CAF: Groups still to be decided in African cups
The semi-final places have yet to be decided in the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup and with four of the six matchdays completed it seems likely that the next round of games will be the most important played in this year’s competitions so far.
Group A could’ve seen Nigerians Enyimba FC (4 games, 8 points) seal their place in the last four at the weekend but they were held to a goalless draw away at bottom club Raja Casablanca who gained only their second point of the campaign. Second place Al-Hilal Omdurman could also have sealed their semi-final place but they remain one point behind the leaders following their 2-0 away defeat at Cameroonians Coton Sport who overtook Raja Casablanca into third place on the back of the win with four points. The spotlight will be on the top two on Matchday 5 with Al-Hilal hosting Enyimba in Sudan’s second city and the winner guaranteeing themselves a semi-place.
There was an obvious lack of goals in this weekend’s Group B encounters. Top two clubs Espérance and Wydad Casablanca (both 4 games, 6 points) faced off in Tunis for their Matchday 4 clash but had to be content with a point following a 0-0 draw. The same can also be said of third and fourth place Al-Ahly and MC Alger with the former frustrated in their efforts to overtake the top two into top spot. As a result of their match Al-Ahly close the gap on the top two to just one point with the Algerians rooted to the bottom of the group with two points. Both Espérance and Wydad will hope to seal their progress into the semi-finals on Matchday 5 with both teams having home matches against MC Alger and Al-Ahly respectively. A win for both sides would mean guaranteed qualification to the next stage.
The CAF Confederation Cup remains open this year with any of the four teams in Group A still able to qualify for the semi-finals whilst Group B sees the top three separated by just one point. Group A saw victories on Matchday 4 for Inter Luanda and Kaduna United, both of whom triumphed 2-1 at home against Club Africain and ASEC Mimosas respectively. Inter Luanda (4 games, 7 points) hope to seal progression at home to Kaduna United (5 points) on Matchday Five whilst Club Africain (5 points) can effectively eliminate ASEC Mimosas (4 points) from the competition should they win their encounter next time out.
Group B hasn’t been a happy adventure for Algerian side JS Kabylie this year. The two-time African champions have struggled in the second-tier competition losing all four matches in the group stage so far, the latest a 2-0 away defeat at the hands of Congolese side Motema Pembe who are now in joint second place with Nigerian outfit Sunshine Stars (7 points) who drew 1-1 at home to group leaders MAS Fez (8 points). While Motema Pembe and Sunshine Stars must face off in a fortnight’s time, group leaders MAS Fez will be quietly confident of progression on Matchday 5 as they travel to JS Kabylie.