Africa roundup: Red cards as Uganda hold Cameroon in CHAN warm-up


Johannesburg (AFP) – Uganda drew 1-1 with host country Cameroon in a fiery African Nations Championship (CHAN) warm-up match despite having a player sent off after only 12 minutes. 

Ben Ocen was shown a straight red card following his reckless challenge on Alfred Meyong at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, the 42,500-capacity national stadium in Yaounde.

Cameroon went ahead through Banga Bindjelme just a minute after Uganda were reduced to 10 men, but Milton Karisa levelled on 70 minutes and the home side had Basile Yamkam red-carded in the final minute.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up African football news.

Cameroon

Cameroon will face Niger and Zambia in other friendly matches as the central African nation prepares to host a major Confederation of African Football (CAF) male tournament for the first time since 1972. 

The Nations Championship kicks off on January 16 in Yaounde with a Group A clash between Cameroon and Zimbabwe, and Burkina Faso and Mali meet later in the second half of a double-header.

Group winners and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals of a tournament reserved for footballers playing in their country of birth.

Morocco

Ayoub el Kaabi, whose nine goals helped hosts Morocco win the Nations Championship for the first time three years ago, has been included in a 34-man preliminary squad for Cameroon. 

His CHAN feats won him a contract with Chinese outfit Hebei Fortune, but the 27-year-old has since returned home to play for two-time African champions Wydad Casablanca.

Half the squad is composed of stars from the top three Moroccan clubs — Renaissance Berkane (seven) and Raja Casablanca and Wydad (five each).

Zambia

Zambia surrendered a two-goal advantage in a 3-3 draw with fellow qualifiers Niger in another Yaounde warm-up match before the sixth edition of the Nations Championship.

After an early Collins Sikombe goal for the Zambians was cancelled by Ibrahim Essa, Moses Phiri gave the southern Africa nation a 2-1 half-time lead.

Sikombe doubled the advantage with his second goal before Essa netted again and Moussa Issa equalised with only three minutes remaining. 

Egypt

Five-time African champions Zamalek joined fierce rivals Al Ahly in second place in the Egyptian Premier League thanks to a 2-1 away victory over ENPPI. 

Both star-studded Cairo outfits have 10 points from four outings, one point less than frontrunners El Gouna, who have played one match more.

Moroccan Achraf Bencharki and Youssef ‘Obama’ Ibrahim gave the White Knights a two-goal half-time advantage that was halved midway through the second half when Rami Sabry netted.

South Africa

Mamelodi Sundowns took a three-point lead in the South African Premiership after edging Orlando Pirates 1-0 in a ninth-round showdown between previously unbeaten sides.

Kenya defender Brian Onyango was the unexpected match-winner, heading into the net from close range on 35 minutes after Pirates failed to clear a free-kick.

Defending champions Sundowns have 21 points from nine matches, three more than promoted Swallows, who host Cape Town City Tuesday.

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