Gabon have booked their place at next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) after beating Cameroon on penalties in their first-round qualifier.

The score was 1-0 to Gabon after 90 minutes of the second leg in Libreville on Saturday, making the tie level 1-1 on aggregate after Cameroon won the first leg in Yaounde.

TUSSLE: Arsene Copa of Gabon and Achille Emana of Cameroon in a contest for the ball
TUSSLE: Arsene Copa of Gabon and Achille Emana of Cameroon in a contest for the ball

And the Panthers completed their comeback by winning the penalty shoot-out and clinching their place at the finals of the tournament for locally-based players, which will take place in South Africa.

Cameroon, however, have another chance to qualify as they will now face the Democratic Republic of Congo in the play-offs, with the winner making it to the finals.

There are also two second-round, first-leg ties this weekend, Zimbabwe hosting Zambia in Harare and Mozambique taking on Angola in Maputo.

New Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa hopes his second African Nations Championship home match within eight days will be more successful than the first.

The Warriors secured a last-four place in the region-based qualifiers despite an embarrassing 1-1 draw with minnows Mauritius.

Having romped to a 3-0 win on the Indian Ocean island, Zimbabwe were expected to celebrate the home debut of former national team striker Gorowa with a big victory.

But it took them more than 80 minutes to score through captain and midfielder Masimba Mambare and the visitors grabbed an equaliser just before full-time.

“We must do better against Zambia to reach the finals,” admitted Gorowa, who took over when the contract of German Klaus-Dieter Pagels was not renewed.

“The pressure of playing at home got to us and now we face tougher rivals,” he said of a Zambian team seeking a second win over Zimbabwe inside three weeks.


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