Home Football Can Sudan better third place in CHAN return?

Can Sudan better third place in CHAN return?

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Sudan make a return to the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) after missing the last edition in Cameroon and they will be keen to do better than their pair of third place finishes in the 2011 and 2018.

The 1970 Africa Cup of Nations winners qualified for the seventh edition of the tournament from the CECAFA Zone after thrashing Djibouti 7-3 on aggregate and will be keen to make a huge imprint when they land in Algeria.

*Match Calendar

Sudan have been drawn in a tough Group C and will take on Morocco, Madagascar and Ghana, and will play their matches at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine.

Fixtures:

January 15, 2023, 17h00 – Morocco vs Sudan, Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine

January 19, 2023, 20h00 – Ghana vs Sudan, Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine

January 23, 2023, 20h00 – Sudan vs Madagascar, Miloud Hadefi Stadium, Oran

Coach – Burhan Tia

The experienced Bruhan Tia was appointed last year, just before the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, taking over from Hubert Velud. At the AFCON, his first assignment with the Falcons Of Jeddiane,ended up with a haul of one point from a 0-0 draw with Guinea Bissau.

He lost the other two to finish third in Group D.

Tia is one of the most experienced coaches in Sudan, having started his career way back in 1995., his first assignment being with AL Mourada. He went on to coach the likes of Al Ahli, Al-Merreikh Al-Thagher, Hay Al-Arab, Alamal Atbara, Kadougli-based club Al-Hilal, Al-Merreikh Al-Fasher, Al-Hilal Al-Fasher, Al Neel, Al-Merrikh and Al-Tuti.

*Players to watch

The two biggest clubs, Al Merrikh and Al Hilal are expected to make up the most of the squad for the team in Algeria, It is expected to be a similar squad from their AFCON team, with most of the first team players plying their trade locally.

Mohamed Abdelrahman, one of the longest serving players in the squad, will be one of the players to watch out for Sudan. The skipper, who plays his club football with giants Al Hilal is expected to lead the forward line for the Sudanese in Algeria.

He has had a good start to the season and has two goals in four Champions League matches for Hilal.

Another player to watch for Sudan will be Walieldin Khedr. The midfielder also plays his club football with Hilal and with more than 30 caps for the national team, his composure in midfield will be a key factor for Sudan in Algeria.

*History in CHAN

Sudan have qualified for the tournament twice before, in the second edition in 2011 and in the 2018 edition staged in Morocco. On both occasions, they finished third.

In 2011 when they hosted the tournament, they finished top of Group A with seven points, beating Gabon and Uganda and drew with Algeria. They beat Niger 4-3 on penalties in the quarters after a 1-1 draw in regulation time, before losing 4-2 on penalties to Angola in the semis.

They earned bronze after beating Algeria 1-0 in the play-off, a repeat of their group stage meeting.

In 2018, they finished second in their group, with seven points again. This time, they drew with hosts Morocco and beat Guinea and Mauritania.

They then beat Zambia 1-0 in the quarter finals, but lost by a solitary goal to Nigeria in the semis. They earned bronze after beating Libya 4-2 on penalties in the play-off.

History of local clubs in Continental football
Al Hilal team picture during the CAF Champions League 202122 football match between Al Hilal and Al Merrikh held at the Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman, Sudan on 11 March 2022.

Hilal and Merrikh are the most successful clubs in continental football. Merrikh, 19-time champions of the Sudan Premier League have played in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League 27 times, and their best ever performance was a quarter final appearance in 1975.

They have played in the group stages in three consecutive seasons in 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23. They have had more success in the Confederation Cup. They won the tournament when it was referred as the CAF Cup Winners’ Cup in 1989 after beating Nigeria’s Bendel United 1 – 0.

They also reached the semis in 1992. Merrikh then reached the final in 2007 losing to Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien. They also reached the semis in the 2012 season.

Hilal, the most successful club in Sudan with 29 Premier League titles have also had some success on the continent, having reached the final of the Champions League in 1987 and 1992. In 1987, they lost to Egypt’s Al Ahly while in 92, they were defeated by Wydad Athletic Club.

They have also reached the semi-final in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015 and have made the group stages over the last four consecutive seasons.

They have six appearances in the CAF Confederation Cup, reaching the semis in 2010 and 2012, and reached the quarter finals in the 2018-19 season.

*Source: CAF Communication Department.

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