CHAN 2016: DRC, Cameroon record first victories

Chan 2016 (Sport)The Democratic Republic of Congo began their bid for a second African Nations Championship (CHAN) title with a comfortable 3-0 win over Ethiopia in the opening match of Group B.

DR Congo, who won the inaugural CHAN tournament in 2009, dominated the match played in Butare, Rwanda, with Guy Lusadisu opening the scoring before half time.

After the break, the Leopards stepped up their game and their efforts yielding instant dividend as Heritier Luvumbu doubled the lead on 46th minutes, before Meschack Elia sealed the victory in the 55th minutes.

The opening match 3-0 defeat by the Congolese means the Walias Antelope of Ethiopia are still looking for their first point in the history of the competition. The Ethiopians lost all three of their group matches in their first appearance at a CHAN finals in South Africa two years ago.

DR Congo, coached by Florent Ibenge, have qualified for every edition of the competition which is specifically for locally based footballers who play in their domestic leagues.

In the second Group B game on Sunday, Cameroon held on to beat Angola 1-0, despite having a man sent off midway through the second half. The Indomitable Lions took the lead after 23 minutes when Yazid Atouba scored from a well-struck free-kick.

As Angola pushed to draw level, Cameroonian left back, Joseph Ngwem was sent off for a second yellow card offence with 20 minutes remaining.

Despite being a man down, Cameroonians held on to secure the win.
Earlier on Saturday, host Rwanda began the tournament with a shocking 1-0 win over Ivory Coast, while Gabon and Morocco played a scoreless draw in the late Group A match.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles begin their second CHAN campaign against Niger today Monday January,18 at 5pm kick-off, while Guinea and Tunisia squares up in the earlier fixture.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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