August 6 – South Africa’s hastily assembled squad has been dumped out of the African Nations Championship qualifiers after a 3-0 defeat to Lesotho on Sunday saw them lose 6-2 on aggregate.
South Africa had been hoping to use the CHAN qualifiers and finals tournament as preparation for the Olympic Games next year, if they qualify, but with clubs refusing to release players as the game clashed with the opening day of South Africa’s Premier Soccer League the hosts were forced to field a young, makeshift side.
CHAN exclusively features locally based players at African clubs and Kenya were another casualty after losing 4-1 on penalties in Nairobi following a second 0-0 draw with east African neighbours Tanzania in successive weekends.
Togo ended an 11-year wait for a first CHAN qualifying win when they edged Benin 1-0 in Lome and earned them a crack at 2018 runners-up Nigeria in the final qualifying round during September and October.
In another close encounter, Madagascar needed away goals to squeeze past Mozambique after losing 3-2 in Maputo.
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