By Boris Esono N
Football Writer kick442.com-Cameroon
The CHAN was initially to be hosted in Cameroon from April 4 to 25, 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was shifted to January 16 to February 7, 2021.
Group B matches will be played at the newly constructed Japoma stadium in Douala. One of the matchday three games will be played at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium – the game between Niger and DR Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo headlines group B. They are the most successful team in the competition. They have won the competition twice (2009 and 2016) out of the five editions and will hope to make it three times during the Cameroon expedition.
The DR Congo Intermediate Lions is under TP Mazemba trainer Pamphile Mihayo and he has hope that before the start of the championship, his team will be ready.
Congo will be making its third participation at the CHAN competition in Cameroon. In all that time, the team can count on the best performance being quarter-finalist at the 2018 edition of the competition.
The Mediterranean Knights crowned CHAN champions in 2014 will begin the quest to become champions for the second time as they face Niger on 17 January 2021. Montenegrin Zoran Filipovic will lead the Libyan national team in the Chan championship with the assistance of national coach Mohamed Al-Kikli.
The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) recently released a list of players to participate at the 6th edition of the CHAN. The team includes 28 players from seven clubs that are playing in Libya’s premier league, which was suspended for about 18 months.
Libya secured a place in the competition for footballers playing in their country of birth after Tunisia, the team that defeated them in a qualifier, withdrew.
Zoran Filipovic has previously worked in Africa 10 years ago, saving South African Premiership club Golden Arrows from relegation during 12 months with the Durban club.
The first task of Filipovic, who was capped 13 times by the then Yugoslavia as a forward, will be to prepare Libya for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon next month.
“I promise to give my all to the cause of the Libyan national team,” said the 67-year-old during a press conference in Tripoli.
Niger will also be participating at the CHAN for the third time. The team finished 2011 edition at the quarter-finals, which till date remains their best performance at the CHAN competition. The team did not qualify for the 2018 edition of the competition.
For Niger, they are participating in the Pre-Chan tournament that Cameroon is hosting from Jan 1 to 7 in Yaounde. They will hope to use the tournament to test the players and look at areas that they can reorganize so they are prepared for the competition proper.
How They Qualified
Despite winning 1-0 at home, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire could not overturn the 2-0 loss they suffered away to Niger with the Menas holding on for the nervous win. Guy Stephen Bedi scored the Ivorians’ lone goal in the 47th minute, but they could not bang in more to earn a ticket to Cameroon as Niger earned a spot in the Cameroon expedition
DR Congo qualified for the Cameroon expedition beaten the Central Africa Republic. In the showdown, DR Congo defeated CAR 4 goals to 1 in Kinshasa with an aggregate scoreline of 6 goals to 1. In the first leg, it was DR Congo that defeated the Central Africa Republic away from home by 2 goals to 0.
Congo qualified for the Africa Nations Championship at the expense of Equatorial Guinea. the game ended on an aggregate scoreline of 2-2 after Equatorial Guinea won the first encounter by 2 goals to 1, and Congo beat Equatorial Guinea 1 goal to 0 in the second leg. Congo qualified on the away goal rule to continue their aspirations of winning the CHAN title.
Fixtures for Group B
Lybia v Niger (17 Jan – Japoma stadium)
DR Congo v Congo (17 Jan – Japoma stadium)
Lybia v DR Congo (21 Jan – Japoma stadium)
Congo v Niger (21 Jan – Japoma stadium)
Congo v Lybia (25 Jan – Japoma stadium)
Niger v DR Congo (25 Jan – Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium)
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