Nigeria shock CHAN casualties despite defeating Togo

JOHANNESBURG: Powerful Nigeria were shock 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying casualties this weekend despite a 2-0 home victory over Togo in the second leg of a final round eliminator.Sikiru Alimi scored twice in Lagos for the top 10 ranked African football nation, but it was not enough as Togo qualified for the finals 4-3 on aggregate.It will be the first appearance by the Togolese in a unique national team competition, which is restricted to footballers who play in their country of birth.Nigeria, runners-up to hosts Morocco in the 2018 final, had been seeking a fourth consecutive appearance at the biennial 16-nation championship.Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia also qualified this weekend.Cameroon qualify automatically as hosts, but the tournament dates have not been announced.Needing to score at least three goals after a shock 4-1 first leg loss in Lome last month, Nigeria made a promising start with Alimi netting on eight minutes.He could have had a hat-trick by half-time, but failed to score when one-on-one with goalkeeper Mubarak Aigba while another shot was cleared off the goalline.Alimi did score again 19 minutes from time, but a third unanswered goal that would have given Nigeria victory on away goals eluded him and his team-mates.Continuous time wasting by the Togolese led to 10 minutes of stoppage time being added with the visitors clinging desperately to their one-goal aggregate advantage.

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