By: Emmanuel Yaw Nkansah
After two rounds of matches with the last round of games approaching, the standings in Group B had Uganda with a foot in the knockout stages while Senegal had it all to do against DR Congo to avoid an early exit.
After the final round of group fixtures, Senegal recovered from their shock defeat against Uganda to easily beat DR Congo and secure qualification.
Uganda, with a foot in the knockout stages, bottled their qualification chance expertly as they lost against Ivory Coast to send the Ivorians through to the next stage of the tournament.
Senegal took on DR Congo at the 19 May 1956 stadium needing a win to be certain of qualification to the next stage of the tournament as any other outcome could potentially cause their elimination.
An excellent display of attacking football from the Senegalese players overwhelmed their Congolese opponents as they beat them by 3 goals to nil. Goals from Ousmane Diouf in the 23rd minute, Pape Amadou Diallo in the 74th minute, and an own goal by the DR Congo goalie Baggio Saidi in the 77th minute secured the victory for the Ivorians.
DR Congo started strong and pressured Senegal, but defender, Kevin Mondeko, getting sent off in the 33rd minute, coupled with the early goal conceded rattled them and despite their best efforts they were unable to find a way back into the match.
A disappointing result for the two-time champions whose campaign ended early as they failed to win even a single game.
In the other Group B fixture, Ivory Coast beat Uganda 3-1 in a game which saw them jump from bottom of the group to second, avoiding a group stage elimination and knocking out the Ugandans.
Sankara William Karamoko scored in the 12th minute to give the Ivorians an early lead. Vignon Mathieu Patrick Ouotro doubled the lead in the 27th minute, but a goal by Moses Wasiwa from a penalty in the 34th minute brought Uganda back into the game.
Despite having less ball possession, the Ugandans looked deadly on the attack as they pressed forward in search of an equalizer, testing the Ivorian goalkeeper on a few occasions. A third goal for Ivory Coast, scored by Aubin Kramo Kouame in the 78th minute, was the final nail in the coffin for Uganda.
Unable to find a way back into the game until the final whistle blew, Uganda succumbed to a 3-1 loss and were knocked out of the tournament. Delight for the Ivorians, heartbreak for the Ugandans.
Having qualified for the knockout stages, Ivory Coast and Senegal can continue the hunt for a maiden African Nations Championship title.
Uganda and DR Congo now have to figure out what went wrong, what could have been done better, and hopefully qualify for the next edition of the tournament and do better.
As always, you can watch all the CHAN 2022 matches live on GTV Sports+.
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