Muhammad Shaban of Uganda tries to flick the ball past Andre Ayew of Ghana during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 17 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Friday Aug 11, 2017. 10:00
This weekend will see the final round round of qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations Championship get underway across the continent.
The knockout ties will feature some heavyweight battles, starting with Friday afternoon’s derby between Congo Brazzaville and DR Congo at Stade Municipal de Kintele in the Central Zone.
The Northern Zone also has two tasty matches on the card, as Algeria and Libya cross swords in Constantine on Saturday night, followed by a classic clash between Egypt and Morocco in Alexandria on Sunday - the final match of the weekend.
Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast are all expected to come through their ties against Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger respectively in West Zone B, while West Zone A’s feature clash between Senegal and Guinea will have to wait until next week Tuesday because of a general assembly elections in the former country.
In the Southern Zone, Angola and Namibia are expected to be too strong for Madagascar and Comoros respectively, but the clash between regional giants South Africa and Zambia promises to be a thriller.
The second leg matches for the final round qualifying ties will be played next weekend, with the 15 aggregate winners joining hosts Kenya in the finals.
2018 CHAN qualifiers
Final round ties, first leg matches - all times CAT
Saturday, 12 August - Algeria v Libya, 21h45
Sunday, 13 August - Egypt v Morocco, 19h00
West Zone A
Saturday, 12 August - Mauritania v Mali, 19h00
Tuesday, 15 August - Senegal v Guinea, TBC
West Zone B
Saturday, 12 August - Burkina Faso v Ghana, 18h00
Sunday, 13 August - Benin v Nigeria, 17h00
Sunday, 13 August - Niger v Ivory Coast, 18h00
Friday, 11 August - Congo v DR Congo, 16h30
Saturday, 12 August - Sao Tome & Principe v Cameroon, 17h00
Saturday, 12 August - Equatorial Guinea v Gabon, 18h00
Saturday, 12 August - Uganda v Rwanda, 15h00
Sunday, 13 August - Ethiopia v Sudan, 15h00
Saturday, 12 August - South Africa v Zambia, 15h00
Sunday, 13 August - Madagascar v Angola, 13h30
Sunday, 13 August - Comoros v Namibia, 14h00