CHAN: Champions' crown will go to a new winner

Ivory Coast players celebrate qualifying for the CHAN quarter-finals
Ivory Coast are heading for a quarter-final match with the hosts Algeria

The quarter-final line-up for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) has guaranteed the trophy will be going to a first-time winner.

After the group stage, all the previous winners are out of the race for the title.

While the two-time winners Morocco decided to withdraw on the eve of the tournament, DR Congo - winner in 2009 and 2016 - could not qualify out of Group C, with two draws and a 3-0 defeat to Senegal in their last game.

In their first appearance in the CHAN - the tournament for African players based in their own domestic leagues - for 12 years, the Teranga Lions will face Mauritania in the quarter-finals.

In topping Group D, Mauritania qualified for the knock-out stage of the finals of an African competition for the very first time.

Another team to accomplish the same feat is Mozambique in Group A, where they finished behind the host Algeria - the only nation with three wins - and ahead of 2014 winners Libya.

They will play another team having an unexpectedly successful tournament, Madagascar - led by their coach Romuald Rakotondrabe, who goes by the nickname of the "Malagasy Mourinho."

The Madagascans topped a group that included two-time finalists Ghana - who at least managed to take second place thanks to a win against Sudan, who were eliminated.

Niger will be an unexpected opponent for the Ghanaians after they secured the only qualifying spot of the three-team Group E ahead of Cameroon and Congo.