CHAN 2016: Liberia knocked out after hosting landmark match
International football returned to Liberia on Sunday when the national team drew 1-1 with Guinea, but the draw was not enough to keep Liberia in the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Playing in Monrovia after the lifting of a 13-month ebola-induced ban, Liberia needed to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg of their 2016 CHAN qualifier.
Vatali Sieh gave Liberia hope with a penalty, but Alseny Kamara's equaliser made it 4-2 to Guinea on aggregate, to put them through to the next round.
The last time Liberia played at home, they defeated Lesotho in May last year in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
But as the epidemic spread - leading to a World Health Organisation-estimated death toll of over 11,000 - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were prevented from hosting international football.
The bans on Sierra Leone and Guinea remain.
Elsewhere in the West A zone of the competition for locally based players, Senegal were 1-nil winners away to The Gambia to secure a 4-1 aggregate win.
|CHAN: Zone West A - 2 places in finals|
|Mali 3-1 Guinea BissauMali go through 4-2 on aggregate||Liberia 1-1 Guinea Guinea go through 4-2 on aggregate.|
|Sierra Leone 2-0 Mauritania (Nouakchott)Mauritania go through 4-1 overall||Gambia 0-1 Senegal Senegal go through 4-1 on aggregate|
Zambia are through to the next phase of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers after a tense 6-5 penalties victory over Namibia in Lusaka.
Namibia went into the game against Zambia in the Southern Zone of the championship for locally based players, with a 2-1 first-leg advantage.
Zambia levelled the tie at 2-2 through a Festus Mbewe header.
Nenkavu Benyamen then gave Namibia the initiative with a goal just before half-time to make it 1-1 on the day and 2-3 on aggregate.
A Winston Kalengo goal on 71 minutes restored Zambia's lead in Lusaka, making it 3-3 overall and taking the tie to a penalty shoot-out which the hosts won 6-5.
|CHAN: Southern Zone - 3 places in finals|
|Comoros Islands 0-0 ZimbabweZimbabwe go through 2-0 on aggregate||Seychelles 0-4 MozambiqueMozambique go through 9-1 on aggregate|
|Botswana 1-1 Lesotho The tie ends 1-1 on aggregate. Lesotho go through on away goals||Mauritius 0-2 South Africa South Africa go through 5-0 on aggregate|
|Zambia 2-1 NamibiaThe tie ends 3-3 on aggregate. Zambia go through 6-5 on penalties||Angola 2-0 Swaziland Angola go through 4-2 on aggregate|
Elsewhere in the Southern zone, goals from Mandla Masango and Wandisile Letlabika helped South Africa win 2-0 away to Mauritius and secure a 5-0 aggregate victory. South Africa will play Angola next, after their 2-0 win over Swaziland, winning 4-2 overall.
Zimbabwe progressed with a 0-0 draw away to the Comoros Islands, having won the first leg 2-0.
Lesotho pulled off a 1-1 draw in Botswana to go through on away goals, and Mozambique completed their rout of Seychelles, winning 4-0 away from home for a 9-1 aggregate win.
In the Central-East zone, Ethiopia held Kenya to a goalless draw in Nairobi to advance with a 2-0 aggregate score-line.
The Harambee Stars had a missed penalty taken by Ali Abondo moments after the hour, but the Ethiopians stood strong and defended well.
Kenya's Coach Bobby Williamson later told reporters that the missed penalty had affected his team.
|CHAN: Central-East Zone - 2 places in finals + hosts Rwanda|
|Uganda 1-1 TanzaniaUganda go through 4-1 on aggregate||Kenya 0-0 EthiopiaEthiopia go through 2-0 on aggregate|
|Burundi 2-0 DjiboutiBurundi go through 4-1 on aggregate||Sudan given bye to next round|
Ethiopia will play Burundi in the next round. Burundi defeated Djibouti 2-0 to go through 4-1 overall.
Uganda also progressed with a 1-1 draw against Tanzania to give The Cranes a 4-1 aggregate win.
Uganda skipper Hassan Wasswa Mawanda was thrilled but said they still have much to do.
"I am happy to lead the team to the next round of the qualifiers. But we need to keep working hard," Mawanda said after the game.
In the North Zone, the second three-way round-robin group is set for August in Tunisia with the top two qualifying for the finals, the other five regions have adopted a two-leg knockout system.
West zone B and the Central zone qualifiers will get underway in October.
A total of 42 countries are chasing 15 places at the 2016 finals while Rwanda qualify automatically as hosts of the tournament that runs from 16 January to 7 February.