This weekend sees teams vying to take part in the second edition of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), to take place in Sudan, play one another in the eliminatory rounds. Fifteen other nations will join the host for the finals of the competition.
The second edition of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), a tournament reserved for African players plying their trade in the continent kicks off this weekend.
The stiff-torn Sudan will host the finals next year but that race to be part of the expanded tourney – 16 nations up from just 8 last year — begins Saturday.
Fifteen other nations will join the host during the finals of the competition.
DR Congo are the current champions after beating Ghana 2-0 in the final in Ivory Coast.
At full international level, players from the various leagues in Africa have been overlooked for their compatriots who star in the leagues in Europe and other overseas countries.
Interesting games are on this weekend and as usual coaches are playing mind games.
Botswana square of with South Africa and coach Stanley Tshosane has told his players “to stand up and be counted”.
Tshosane said he hopes the match will mark the beginning of the Zebras revival process following the team’s poor 2010 Africa Cup qualifying run.
“You know what I can say is we are rebuilding after we failed to qualify for the 2010 AFCON in Angola,” Tshosane is quoted saying.
“We have phased out the old team and the new one is dominated by Under-20 and Under-23 players. I have seen they have shown great improvement although we haven’t played any big friendly matches and I hope they show the same spirit against South Africa.”
Swaziland’s South Africa-born coach, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba, has also warned Zimbabwe that Sunday’s qualifier in Mbabane will not be an easy game for them.
“I have known Zimbabwe very well for some time now, since I won our first COSAFA Cup in 2002 with South Africa as coach,” said Mashaba.
“Zimbabwe may have the advantage, but that does not mean it will be a walk in the park for them. It is going to be a humdinger”, he said.
Last year, Swaziland’s CHAN qualifying campaign ended at the hands of another regional giant, Zambia, in the preliminary rounds.
Swaziland drew 1-1 with Zambia in the first leg at home before losing 3-0 in Lusaka to bow out 4-1 on aggregate.
In Malawi, the country’s soccer governing body has reduced tickets price to attract huge crowd. Malawi takes on Mozambique at Kamuzu Stadium.
A youthful Madagascar team, with an average age of 22 years takes on Angola. Media reports say Madagascar is hoping for a dream victory.
Team coach, Frank Rajaonarisamba said “The Angolan side is a big team and they proved it recently at the Africa Cup of Nations, but without their professionals the Malagasy players hope to beat them.”
Madagascar once beat Angola (1-0) at the quarter final of the COSAFA Cup two years ago.
Algeria vs Libya
Tunisia vs Morocco
Guinea vs Mali
Senegal vs Sierra Leone
Togo vs Ivory Coast
Burkina Faso vs Ghana
Niger vs Nigeria
Congo vs Cameroon
Gabon vs DR Congo
Burundi – Uganda
Botswana vs South Africa
Seychelles vs Namibia
Madagascar vs Angola
Swaziland vs Zimbabwe
Malawi vs Mozambique