Despite bowing to the Atlas Lions in their last Group A game, the host Rwanda join the Elephants in the last eight of the African Nations Championship
Cote d’ivoire spanked Gabon 4-1 to book a place in the quarter final of the 2106 African Nations Championship.
Aka Essis 19th minute low shot strike separated the two sides at the interval. Gabon replied through Franck Obambou, who headed home from a corner on 51 minutes.
Djedje Guiza restored the Ivorians lead on 65 minutes who a shot that Gabon goalkeeper Yves Bitseki forced into his net before substitute Koffi Boua took the game beyond the opponents with the third goal on 77 minutes.
Lanky forward Nilmar Ble completed the rout with the fourth goal six minutes from time. With this, the Elephants finish second in the group with six points, same as the Amavubi, who topped the group courtesy superior goals.
RWANDA 1-4 MOROCCO
Morocco romped to a 4-1 win over hosts Rwanda but bowed out of the African Nations Championship.
The Moroccans shot into a two goal lead through Abdelghani Mouaoui on 16 minutes and Mohamed Aziz eight minutes later. In 27 minutes Hegman Ngomirakiza reduced the deficit but the North Africans will score the third courtesy a Abdeladim Khadrouf header on 38 minutes.
Mouaoui completed his brace with the fourth goal just before the break to give his side a commanding lead at recess.
The second half saw an improved Rwanda but they failed to reduce the goal margin as Morocco cruised to victory, yet not enough to take them into the quarters.
The Brave Warriors are the first team to bow out of the 2016 African Nations Champions, while Chipolopolo are through to the next stage of the championship (ZIMBABWE 0-1 MALI).
Moussa Sissoko’s 82nd minute strike ensured Mail pip Zimbabwe 1-0 at the Umuganda Stadium, Gisenyi on Saturday evening. Sissoko connected home from a Lassana Samake free-kick eight minutes from time to ensure the maximum points for Les Aigles as the Brave Warriors crash of the competition following their second successive loss.
Zimbabwe paid the price for their wastefulness in front of goal in a game they were clearly the better side.
The victory served a sweet revenge for the Malians who suffered a 2-1 loss against the Zimbabweans at the quarters two years ago.
UGANDA 0-1 ZAMBIA
Zambia got through to the next round of the 2016 African Nations Championship after defeating Uganda 1-0 in Gisenyi. Christopher Katongo’s 41st minute header silenced the Cranes as Chipolopolo become the third team to qualify for the quarter-finals. The result put Zambia top of Group D with a maximum six points from two games.
For much of Friday’s slog with Tunisia, the Super Eagles were decidedly second best. With that in mind, perhaps that makes the 1-1 scoreline an acceptable one; it means Nigeria progress if they avoid defeat against Guinea in the group’s final game. Sunday Oliseh’s side, now habitually early second-half birds, latched on to a worm of a hospital ball across the front of the Tunisian penalty box to edge ahead. Osas Okoro’s pass found Chisom Chikatara between the centre-backs, and the tournament’s top scorer added to his tally.
The coach’s decision to start the hat-trick hero from the previous game here proved justified, as Tunisia retained possession with admirable efficiency in midfield. Chikatara, neither the biggest nor the strongest, varied his movement well enough to keep from becoming isolated upfront, and helped the team up the pitch with his dribbling ability.
Having gone behind, Tunisia showed restraint in their pursuit of an equaliser, wary of leaving the oodles of space within which the ‘Kolanut boy’ cavorted gaily against Niger. Having had a perfectly good goal inexplicably ruled out in the first period, perhaps it was easier to trust in the newfound vulnerability of the Nigeria defence.
There was however a noticeable shift in attacking modes after the restart. While in the first period, Ahmed Akaichi had caused Stephen Eze and Austin Oboroakpo problems in the channels, the withdrawal of the giant Eze led to a more wing-oriented attack.
This sudden drop in average height of the Nigerian defence proved the marginal difference: Akaichi pounced on a knockdown from a cross to swivel and finish for the equaliser, and could well have won it later on with goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa flapping at and completely missing another cross. Will Eze retain his spot for the group decider against Guinea? Needing a more direct option to carry the ball forward, Oliseh could have done with Enyimba’s Ezekiel Bassey much earlier in the game. There seems an odd contrast between the swift decisiveness of the coach’s decision-making in the defensive and attacking thirds: he was brisk in culling Jamiu Alimi, but curiously reticent about the invisible Bartholomew Ibenegbu against Niger. Here again, he was quick to withdraw Eze, who it turns out was carrying a knock, but left the disappointing Prince Aggreh on for far too long. Despite his tendency to twist in defence, Oliseh will surely be hoping that his centre-back pairing-whoever they may be-can remain consistent for the rest of the campaign.
One might posit that, having been a midfield anchor in his playing days, there is less tolerance for defensive incontinence. In that case, he can be especially displeased: the fragility in the backline was worrying, partly because it is not something one might have associated with this team before the tournament. They are as yet without a clean sheet in Rwanda.
The result though leaves Nigeria in pole position to progress, and while Tunisia were guilty of some limp finishing, it is necessary to praise the resilience of a Nigeria team that bent, but would not break in Kigali.
Nigeria meets Guinea tomorrow. The super eagles needs a draw to move to the next round amidst a porous defence line.
Compiled, edited and posted by: Jimmy Adesanya (Facebook.com/LinkedIn)
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