CAF: Kabylie and TP Mazembe still going strong; African cups review
African club competition is really starting to hot up. The CAF Champions League is now at the midway point of the group stage whilst the CAF Confederation Cup has began its group stage after three intense rounds of knockout so far. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reports on the latest developments in Africa’s two biggest club tournaments.
Defending Champions League holders TP Mazembe are still unbeaten in Group A and with their 2-1 home win against Tunisian champions Espérance on Sunday have ended their opponents 100% record in the group stage. Michael Eneramo opened the scoring for Espérance in the 42nd minute of the game but the lead didn’t last for very long as Dioko Kaluyituka equalized for the Congolese side with just sixty seconds of the first half remaining. Just as time was running out in the second half the winning mentality of the African champions showed once more when Ngandu Kasongo gave TP Mazembe all three points with his 86th minute winner. In the other Group A Zimbabwean side Dynamos FC secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Algerian giants ES Sétif with Wonder Sithole’s 31st minute goal proving decisive. In the standings TP Mazembe (played 3, points 7) have a single point advantage over Espérance whilst Dynamos’ first win of the competition means that they have three points, two ahead of wooden spoonists ES Sétif.
In Group B Ismaily managed to squeeze a 1-0 victory at home to Nigerian side Heartland FC with Ndubuisi Eze, ironically a Nigerian, scoring the only goal for the Egyptians which allowed previously pointless Ismaily to overtake Heartland into third place in the standings. The game which meant everything at the top of the group was between Algerians JS Kabylie and record champions Al Ahly who met in Algiers. Once again there was only one goal to separate the sides and it was the home side who got it after 24 minutes after Mohamed Khoutir-Ziti scored the goal which preserved Kabylie’s 100% record in the tournament.
The group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup began this weekend without very many goals being scored. The opening match of Group A saw a goalless draw between ASFAN FC (Niger) and Djoliba FC (Mali) whilst the other game had more excitement with Ittihad (Libya) and Al Hilal (Sudan) meeting in Tripoli. The Sudanaese got the better of their hosts with a 2-1 scoreline with Mohamed Ahmed securing three points in the 67th minute. Group B didn’t fare any better in terms of goal action with just the one goal scored in two games. FUS Rabat (Morocco) gained three points against Zanaco FC (Zambia) thanks to a lone strike from Mohammed Benchrifa in the 57th minute whilst Haras El Hodood (Egypt) and CS Sfaxien (Tunisia) could only manage a goalless draw.