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CHAN 2022: Libya out, Algeria secures qualification

CHAN 2022: Libya out, Algeria secures qualification

By Emmanuel Yaw Nkansah

Matchday 2 of the ongoing African Nations Championship tournament was a day that saw hosts Algeria become the first nation to qualify for the knockout rounds, while Libya ‘achieved’ a less desirable feat by becoming the first nation to be knocked out of the tournament, a day of contrasting fortunes it was.

Algeria beat Ethiopia by a lone goal, Aimen Mahious once again being the goal-getter for the Algerians. Could the Algerians be on a one-goal project for the tournament? it was a fairly balanced match in terms of possession with Algeria ever so slightly dominant with 52% of the overall ball possession over the course of the match. As far as converting ball possession into goalscoring chances, Algeria was totally dominant with 14 attempts at goal to a measly 4 by Ethiopia. Once again, quality in front of goal seemed to be lacking as there was only one goal in the match from a total of 7 shots on target, or maybe the defensive play of both sides was just that good.

Mozambique against Libya was a goal fest that left the neutrals pleased and the managers of both sides wondering how they could shore up their defenses. Well, for Libya, that wouldn’t matter much, as the loss saw them become the first side to crash out of the tournament. An unfortunate own goal by Chico Muchanga put Libya ahead in the 23rd minute and they maintained that lead for most of the match until the latter stages of the second half.

With the Libyans perhaps beginning to dream of a win and a resurrection of their tournament campaign, a torrid ten-minute spell shattered those dreams in the cruelest of fashions. Melque Alexandre drew Mozambique level with a strike in the 74th minute, before goals from Nene and Pachoio Lau Ha King in the 80th and 84th minutes turned the game on its head. Credit to the Libyans for refusing to let their heads drop and fighting to get back into the game but, Anis Saltou’s 93rd-minute strike, unfortunately, came too late to make a difference.

Ethiopia will need a win against Libya to possibly salvage a chance of qualification out of Group A. However, they will need results to go their way if they are to make it through. Mozambique will be looking to at least force a draw Against Algeria to secure their spot in the knockout stages while a victory for the Algerians could see them not only complete a clean sweep of their group opponents but also possibly knock Mozambique out should Ethiopia manage to beat Libya by a hefty goal margin. You can watch those matches live on GTV Sports+ on Saturday, January 21st.

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