DOUALA, 25 January 2021 – DR Congo and Congo-Brazzaville qualified Monday for the quarterfinals of the 2020 African National Champtionship ongoing in The Cameroons.
DR Congo finished at the top of Group B with seven points from two wins and one draw, followed by Congo-Brazzaville, with four points from today’s win and one draw.
A last minute goal by striker Obenza gave DR Congo a two-one victory against Niger, after both sides were expecting the referee to blow the final whistle any moment, sanctioning a one-one draw.
DR Congo’s Kabangu scored first, at the 27th minute of play on the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, capital of French-speaking Cameroon.
Niger refused to let go and where nicely rewarded at the 73rd minute of play, when striker, Moussa, equalized.
The disappointment weighs heavy on Niger, who would have qualified for the quarter finals had they held on, and successfully forced DR Congo to share points.
Instead, Niger lost concentration with no more minutes left on the clock and paid dearly.
In the other match played on the Japoma Stadium in Douala, economic capital of French-speaking Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville’s Ngouonimba scored the only goal of the game at the 50th minute to give the Red Devils of Congo-Brazzaville victory and, in the process, eliminate Libya.
Going into Monday’s matches, most bookmakers saw Congo-Brazzaville (then with only one point) packing up their bags and leaving the tournament before the quarter finals.
Instead, Congo-Brazzaville lifted themselves from the rock bottom position of the league table they held in Group B.
They finished the last day in stye, with four points to their credit, ranked second in the final standings, and qualified for the quarter finals of the tournament.
Both Libya and Niger, who had the favors of bookmakers before Monday’s matches, leave the tournament with two points each.
Burkina Faso, Namibia and Zimbabwe are the three other teams that had already been eliminated.
In upcoming action, the last two games of Group C are scheduled for Tuesday.
Defending champions, Morocco, will take on Uganda on the refurbished Reunification Stadium in Douala.
Togo will face Rwanda in the other game of the day on the Centenary Stadium in Victoria-Limbe, in English-speaking Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia.
Mali qualified Monday at the top of Group A with seven points from two wins and one draw.
Hosts, Cameroon, placed in the runners-up position behind Mali, two points behind the Group Champs, from one win and two draws.
Cameroon won hosting rights for CHAN2020 belatedly, on 13 April 2019, after Ethiopia withdrew.
The tournament was originally scheduled to hold from 4 to 25 April 2019.
Unlike the African Cup of Nations, CHAN2020 features only players affiliated to domestic teams in the 16 countries participating in the tournament and split into four groups playing in three cities across French-speaking Cameroon and English-speaking Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia.