CAF: Semi-finalists decided on Matchday 5 (+video); ConFed Cup Review
The CAF Champions League semi-finalists have been decided with one match to play in the group stage of the competition whilst the CAF Confederation Cup is taking shape halfway through its group phase. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reports on the latest developments from Africa’s two continental club competitions.
Tunisians Espérance and defending African champions TP Mazembe have qualifed from Group A with both teams having ten points from five games, five ahead of third place ES Sétif who now cannot hope to catch any of the top two. Espérance still hold top spot in the group by virtue of a superior goal difference despite only gaining a point in a 2-2 draw at home to ES Sétif. The Algerian visitors took the lead after six minutes thanks to Youcef Ghazali but Espérance came from behind to take control of the game with strikes from Oussama Darragi (42 mins) and Mejdi Traoui (59 mins) but ES Sétif fortuitously equalized five minutes from time with Ghazali scoring his second of the match. Two goals in three second half minutes gave Congans TP Mazembe a crucial victory in order to secure their passage into the last four against Zimbabweans Dynamos FC. Dioko Kaluyituka opened the scoring on 59 minutes with his team mate Given Singulumu doubling the advantage on 62 minutes. Dynamos did pull a goal back late on thanks to Thubani Kamusoko’s 84th minute strike but it proved too little, too late.
WATCH ESPERANCE V ES SETIF GOALS HERE:
JS Kabylie were already assured of a semi-final spot before their match with Egyptian side Ismaily SC got under way on Saturday and the Algerians left it very late to gain three points from their Group B match. Izu Azuka’s 87th minute goal proved decisive and dented any hopes that the Egyptians may have had in claiming the second spot in the group. On Sunday record African champions Al Ahly took another step towards securing a seventh continental title with a 2-1 home win against third place Heartland FC. Ahmed Fathy’s 20th minute goal put Al Ahly into the ascendency and the lead was increased early in the second half thanks to Mohamed Fadl’s 49th minute goal. The Nigerians, despite this setback, took the game to their hosts and were rewarded just seven minutes later when Emmanuel Nwachi pulled one back for Heartland but, ultimately, it would not be enough for them as they couldn’t find the second goal needed to gain a point. JS Kabylie are already group winners with thirteen points with Al Ahly five points behind, Heartland FC are on four points with one game remaining and Ismaily prop up the table with a mere three points.
SEE AL AHLY’S WINNING GOAL HERE:
The CAF Confederation Cup is now at its halfway stage with one team already looking very likely to progress to the semi-finals whilst another group is very tight. In Group A Sudan’s Al Hilal have won all three games so far, the latest three points coming with a 2-1 at home to Malians Djoliba FC. Mudather El Tahir and Mohamed Ahmed Bisha gave Al Hilal a 2-0 half-time lead which was eventually reduced by half thanks to an Ousmane Cissé strike in second half stoppage time but the Sudanese held out for the win. In the other Group A game Libyans Al Ittihad had it easy against Niger’s ASFAN FC disposing of their opponents by four goals to nil. This means that Al Ittihad have six points from three games, three behind group leaders Al Hilal, whilst this weekend’s losing teams Djoliba and ASFAN are both languishing with one point each. In Group B two-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien suffered their first defeat, a 1-0 defeat away at Zambians Zanaco FC leaving Group B wide open by virtue of a lone Winston Kalengo strike in the 31st minute. This allowed Moroccans FUS Rabat to sneak into first place after narrowly defeating Egyptians Haras El Hodood by a single goal to nil. FUS have six points from three games, both CS Sfaxien and Zanaco are two points further back whilst Haras prop up the table with two points.