The Big 5 – Review
A review of the top 5 Africa-related sports stories from the weekend – May 3-5, 2019.
Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha
Kipyegon made a winning return to the track after a two-year maternity break at the Prefontaine Diamond League in June
Kenya’s Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon said she was fit and ready to defend her title in Doha after edging Winnie Chebet in the Kenyan trials on Friday.
Kipyegon made a winning return to the track after a two-year maternity break at the Prefontaine Diamond League in June, but a hamstring injury in training interrupted her racing season.
“I thank God I have managed to come back stronger after the long maternity leave, and today I am able to win my race and book a ticket to the world championship,” said Kipyegon, who timed her sprint perfectly to edge the African champion Chebet in the photo-finish.
“I am completely healed from the injury and ready to defend my title in Doha, where I expect to meet strong opposition from Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.”
Selah Jepleting finished third in 4:05.26 and will join Kipyegon and Chebet at the world championships.
Fresh from winning the Diamond League 1,500m title, Timothy Cheruiyot controlled his race from the gun at the trials, clocking 3:34.91 ahead of Ronald Kwemoi (3:36.61). World under-18 champion George Manangoi was third in 3:37.68.
“I am gunning to win the world title in Doha to make up for the disappointment of the 2017 World Championships in London where I finished second to my compatriot and training partner Elijah Manangoi,” said Cheruiyot.
Elijah Manangoi did not compete in the Kenyan trials but will run in Doha and defend his title as the fourth Kenyan athlete in the men’s 1,500m.
CAF Confederation Cup: Bolton City overcomes Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana
The team from the Indian Ocean island emulated Vacoas and Port Louis by winning the preliminary tie 3-2 on aggregate
Bolton City became only the third Mauritius club to win a CAF Confederation Cup tie in 12 attempts despite losing 1-0 at Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana on Sunday. The team from the Indian Ocean island emulated Vacoas and Port Louis by winning the preliminary tie 3-2 on aggregate after building a 3-1 first-leg advantage two weeks ago.
Launched in 2004, the Confederation Cup is the second-tier African club competition, and it replaced the African Cup Winners Cup and CAF Cup. Gift Moyo scored for Jwaneng after 65 minutes of the return match to set up a tense finish as a second unanswered goal for the hosts would have squeezed them through on away goals.
Instead, Bolton will face Zanaco of Zambia in the round of 32 during September with the overall winners advancing to a play-off against a CAF Champions League last-32 loser. Another Galaxy, TS Galaxy of South Africa, were more successful than their Botswana namesakes, winning 1-0 against Saint Louis Suns United in Seychelles to complete a 2-0 overall success.
Thero Setsile scored on 53 minutes for Galaxy, a second division outfit who qualified for Africa after stunning Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank (FA) Cup final. AS Pelican of Gabon sprang a surprise by holding Maniema Union of the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 in Kinshasa and winning 4-2 on penalties.
Expensively assembled Pyramids of Egypt completed a double over Etoile of Congo by following up a three-goal home victory with a 1-0 win in Brazzaville courtesy of an Islam Attia goal.
Other clubs who advanced Sunday to the round of 32 included Al Ittihad of Libya, Maranatha of Togo, Daring Club Motema Pembe of DR Congo and US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia.
AFCON 2019: Madagascar shock Super Eagles to extend AFCON fairytale
The Indian Ocean islanders will advance as winners of Group B ahead of Nigeria
Africa Cup of Nations newcomers Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset of Nigeria on Sunday with a 2-0 win over the three-time former champions to clinch a place in the last 16. Lalaina Nomenjanahary gave Madagascar a shock 12th-minute lead in Alexandria after pouncing on ponderous defending, jolting a side ranked 63 places above them in the world.
Charles Andriamatsinoro sealed the victory in front of CAF president and Madagascar native Ahmad Ahmad with a heavily deflected free-kick on 53 minutes for his second goal in three games in Egypt.
The Indian Ocean islanders had to come through a preliminary round just to reach the qualifying competition but will advance as winners of Group B ahead of Nigeria, with Guinea hoping to progress as one of the four best third-place finishers following a 2-0 win over Burundi in Cairo.
Defeat for Nigeria likely sets up an eye-catching clash with either holders Cameroon or four-time winners Ghana in the next round, while Madagascar will take on a team that finishes third from either Group A, C or D.
Having already qualified after back-to-back 1-0 victories, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr made five changes to the side that overcame Guinea in their second game with Samuel Kalu handed his first start of the tournament following last week’s collapse in training due to severe dehydration.
Yet after a comfortable start, Nigeria gifted their opponents a goal completely against the run of play when a poor pass from John Ogu put Leon Balogun in trouble, with Nomenjanahary pinching the ball on the edge of the area and coolly dancing round Ikechukwu Ezenwa to slot home.
Kalu bent a shot wide of the far post in response for Nigeria, whose penalty appeals were ignored when Ahmed Musa tumbled to the ground after trying to skip past goalkeeper Melvin Adrien on the half-hour.
French coach Nicolas Dupuis, who combines the role with his job at a lower-league club in his homeland, has worked wonders with a Madagascar side that qualified for a first Cup of Nations by finishing above Equatorial Guinea and Sudan.
Guinea face anxious wait
They doubled their lead early in the second half here when Andriamatsinoro’s set-piece flicked off substitute Wilfred Ndidi and left Ezenwa stranded as the ball sailed into the net.
Ndidi belatedly registered Nigeria’s first shot on target just before the hour with a curling effort straight at Adrien, although Anicet Andrianantenaina nearly bagged a third as Ezenwa smothered on the line after an inviting Andriamatsinoro cross.
While Madagascar became the first debutants to advance beyond the group stage since Cape Verde in 2013, they will be without midfielder Marco Ilaimaharitra for their next game after he collected a late yellow card, his second in three matches.
In contrast, fellow newcomers Burundi bowed out without a single goal or point after a 2-0 loss to Guinea.
Burundi’s hopes suffered a huge blow when Christophe Nduwarugira was sent off on 12 minutes in the capital after a foul as the last man, and Mohamed Yattara stepped up for Guinea with both goals to leave them facing a nervous wait for a spot in the last 16.
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