CHAN: Eagles in survival battle with Squirrels


Home-based Eagles are among the sides who will need to overturn first leg deficits in order to qualify for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Kenya.

Benin won the first leg 1-0 in Cotonou thanks to a late penalty by captain Seibou Mama.

The second leg is set to be played in Kano today.

Nigeria,  coached by Salisu Yusuf, are hoping to avoid a shock like the one they suffered in qualifying for the finals of the 2011 tournament for locally-based players when they lost to Niger 2-0 on aggregate.

“We have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Benin coach Oumar Tchomogo.

“That said, I was disappointed we did not win the first leg more convincingly.”

Twice runners-up  Ghana  should reach the finals for the fourth time in five attempts by overcoming  Burkina Faso  in Kumasi.

Despite CHAN matches only featuring locally-based footballers the games have full international status and count toward the monthly Fifa rankings.

Ghana led twice in the first leg only for Iliase Sawadogo to snatch a 2-2 draw five minutes from time.

Ivory Coast  trail  Niger  2-1 ahead of the second leg on an artificial pitch at Stade Robert Champroux in Abidjan.

Halidou Garba gave the Nigeriens victory late in the first match as they hunt another prized scalp having previously dumped Nigeria.

Defending champions  Democratic Republic of Congo  host neighbours  Congo  Brazzaville in Kinshasa after a goalless draw last weekend.

DR Congo have several survivors from the team that outplayed Mali 3-0 in the 2016 final, including goalkeeper Ley Matampi and striker Meschak Elia.

Having surrendered a two-goal lead to be held 2-2 in East London, a severely depleted  South Africa  have a tough task ahead against  Zambia  in Ndola.



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