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CAF Champions League Roundup: Al Ahly Win Big, Orlando Pirates Stumble As LPRC Oilers Shine

A comprehensive round-up of the CAF Champions League matches played over the weekend across the continent.

Twenty-eight encounters were played across the continent in the opening weekend of CAF Champions League action with various clubs recording mixed results.

Egyptian heavyweights Al Ahly set themselves up for progress to the second round as they registered a 4-0 win over South Sudan’s Atlabara in a match played on Sunday.

Moroccan striker Walid Azaro scored twice after Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul had opened the scoring in the 17th minute through a penalty. Second-half substitute Ahmed El-Sheikh put the icing on the cake with a stoppage-time goal.

The result means that the South Sudanese will have to go and win the second leg encounter with a difference of two goals.

Elsewhere, 2016 Africa Champions Mamelodi Sundowns got their campaign off to a rocky start with a 2-1 defeat to AS Otoho d’Oyo away in Congo Brazzaville.

The Brazilians conceded the first goal from the penalty spot, and suffered a major blow as they finished the first half with ten men after their captain Hlompho Kekana was shown a red card.

Sundowns pulled an equalizer in the late stages of the match courtesy of an unstoppable long-range strike from Thapelo Morena.

Another South African side, Orlando Pirates, face an uphill task to progress to the next stage of the competition after slumping to a 1-0 defeat to Green Eagles on Saturday in Lusaka.

Spencer Sautu scored the lone goal of the match in the fifth minute of the second half from a fast-paced counterattack that left the Buccaneers stranded.

Orlando Pirates head coach Micho Sredojevic blamed lack of concentration by his charges for the defeat which came from the Zambian outfit which was making its debut in the Champions League.

“We dominated in almost all aspects of the match except one crucial aspect which was putting the ball in the back of the net,” Sredojevic told Pirates TV after the match.

“We applied ourselves very well. Unfortunately, a lapse of concentration at the beginning of the second half led to the Eagle’s goal.”

“We were clear on one side and then we lost the ball in an important position which is defensive midfield. The deflection put the opposition player in a position to put the ball in the back of the net,” he added.

No doubt Liberia champions LPRC Oilers want to launch a big comeback to the continental scene as they silenced highly rated Senegalese giants Generation Foot with a 1-0 victory which paves their way for a successful campaign.

Towering forward Terry Sackor scored in the 55th minute having received a through pass within the 18-yard box in a match that was played on Sunday at the Antoinette (ATS) Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.

The pressure now will be on Generation Foot to win in Dakar in the second leg so as to stay alive in the competition.

“We blamed the defeat on the match officiating. We are not satisfied with the officials. We had a penalty that was disallowed but I am optimistic that we will win the return leg,” Generation Foot coach Djiby Fall said after the match.

“We are going back and already know how our opponents play; we are going to prepare technically and I am optimistic of qualification.”

Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto will also fancy their chances of reaching the first round after they trounced KMKM from Zanzibar 2-0.

JS Kabylie, USM Alger, Burkina Faso’s Rahimo, Kano Pillars of Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea’s Cano Sport will also be expected to advance after comfortable first-leg wins.

Experienced campaigners Horoya AC of Guinea failed to obtain a comforting away advantage over feeble Stade de Malie as they were held to a one-all- draw.

Widely regarded as favourites to carry off the victory, Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca escaped being shocked by Gambia minnows Brikama United who were up in their game.

But the 3-3 draw weighs more on the North Africans as they prepare for the second leg tie in their backyard where they will need a goalless draw for them to proceed to the next round.

Madagascar representatives Fosa Juniors didn’t play it cool with the Mauritius champs Pamplemousses as their effort was rewarded by a lone but vital goal at home.

Ivory Coast’s SOA played to a goalless draw Nouadhibou of Mauritania same as CMS of Gabon and Elect Sport of Chad who ended their fierce clashes happy with hopes for something better come the second leg.

In Moroni, Fomboni were held to a 2-2 draw by visiting Cote D’Or of Seychelles who were highly elated with the score, exercising a strong faith in a possible success back home when they take on the Comorians in two weeks.

Libya’s Al Nasr couldn’t make the breakthrough they had earlier believed in as they were beaten 1-0 by lowly rated Central Africa Republic side Tempete Mocaf.

Kenyan champions Gor Mahia will have to push for a home win as they held Burundian side Aiger Noir to a goalless draw.

Tunisia representatives Etoile du Sahel knew they had a hard nut to crack visiting the solid Guinea formation Hafia; and they just couldn’t crack it, falling 2-1 in Conakry.

CAF Champions League preliminary round results:

Friday, 9 August 2019

JS Kabylie (Algeria) 1-0 El Merreikh (Sudan)

Sonidep (Niger) 1-2 USM Alger (Algeria)

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Brikama United (Gambia) 3-3 Raja Club Athletic (Morocco)

Stade Malien (Mali) 1-1 Horoya (Guinea)

Rahimo (Burkina Faso) 1-0 Enyimba (Nigeria)

Cano Sport (Equatorial Guinea) 2-1 Mekelle (Ethiopia)

Kano Pillars (Nigeria) 3-2 Asante Kotoko (Ghana)

African Stars (Namibia) 3-2 KCCA (Uganda)

Green Mamba (Eswatini) 0-2 Zesco (Zambia)

Young Africans (Tanzania) 1-1 Township Rollers (Botswana)

Nyasa Big Bullets (Malawi) 0-0 FC Platinum (Zimbabwe)

UD Songo (Mozambique) 0-0 Simba (Tanzania)

KMKM (Zanzibar) 0-2 Primeiro de Agosto (Angola)

Green Eagles (Zambia) 1-0 Orlando Pirates (South Africa)

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Tempete Mocaf (Central African Rep.) 1-0 El Nasr (Libya)

Buffles (Benin) 1-1 ASCK (Togo)

UMS de Loum (Cameroon) 0-0 AS Vita (DR Congo)

Rayon Sport (Rwanda) 1-1 El Hilal (Sudan)

Aigle Noir (Burundi) 0-0 Gor Mahia (Kenya)

*Atlabara (South Sudan) 0-4 Al Ahly (Egypt)

**Dekadaha (Somalia) vs Zamalek (Egypt)

LPRC Oilers (Liberia) 1-0 Generation Foot (Senegal)

Hafia (Guinea) 2-1 Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)

Matlama (Lesotho) 0-2 Petro Atletico (Angola)

Fomboni (Comoros) 2-2 Cote D’Or (Seychelles)

AS Otoho (Congo) 2-1 Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

SOA (Cote d’Ivoire) 0-0 Nouadhibou (Mauritania)

CMS (Gabon) 0-0 Elect Sport (Chad)

Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) 1-0 Pamplemousses (Mauritius)

*Match played in Alexandria (Egypt)

**Postponed to 16 August 2019 in Cairo (Egypt)

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