The race for semi-final places in this year’s CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup will all boil down to the second leg matches from this Friday.
In the Champions League, the margin after the first leg of the quarter-final matches is still within reach though it is advantage to a handful of the big guns.
Record winners of Africa’s biggest club competition Al Ahly put themselves in pole position for a semi-final place after playing out a 0-0 draw with Horoya AC at the 28 Septembre Stadium in Conakry on Friday.
Al Ahly have only failed to win once at home in four matches in the Champions League this year and that puts them in vantage position for the last four. Horoya do have a big game on their hands at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo this Saturday.
Five-time winners TP Mazembe are also in the hunt for a semi-final place after a 0-0 draw in the first meeting at Primeiro Agosto in Luanda. It was a sombre contest at the 11 de Novembro Stadium as both teams now have all to play for in the return fixture at the Lubumbashi Stadium this Friday.
It was the all-north African quarter-final matchups that produced goals.
First, ES Setif take a slender one goal lead ahead of Wydad Casablanca for Friday’s second leg at the Complexe Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco. A first half strike from Senegalese star Isla Daoudi Diomande proved just enough for Setif to edge the contest in Algeria last Saturday.
The clash of Tunisian giants, Esperance and Etoile du Sahel accounted for three goals with the former winning by the odd strike. Esperance were on course to victory as early as the second minute when Chamseddine Dhaouadi put them in front and that lead lasted only 27 minutes before Ammar Jamal popped with the equalizer at the other end.
Sameh Derbali’s winning goal for Esperance summed the contest as a day for goalscoring defenders as the decisive leg will take place at Stade Olympique de Sousse this Friday.
ENYIMBA & RAJA ON COURSE
Former winners of Champions League Enyimba and Raja Casablanca have also put themselves in the running for semi-final places in CAF’s second tier club competition. Enyimba earned themselves a 0-0 draw in Rwanda against Rayon Sports in one of Sunday’s four quarter-final matches.
Raja however stepped on the pedal at Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat in Brazzaville by inflicting a 2-1 win on CARA Brazzaville. Raja forward Soufiane Rahimi and substitute Mahmoud Benhalib got the goals for the Moroccan club sandwiched by Cabwey Kivutuka’s strike for CARA who now have a mountain to climb in Casablanca this Saturday.
DR Congo champions AS Vita Club will take a two-goal lead to Morocco where RS Berkane will hope to turn around a 1-3 defeat in order to progress to the semi-finals. Despite their best attempt to get things started at Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa through left-back Mohamed Azziz midway into the first half, it was AS Vita who responded with three strikes.
Makusu Mundele netted a double and Djuma Shabani added one more as AS Vita Club look quite comfortable ahead of the second leg billed for Terrain Municipal de Berkane.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) September 16, 2018
Egyptian side Al Masry edged past USM Alger 1-0 through Mahmoud Wadi’s second half goal. The return leg holds at Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers on Sunday.
Champions League results
Horoya AC 0-0 Al Ahly
ES Setif 1-0 Wydad Casablanca
Primeiro Agosto 0-0 TP Mazembe
Esperance 2-1 Etoile du Sahel
Confederation Cup results
CARA 1-2 Raja Casablanca
Rayon Sports 0-0 Enyimba
AS Vita Club 3-1 RS Berkane
Al Masry 1-0 USM Alger
© The Predictor NG