CAF: Espérance and Kabylie in charge; Cups Review (+video)
The African Champions League remains competitive after Matchday 4 was completed this weekend with every team hoping that they can still advance to the semi-finals. Meanwhile the CAF Confederation Cup is now in full swing after all eight clubs played their Matchday 2 games in the last few days. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the latest action in African continental club competition.
Tunisian champions Espérance regained the leadership of Group A having defeated Champions League holders TP Mazembe by three goals to nil. Michael Enaramo did most of the damage as his goals in the 20th and 47th minutes of the game were scored in key moments of the match whilst Walid Hacheri secured the victory when he scored the third goal with three minutes of normal time remaining. Espérance now have nine points after four matches, two ahead of TP Mazembe who are in second place. In the other group game ES Sétif defeated Dynamos FC of Zimbabwe to leave themselves with an outside chance of semi-final progression. A double-strike from Bouazza Feham along with a goal from Youcef Ghazali gave the Algerians an easy 3-0 victory over their opponents and, as a result, Sétif leapfrog over Dynamos into third place. Both Espérance and TP Mazembe have a good chance to secure their semi-final berths on Matchday 5 with the teams having home matches against ES Sétif and Dynamos respectively.
WATCH ESPERANCE v TP MAZEMBE HIGHLIGHTS HERE:
JS Kabylie remain on top of Group B knowing that one win in their next two games will guarantee them top spot after their 1-1 draw on Matchday 4 away at Al Ahly wasn’t quite enough to secure them a semi-final spot just yet. Mohamed Nagy gave the record champions Al Ahly the lead with after 22 minutes but the Algerians equalized just seven minutes later through an amazing strike from Saad Tedjar and with no further scoring the gap between the two north African giants in the group table remains at five points. Al Ahly’s slip allowed their compatriots Ismaily the opportunity to overtake them in the standings. Things looked good for Ismaily early on in their game away at Heartland FC when Emad Soliman gave them the lead on 31 minutes but the lead only lasted until the 40 minute before Ikechukwu Ibenegbu restored parity for the home side. The match winner came with only five minutes left to play, Chinedu Efugh’s strike ultimately being the difference between the two teams. Heartland FC are in third place in the standings with four points, one more than Ismaily and one behind Al Ahly. The top two will want to secure their semi-final places in home fixtures on Matchday 5 with JS Kabylie playing Ismaily whilst Ah Ahly plays host to Heartland FC.
WATCH AL AHLY v JS KABYLIE HIGHLIGHTS HERE:
The Confederation Cup reached its second matchday this weekend with Al-Hilal and CS Sfaxien in charge of their respective groups. Sudan’s Al Hilal won their second consecutive game, the only team to have done so in the group stage, with an impressive 4-2 win over ASFAN FC from Niger. ASFAN were 2-1 up at the break but goals from Khalefa Ahmed Mohamed, Demba Barry and Edward Sedomba secured the victory for Al Hilal who lead the table by three points from Libyans Ittihad who got off the mark with a 1-0 win over Malian side Djoliba FC with Felix Katongo’s 72nd minute goal proving decisive. CS Sfaxien kept up Tunisian football’s continental prowess with a 3-0 victory over north African neighbours FUS Rabat from Morocco. Hamza Younes bagged a brace and Abbas Hashim scored the third which allowed Sfaxien to jump above their opponents in the standings. The other Group B game saw Ahmed Salama secure a precious point for Egyptians Haras El Hodood with an equalizing goal eight minutes from time in their 1-1 encounter with Zambians Zanaco FC, who had taken the lead after 47 minutes through Mathews Macha. Haras El Hodood are third in the group standings with two points, one ahead of Zanaco FC.