CAF: Competitions separate the men from the boys
The second round of the CAF Champions League has been completed this weekend and the eight teams who have qualified from this section look forward to the oncoming group stage. “Stoppage Time – International Football Blog” reports on the winners and losers from the second round of Africa’s elite club competition and highlights the latest developments in the Confederation Cup, Africa’s equivalent of the UEFA Europa League or Copa Sudamericana.
On Friday night three teams were victorious in their Round of 16 matches. Zimbabweans Dynamos F.C. had a comfortable passage following their first leg 4-1 victory against Botswana’s Gaborone United by securing a goalless draw in the return fixture to become the first team through to the last eight. Algerian champions ES Sétif were made to work for their place having scraped through with a 3-2 aggregate win over Zambians Zanaco F.C. Another North African team, Espérance of Tunisia, made it through after they easily negotiated their way past Sudanese Al-Merreikh with a 4-0 aggregate win. On Sunday defending champions TP Mazembe secured their passage to the group stage with a 3-0 second leg win over Malians Djoliba, going through 4-0 overall. Algerians JS Kabylie were grateful to go through 3-2 on aggregate against Angolans Atlético Petróleos while Heartlands FC from Nigeria beat South African champions SuperSport United 4-2 on aggregate. The two Egyptian teams in the tournament, Al Ahly and Ismaily, clinched the remaining two berths in the last eight with aggregate victories over Ittihad and Al-Hilal Omdurman respectively. The eight winners will be drawn into two groups of four teams in the lucrative group stage whilst the eight losing teams from this round will be rewarded with the consolation prize of a place in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The sixteen teams remaining in the CAF Confederation Cup will play a further knockout round before they indulge in a group stage format similar to that in the main competition. Defending champions Stade Malien were knocked out of this year’s tournament having succumbed to a 2-0 aggregate defeat by Moroccans FUS Rabat. The team from the Moroccan capital took a two goal first leg lead into the return fixture and were able to hold on comfortably in order to progress to the next stage. Egyptians Haras El Hodood were the big winners in the second round having defeated Tanzanians Simba F.C. by six goals to three. Two-time former champions CS Sfaxien squeezed through past Egyptians Petrojet F.C. by a 2-1 scoreline whilst Algerian outfit CR Belouizdad’s hopes of claiming a first continental trophy were increased after they overturned a 1-0 first leg defeat with a 2-0 win in the second leg against Sudanese Amal Atbara. In the remaining games ASFAN F.C. (Niger), Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) and CAPS United (Zimbabwe) ensured aggregate wins against DC Motema Pembe (DR Congo), Cotonsport (Cameroun) and Warri Wolves (Nigeria) respectively while Nigerians Enyimba clawed back a 3-0 first leg deficit against AS Vita Club (DR Congo) to force extra-time and a penalty shoot-out in which they prevailed 9-8 from spot kicks.