Last year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) runners-up, Ghana, put one foot in the 2016 edition after winning their home leg 2-1 against Ivory Coast in Kumasi.
Joel Fameyeh scored twice as the Black Stars came from behind to beat the Elephants who missed last year’s edition.
Ibrahima Sangare gave the visitors the lead in the 33rd minute but Fameyeh drew the home side level in added time in the opening half before netting the winner in injury time to give Ghana a slim advantage heading into their Zone West B return leg set for next weekend.
Nigeria and Niger are the other teams who can qualify from Zone West B, both having won their home ties 2-0 against Burkina Faso and Togo respectively.
In Zone West A, quarter-finalists from last year, Mali also had to come from behind to beat Mauritania 2-1 in Bamako. Taghy Denne 8th minute penalty had given the visitors a 1-0 first half lead but Aly Abeid’s own goal in the 67th minute leveled matters before the home side netted the winner at the death.
Guinea hold a 2-0 advantage over Senegal who they visit in the return leg.
In Central Zone, Cameroon were held to a barren draw by Congo in Yaounde leaving it all to play for in the return leg while Gabon took a giant step towards qualification after a 2-0 win away to Chad.
Uganda and Burundi command a 2-0 first leg merit over Sudan and Ethiopia respectively in the Central-East Zone.
In the Southern Zone, last year’s losing semifinalists, Zimbabwe are also in control of their tie with Lesotho who they beat 3-1 in Bulawayo. Rodreck Mutuma had Zim 2-0 up with two second half goals but the visitors pulled a goal back through Tsepo Seturumane. Danny Phiri confirmed the win with an 81st minute goal.
Zambia and Angola are the other teams down south who are in the driving seat. The Chipolopolo thumped Mozambique 3-0 while the Palancas Negras had a 2-0 away success against South Africa.
Next year’s edition will be held in Rwanda from January 16 to February 7, 2016.
Uganda 2-0 Sudan
Burundi 2-0 Ethiopia
Zambia 3-0 Mozambique
South Africa 0-2 Angola
Nigeria 2-0 Burkina Faso
Senegal 0-2 Guinea
Niger 2-0 Togo
Ghana 2-1 Ivory Coast
Zimbabwe 3-1 Lesotho
Chad 0-2 Gabon
Mali 2-1 Mauritania
Cameroon 0-0 Congo
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