YAOUNDE, Jan 28 — Quarterfinal fixtures for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) was confirmed on Wednesday evening after Guinea and Zambia secured their places in the knockout stages.
Guinea won Group D after playing out a 2-2 draw against Tanzania in Douala, followed by Zambia, who drew 0-0 with Namibia in their last group match played at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium.
Their qualifications meant that 16 teams who originally started the tournament have been whittled down to eight quarterfinalists.
Hosts Cameroon is favorites to lift the trophy but must face two-time winners, DR Congo, in their quarterfinal in Douala on Saturday.
“Cameroon has so far not inspired in this tournament, winning one out of three games and drawing two others. DR Congo, on the other hand, has beaten all odds to reach the knockout stages. The Congolese were deprived of 12 players including the head coach, who tested positive for COVID-19 before their last Group B match, but they still survived,” football analyst James Molua told Xinhua.
In Saturday’s opening game, 2016 finalists Mali will take on a confident Congo-Brazzaville side.
On Wednesday, hundreds of Cameroon fans began arriving at Douala for the game, bringing their color and bonhomie to the commercial hub.
On Sunday, defending champions Morocco will face Zambia at the Reunification Stadium in Douala, while Rwanda and Guinea will battle it out in Limbe.