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Review – Senegal, Morocco win World Cup warm-ups as Ghana fall to Brazil

The African representatives at the beckoning 2022 Qatar World Cup registered  mixed results in their warm-up matches over the weekend.

Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia won their matches while Ghana and Cameroon suffered defeats in the first of two matches to be played by all the sides representing the continent at the global tournament.

Reigning African champions Senegal defeated Bolivia 2-0 at the Stade de la Source in the French town of Orleans on Saturday night.

Boulaye Dia and Sadio Mane scored in the first half to secure the Teranga Lions victory at the Stade de la Source to maintain their impressive recent form.

Despite dominating the second-half, the West Africans could not convert the decent scoring opportunities to extend their lead.

However, the match served its purpose for Senegal who will face hosts Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands in Group A of the World Cup.

Morocco also won their World Cup warm-up match a day earlier as they defeated Chile 2-0 at the RCDE stadium in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Soufiane Boufal opened the scoring after converting a 66th minute penalty before Abdelhamid Sabiri sealed the victory with 12 minutes remaining to give coach Walid Regragui a winning start in his tenure as the Atlas Lions coach.

The game also marked the return of striker Hakim Ziyech following a nine-month absence to boost the squad who will play Croatia, Belgium and Canada in Group F at the World Cup.

Kuwait-based forward Taha Yassine Khenissi scored the only goal for Tunisia who beat Comoros 1-0 in Paris on Thursday night.

The Carthage Eagles toiled before breaking down the defence of their opponents who excelled at their maiden appearance at the recent TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.

“We played against an opponent who proved again to be a top side as shown during the last Nations Cup, an opponent with quality, good potential and squad,” Tunisia coach Jalel Kadri said after the match.

“After a difficult first half, we found our rhythm. The quality of the pitch prevented both teams from playing free-flowing football, but we are satisfied with the team’s continuous growth by keeping a winning trend going.

“We also achieved our objective to see a lot of players involved in order to give them game time on the pitch before the World Cup.”

Tunisia will turn their attention to their high-profile friendly against Brazil on Tuesday as they prepare to play France, Australia and Denmark in Group D of the World Cup.

The five-time world champions proved their worth on Friday night as they defeated Ghana 3-0 in a friendly as both sides prepared for the 2022 World Cup.

Three first-half goals by the Selecao in the French city of Le Havre helped them to continue their dominance over the Black Stars.

Marquinhos scored first before Richarlison’s brace helped the South Americans to the victory over the four-time African champions who play Nicaragua on Tuesday.

Meanwhile five-time African champions Cameroon also suffered a defeat as they were beaten 2-0 by Uzbekistan with former France youth international Bryan Mbeumo making his debut for the Indomitable Lions.

Russia-based duo Hojimat Erkinov and Oston Urunov scored to help the Asians overcome the Africans at Goyang Stadium in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

The game marked the return of influential defender Nicolas Nkoulou to the national team after a five-year absence following the reversal of his international retirement decision.

Cameroon, the first African side to reach the World Cup quarter-finals, will play Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland in Group G of the global tournament.

CAF Communication Department 

CHAN Algeria 2022: Qualified teams revealed

NORTH ZONE: Algeria, Morocco, Libya

In addition to Algeria qualified as hosts of the tournament, Morocco and Libya will take part in the CHAN as UNAF representatives. Both the Atlas Lions and the Mediterranean Knights participated in the 2020 edition held in Cameroon and Morocco were crowned champions.

WEST A ZONE: Senegal, Mali, Mauritania

By beating (PSO 5-3) Guinea who was considered as their “bête noire” after having deprived them of 2016, 2018 and 2020 finals, Senegal return to the CHAN 11 years later. During the first leg of the last qualifying round, Pape Thiaw’s colts had won narrowly 1-0. The same score was recorded in the return leg, this time in favour of Guinea, and Senegal had to wait for the fateful penalty shootout to qualify.

Mali and Mauritania will be part of the Algerian party thanks to clear victories in the second round of the qualifiers. Reigning runners-up Mali overcame Sierra Leone 2-1 and 2-0 (in the return leg: goals by Samabali 35′ and Sinayoko 59′); while Mauritania dominated Guinea-Bissau 2-0 on aggregate after narrow 1-0 victories in both legs.

WEST B ZONE: Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Ghana

Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Ghana each secured a slot to the final tournament in Algeria. In the highly anticipated derby, Ghana and Nigeria played to a draw (2-0, 0-2) and had to go to a penalty shootout 5-4 in favour of the Black Galaxies.

There was also a close encounter between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. The two teams could only manage to draw and go home empty-handed. It was the penalty shoot-out that decided the match. 5-3 in favour of Côte d’Ivoire.

Things were easier for Niger who lost 1-0 in the first leg against Togo before winning at home 3-1 thanks to goals from Boubacar Soumana, Adamou Garba and Moussa Issa. The Togolese goal was scored by Bilali Akoro in the 48th minute.

CENTRAL ZONE: Cameroon, Congo, DR Congo

Forced to play their first leg away from home, CAR won 2-1 in Brazzaville before losing 1-0 in the return leg. Congo took advantage of the away goal to qualify.

A week ago in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea beat Cameroon 1-0 but could not hold on to that score. In the return match on Sunday in Garoua, Equatorial Guinea fell to Cameroon 2-0 with goals from Kaiba Djawal (43′) and Souaibou (46′).

At the Martyrs Stadium complex in Kinshasa on Sunday, the Democratic Republic of Congo thrashed Chad 5-0. In the first leg, DRC had already dominated their opponent with a score of 2-1.

CENTRAL-EAST ZONE: Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia

After a goalless draw in the first leg, Ethiopia won 1-0 against Rwanda to earn their place.

At St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, Uganda won 3-0, having beaten Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg.

And finally, between Djibouti and Sudan, the latter won 7-3 on aggregate. With 4-1 and 3-2 wins.

SOUTH ZONE: Mozambique, Angola and Madagascar

Angola dominated South Africa 2-0 in the first leg and 4-1 in the second leg at Dobsonville Stadium to secure their place for Algeria 2022.

Madagascar have supplanted Botswana. After a 1-0 win in the first leg, the Barea only needed a 1-1 draw in the second leg to secure the precious ticket to Algeria 2022.

Elsewhere, Malawi and Mozambique played out a 1-1 and 0-0 draw in both matches. The difference was made thanks to Mozambique’s away goal in the first leg.

CAF Communication Team