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Senegal, Ivory Coast win to reach CHAN quarterfinals

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A successful night for west Africa saw regional powerhouses Senegal and the Ivory Coast qualify for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) quarter-finals on Sunday in Algeria.

Senegal, who began the final round in Group B lying second, trounced two-time former champions the Democratic Republic of Congo 3-0 in the eastern city of Annaba.

The surprisingly comfortable victory elevated the Senegalese to first, and a last-eight showdown with the Group D winners, probably Mali, this Friday.

Ivory Coast were last in the standings as they kicked off against then leaders Uganda, but a 3-1 triumph lifted them to second and qualification for the knockout phase.

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The Ivorians will face Algeria on Friday in Algiers at the Stade Nelson Mandela, a ground where the host nation won all three Group A matches without conceding.

Senegal finished with six points, the Ivory Coast and Uganda four each and the DR Congo two in a competition confined to footballers playing for clubs in their country of birth.

The head-to-head rule separated the Ivorians and Ugandans, and ensured all three west African contenders will be involved in the quarter-finals as Ghana have qualified from Group C.

After holding DR Congo and beating Senegal, a Ugandan side coached by Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic hoped to go beyond the group stage for the first time in six attempts.

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But they began disastrously, allowing Sankara Karamoko and Vignon Ouotro to put the Ivory Coast two goals ahead after 27 minutes.

Moses Waiswa impressively converted a penalty on 34 minutes to halve the deficit, and Uganda missed chances before Aubin Kouame notched a third Ivorian goal 12 minutes from time.

Luck was not on the side of the east Africans as the woodwork denied Travis Mutyaba a late goal off a brilliantly taken free-kick.

In Annaba, DR Congo fell behind midway through the first half when Ousmane Diouf scored and they were reduced to 10 men before half-time after the red-carding of Kevin Mondeko.

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Senegal sealed victory with two goals inside three minutes, from Pape Diallo and a Baggio Siadi own-goal, in the closing stages.

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