from Pedro gave the Equatoguineans the lead by 25 minutes before Congo responded through Mignon Etou before the break. Yann Mokombo levelled seven minutes from time.

Central-East Zone

Striker Ernest Sugira netted the only goal as Rwanda silenced Ethiopia away in Mekelle just as Sudan humbled Tanzania by a similar result in Dar es Salaam. Earlier on Saturday, Uganda put three past Burundi away in Bujumbura thanks to strikes from Viane Sekajugo, Muzamiru Mutyaba and Mustafa Kizza.

North Zone

Holders Morocco began the journey towards a defence of their title by holding Algeria to a barren draw in Blida, whilst Anis Badri’s second half header powered 2011 champions Tunisia past Libya in Tunis.

South Zone

Amity Shamende left it late as visiting Zambia beat Eswatini 1-0 in Manzini, just as Solofoniaina Andrinirina scored a stoppage time winner for Madagascar against Namibia in Mahamasina.

West A Zone

Mauritania and Mali played out a barren draw in Nouakchott whilst Assane Mbodj scored three minutes from time to hand Senegal a lone goal victory over Guinea in Thies.

West B Zone

For the second successive time, Burkina Faso beat in Kumasi confirming their status as a bogey side for their neighbours with a lone goal win. Les Etalons, who eliminated the Black Stars in the race for the 2018 edition, had the only through Yannick Pognongo in stoppage time.

In Lome, Togo went ruthless past losing finalists in 2018, Nigeria, with a 4-1 win. Nigeria went up on 11 minutes through Ibrahim Sunisi before a brace from Richard Nane and one each from Marouf Tchakei and Ashraf Agoro completed a comeback.

Halidou Idrissa and Abdul Aziz Ibrahim scored in either half as Niger put Cote d’Ivoire to the sword in Niamey.

Source: cafonline

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