Coach Mazda’s drive via

African Independent - - SPORT -

Watani club, scored the only goal of the two-leg tie just after half-time in Al Obeid.

Bu­rundi, hop­ing to elim­i­nate Su­dan again after beat­ing them on penal­ties in 2014, paid for fail­ing to es­tab­lish a first-leg lead in Bu­jum­bura.

Su­dan face Ethiopia this month with the win­ners qual­i­fy­ing for the 16-team event re­stricted to play­ers play­ing in their coun­try of birth.

The com­pe­ti­tion, whose games have in­ter­na­tional sta­tus, was the brain­child of for­mer Caf president Issa Hay­a­tou, who lost his job last March after 29 years in charge.

Con­cerned that Africans play­ing in Europe were dom­i­nat­ing na­tional squads, he de­vised the Chan to give home-based play­ers in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure.

Su­dan seek a sec­ond ap­pear­ance after host­ing the tour­na­ment in 2011 and fin­ish­ing third be­hind Tu­nisia and An­gola.

Suc­cess against Bu­rundi gave a needed boost to foot­ball in the east African state, whose only Caf ti­tle came 47 years ago when they won the Cup of Na­tions as hosts.

Su­dan were briefly barred last month by Fifa from com­pet­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally over gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence.

The na­tional team made a dis­as­trous start to 2019 Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fy­ing in June, los­ing 3-1 to Mada­gas­car at the same ground where they over­came Bu­rundi.

Mean­while, Morocco lost to Cameroon in the open­ing round of 2019 Af­con qual­i­fy­ing, and are also los­ing to them in the bat­tle to host the tour­na­ment.

Del­e­gate Faouzi Lek­jaa of Morocco bragged be­fore the re­cent Caf sym­po­sium in his coun­try that the north African king­dom would re­place Cameroon as 2019 hosts.

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