Ghana football once again established its dominance over arch rivals Nigeria.
The Black Galaxies of Ghana secured qualification at the expense of Nigeria to the 2023 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) to be held in Algeria.
This comes after Ghana’s locally based side edged their Nigerian counterparts 5-4 on penalties in the second leg encounter in Abuja, Nigeria on Saturday September 3, 2022.
Ghana eliminated Nigeria from the race to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, when the Black Stars drew goalless with the Super Eagles in the Cape Coast and managed a 1-1 draw in Abuja to eliminate Nigeria on away goals rule.
Again, the Black Galaxies despite winning the first leg CHAN encounter by 2-0 were pegged back by Nigeria who won the second leg by 2-0 in regulation time.
Nigeria dominated most of the first half but couldn’t get any goals as the Black Galaxies remained solid in defence.
Zilkifilu Mohammed scored the first goal for Nigeria in the 76th minute while Chijoke Nnamdi’s stoppage strike sent the game to penalties.
The Black Galaxies prevailed in the penalty shootouts, as they made a comeback to the CHAN after missing out on three last editions.
The tournament will be staged in Algeria from January 8 – 31, 2023.
The Black Galaxies are making a return to the tournament for the first time since 2014.
In the first leg encounter, two second half goals from Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and Seidu Suraj gave Ghana advantage ahead of the second leg.
In the Nations Championship, which is restricted to footballers playing in their country of birth, Daniel Barnieh converted a penalty to maintain a goal-a-game CHAN record.
Seidu Suraj, a teammate of Barnieh at famed Accra club Hearts of Oak, added a potentially crucial second goal four minutes from time in Cape Coast.
Ghana has a mixed CHAN record — finishing runners-up in two of the first three editions but failing to qualify for the last three tournaments.
The African Nations Championship (CHAN) is a tournament in which the national teams exclusively feature players who ply their trade in the domestic league of their home country.
Therefore, apart from players based in Europe and other leagues abroad, even players who play in other African leagues are not eligible to represent their home country in the championship.
In 2007, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) officially announced the introduction of CHAN, to be held every two years. Having commenced in 2009, the 5th edition will take place in 2018.
The idea behind CHAN was the need to strengthen the domestic leagues in Africa, which have been overshadowed by the European leagues.
It is open only to players who play their trade on the African continent and is held on even-numbered years, alternating with the more high profile Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
DR Congo won 2009 CHAN
The first tournament was held in 2009 in Ivory Coast and was won by DR Congo, who defeated Ghana 2-0 in the final.
Interestingly, both teams had been in the same group (Group B) where Ghana had beaten DR Congo 3-0 at the group stage.
It featured just eight teams and was staged across two venues in Abidjan and Bouake.
Tunisia won 2011 CHAN
The tournament expended to 16 teams and five venues for its second edition in Sudan in 2011, which saw Tunisia claim the CHAN title with an emphatic 3-0 win over Angola in the final.
Libya won 2014 CHAN
The tournament then ‘missed’ a year and was only staged again in 2014, with CAF deciding to swap the AFCON to odd-numbered years so that their main competition was not staged in the same years as the World Cup.
The third CHAN therefore only took place in 2014 in South Africa, a tournament which saw Libya emerge as surprise winners after they beat Ghana on penalties in the final.
DRC Congo won 2016 CHAN
In 2016, DRC Congo secured their second title to become the only country to have won the tournament twice.
Morocco won 2018 CHAN
Morocco became the first and only host to win the tournament in 2018.
Morocco won the TOTAL African Nations Championship (CHAN) for the second time by overcoming Mali’s bold challenge 2-0 in a thrilling final at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
The current qualification format assigns slots to each region of the continent in the following manner (including host nation): two slots each for North Zone and Zone West A; three slots each for Zone West B, Central Zone, Central-East Zone and Southern Zone.
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