Defending Champions DR Congo will miss out on the tournament they won two years ago.
By: Danito Nsubuga
The championships of African Nations is a biennial competition organised by CAF to be competed for by African countries but only limited to players plying their trade in those particular countries.
The tournament in Kenya will be the 5th edition having started in 2009, then it was later hosted in 2011, 2014, 2016 and now 2018. DR Congo are the most successful country having won the tournament on 2 occasions.
Since the Second Edition in 2011, 16 teams qualify for the tournament and allocated according to the African geographical regions which include North Zone, West Zone A, Zone west B, central Zone, Central -East zone, and Southern Zone.
This edition has seen some surprises with African power houses like Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and DR Congo failing to make the grade.
The qualified teams.
1.Kenya : They qualified as the tournament hosts.
2. Burkina Faso :
They edged Ghana 4-3 on aggregate after drawing 2-2 in Ouagadougou and beating them in Kumasi 2-1.
They qualified after pipping Rwanda 3-2 on aggregate, the first leg in Kampala ended 3-0 and Rwanda winning the return leg 2-0 in Kigali. This will be Uganda’s fourth successive tournament after missing out on only the inaugural edition that was hosted in the Ivory Coast.
They beat Comoros 2-0 at the Sam Nijuoma stadium to edge the tie 3-2 on aggregate after falling to a 2-1 defeat in Moroni.
5. Mauritania :
They shocked last editions’ finalists Mali 3-2 on aggregate.
The falcons of Jedaine qualified after defeating Ethiopia 2-1 on aggregate with a close 1-0 victory in Obaid following a 1-1 stale in Addis Ababa.
7. Ivory Coast :
They overcame Niger on away goals rule following a 1-0 win in Abidjan. Niger had won the 1st leg 2-1 in Niemy. Aggregate score 2-2.
8. Angola :
The Palancas Negras saw off Madagascar with a 1-0 aggregate following a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg of the tie.
9. Nigeria :
The Super eagles edged Benin 2-1 on aggregate after falling to a 1-0 loss in Benin. They fought back to win the tie 2-0 at the Sani Abaca Stadium.
10. Congo :
The most successful nation of the competition were ousted by their close neighbors Congo Brazaville. They were undone by the failure to score away as the closely contested tie at the Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecote in Kinshasa ended 1-1. The first leg in Brazaville had ended 0-0.
11. Cameroon :
The AFCON Champions booked their spot following a 2-0 win over Sao Tome and Principe, they had earlier beaten them 2-0 away, thus going through 4-0 on aggregate.
12. Zambia :
They edged South Africa 4-2 aggregate following a 2-0 win in Ndola at the Levi Mwanawasa Stadium. The first leg tie had earlier ended 2-2 in East London.
They booked their ticket to the championships following a 4-2 aggregate over Egypt in the North zone. The 1st leg ended in a 1-1 all stalemate but Morocco edged their rivals 3-1 in the second leg.
14. Libya :
Libya progressed following a 3-2 aggregate win over Algeria. A 1-1 draw in Sfax combined with a 2-1 win in the first leg in Constantine to see Libya qualify at the expense of their North African rivals.
15. Equatorial Guinea
They were the first nation to qualify for the 2018 edition after their opponents for the final qualifying tie Gabon withdrew from the competition on February 13th 2018.
16. Senegal/ Guinea
The lions of Terranga will play against Guinea tomorrow on Tuesday 22 in Conakry to see out who takes the final spot. Senegal comes into the return leg with 3-1 lead having edged Guinea in Dakar.
The tournament will be kicked off on 11th of January and it will be concluded on the 2nd of February of 2018.