Qualification for the money spinning stage of the CAF Champions League peaked on Tuesday and Wednesday across different centres on the African continent -with defending Champions TP Mezembe failing to make it to the group stage while Nigerian champions Enyimba ended their four year wait for a group stage spot by overcoming Tunisian opponent Etoile du Sahel.
MO Bejaia (Algeria) 1-1 Zamalek (Egypt)
Former English Premier League manager Alex McLeish eased the pressure on him by taking Zamalek of Egypt into the CAF Champions League group stage on Tuesday. The Cairo club snatched a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria in a last 16 second leg and advanced 3-1 on aggregate.
Faouzi Yaya rifled a free-kick past substitute goalkeeper Mahmoud Abdel Rehim on 57 minutes to halve the deficit Bejaia faced after the first leg in Cairo. But first leg scorer Ahmed Hamoudi levelled two minutes from time in Algeria by racing on to a defence-splitting pass and deceiving goalkeeper Chamseddine Rahmani. The match was one of three second legs staged on Tuesday — the first official midweek matches in the 52-year-old premier African Football Confederation (CAF) club competition.
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 1-1 Wydad (Morocco)
Title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo were eliminated from the CAF Champions League on Wednesday after drawing 1-1 at home to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.
Malian Salif Coulibaly, one of many foreigners in a multi-national Mazembe side, raised hopes of a second leg comeback by scoring with a bullet header off a first half corner. But Reda Hajhouj levelled with time almost up, shooting across Mazembe goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo into the far corner of the net in Lubumbashi -his sixth goal this season in the premier African club, one less than leading scorer Mfon Udoh of Nigeria’s Enyimba.
The result, coupled with a 2-0 last 16 first leg loss in North Africa, meant the five-time champions lost 3-1 on aggregate and were demoted to the CAF Confederation Cup.
Etoile Sahel (Tunisia) 3-0 Enyimba (Nigeria)
Nigerian Champions Enyimba will join 1992 champions Wydad and six other clubs in the May 24 group draw after advancing with a 7-6 aggregate scoreline thanks to a 4-3 penalty shootout win against Etoile Sahel on Wednesday.
After being condemned to a 3-0 defeat by no thanks to Mfon Udoh’s hat trick in the first leg, Etoile hit back at home to win by an identical score with Hamza Lahmar scoring in the first half and Brazilian Diogo Acosta twice after half-time to force a spot kick shootout.
In other results, record eight-time African champions Al Ahly coached by former Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham manager Martin Jol left it late to edge Young Africans of Tanzania 2-1 and qualify after failing to reach the group stage in the past two seasons.
Hossam Ghaly put Ahly ahead early in the second half only for Zimbabwean Donald Ngoma to equalise midway through the half. Abdallah El Said snatched the goal that won the match and the tie five minutes into stoppage time in Alexandria.
In South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns had their hopes of reaching the group stage for the first time in 15 years dashed despite winning 2-1 at home against V Club of DR Congo.
ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast were another club to secure a group berth despite losing, 2-1 to Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya in Tunisia.
The former champions qualified 3-2 on aggregate having built a two goal lead in Abidjan while a couple of former title-holders, Entente Setif of Algeria and Zamalek of Egypt, and Zesco United of Zambia had qualified on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
ES Setif (Algeria) 0-0 El Merreikh (Sudan) (2-2)
MO Bejaia (Algeria) 1-1 Zamalek (Egypt) (0-2)
Zesco (Zambia) 2-1 Stade Malien (Mali) (3-1)
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 2-1 AS Vita (DR Congo) (0-1)
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 1-1 Wydad (Morocco) (0-2)
Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) 3-0 (3-4pen) Enyimba (Nigeria) (0-3)
Al Ahly (Egypt) 2-1 Young Africans (Tanzania) (1-1)
Ahly Tripoli (Egypt) 2-1 ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) (0-2)