Nigeria Professional Football League record goals scorer Mfon Udoh netted a hat trick in Port Harcourt on Sunday to put Enyimba in the driving seat for the CAF Champions League group stage qualification as defending champions TP Mezembe lost in Morocco to Wydad Casablanca.
Udoh scored a hat-trick to record his seventh goal in three games in the ongoing continental campaign as Enyimba trounced Etoile Sahel of Tunisia 3-0 Sunday in a high-profile CAF Champions League last 16 first leg.
The former Akwa United man bagged braces against Vipers of Uganda in the preliminary round and against Vital’O of Burundi in the round of 32.
Leading 2016 Champions League scorer Udoh struck once in the first half and twice in the second half in a temporary home in Port Harcourt while their Aba fortress is being renovated. Victory puts the two time African champions on the brink of qualifying for the lucrative group phase of the premier African club competition after alomost a decade of missing out on a group statge slot.
Etoile host the return match on April 19 or 20 in Mediterranean resort Sousse, needing to score three unanswered goals just to force a penalty shootout.
In Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe had their grip on the CAF Champions League trophy loosened Saturday after a 2-0 qualifying loss at Wydad Casablanca of Morocco. Goals by Abdellatif Noussir and Reda Hajhouj gave the North Africans a healthy advantage in the last 16 tie ahead of the return match on April 20 in Central African city Lubumbashi.
Noussir scored his first goal of the CAF campaign just before half-time and Hajhouj converted a penalty midway through the second half in Marrakech. Coached by twice Real Madrid manager John Toshack, Wydad are attempting to win the competition a second time, having previously succeeded in 1992.
Elsewhere, Tanzania champions, Young Africans came from behind to hold Al Ahly of Egypt 1-1 in their 1/8th round first leg clash on Saturday in Dar es Salaam.
Ahly, record eight time winners went up after 11 minutes through Amr Gamal who finished off a superb Hossam Ghaly chip from a free-kick. ‘Yanga’ as the Tanzanians are nicknamed responded and got the equalizer eight minutes later after Ahly defender Ahmed Hegazi turned the ball into his net.
In Uganda, Former winners, ES Setif of Algeria snatched a dramatic 2-2 draw away in Omdurman against El Merreikh of Sudan on Saturday.
It did not take long for both sides to settle with the homers dominating the early exchanges thanks to the swift play by trio captain Ragei Abdelati, Omer Bakhit and Ghanaian Francis Coffie. Against the run of play, Eudes Dagoulou put the visitors in the lead on 15 minutes capitalising on a blunder by the host backline.
Merreikh came close and Coffie set up Bakri Babeker, who headed wide from close range. The host finally found their breakthrough on 34 minutes through captain Abdelati from a corner. Three minutes later, Setif, who won their second title only two years ago, went ahead again through petit midfielder Abdelmoumen Djabou, to give his side a lead into the break.
Merreikh resumed stronger and the introduction of Malian Mohamed Traore for Mohamed Marhoum brought some life into their attack. It was therefore little wonder when Abdelati restored parity yet again from a corner on 54 minutes.
Saturday, 9 April 2016
El Merreikh (Sudan) 2-2 ES Setif (Algeria)
Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) 2-0 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Stade Malien (Mali) 1-3 Zesco United (Zambia)
Young Africans (Tanzania) 1-1 Al Ahly (Egypt)
ASEC Mimosas (Egypt) 2-0 Ahly Tripoli (Libya)
Zamalek (Egypt) 2-0 MO Bejaia (Algeria)
Sunday, 10 April 2016
AS Vita (DR Congo) 1-0 Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
Enyimba (Nigeria) 3-0 Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)