• Defending champions Morocco and Rwanda both came from behind to secure the first two spots in group C after impressive wins over Uganda and Togo respectively.
By Beng Emmaneul
Defending African Nations Championship (CHAN) champions Morocco boosted their chances to retain the trophy with a resounding 5-2 win against the Cranes of Uganda at the Reunification Stadium in Douala and sealed their qualification for the quarter-finals of the 2020 CHAN.
The East Africans ignited the surge of goals when Ibrahim Orit opened the scoring at the 25th minute before Morocco’s captain Ayoub El Kaabi levelled scores deep into extra-time of the first half.
Soufiane Rahimi powered the Intermediate Atlas Lions of Morocco in front just after the second half resumed while Hamza El Moussa scored a third to inflict more pain on Uganda who were under increasing pressure after conceding again.
Ayoub El Kaabi then turned to a provider to assist Soufiane Rahimi who scored a brace for a fourth. Saidi Kyeyune tried to inspire Uganda to a fight back with a late goal but Charles Lukwango’s own goals at stoppage time condemned the Cranes to their second defeat in the tournament.
It is the fifth time in a row that Uganda have failed to reach the knock-out stage of the CHAN. They have featured in all editions of the tournament except during the inaugural edition in 2009.
At the Limbe Omnisport Stadium, Rwanda recorded their first win at the 2020 African Nations Championship and qualified for their second quarterfinal of the competition reserved exclusively for local based players.
The Amavubi Stars came from behind twice to edge debutants Togo 3-2 to enable them join Morocco to qualify from the group. It is their second quarter-final since hosting the CHAN in 2016.
Rwanda’s Emery Bayisenge – who replaced injured Thierry Manzi only after eight (8) minutes assisted Olivier Niyonzima cancel out Richard Nane’s first half opener.
Togo regained their lead with a 58th minute goal from Bilal Akoro but Jacques Tuyisenge scored two minutes later to put both sides level before super-sub Ernest Sugira scored the winner.
Morocco and Rwanda join host Cameroon, Mali, DR Congo and Congo Republic in the quarterfinals. They will both know their next opponents today when the last two quarterfinal spots are decided in group D. Namibia will entertain Mali while Tanzania face current leaders Guinea.
Uganda 2-5 Morocco
Togo 2-3 Rwanda
Final group C Standings