CAF: Enyimba and Luanda ensure semi-final spots
With just one matchday to play in the group stage of the CAF African Champions League only Nigerian champions Enyimba FC have secured a place in the semi-finals. Five teams kept alive their ambitions of progression into the final four of this year’s competition and thus ensure an interesting finish to this stage of the tournament next weekend. A similar situation prevaisl in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup with only Angolan outfit Inter Luanda guaranteed a semi-final place as it stands after Matchday 5.
A stoppage time goal from Samuel Tswanya gave Enyimba FC a 2-1 win away at Sudanese champions Al-Hilal Omdurmam and provided the Nigerians with a four point cushion at the top of the table with just one match to play in Group A. Osmaila Baiba bagged two goals as his Coton Sport side came from behind to beat Moroccans Raja Casablanca by two goals to one. Coton Sport are in joint second place with Al-Hilal on seven points and both teams must travel on the final matchday to Enyimba FC and Raja Casablanca respectively.
Group B still remains very open with only MC Alger completely out of the running for a semi-final spot. Espérance ST hammered MC Alger by four goals to nil on Saturday with Yannick N’Djeng scoring a hat-trick for the Tunisian champions to ensure that they top the group with nine points from five games going into the last match of the group stage next weekend. A win for Wydad Casablanca yesterday would’ve guaranteed them a semi-final spot but they fluffed their opportunity at home to record African champions Al Ahly with the teams having to be satisfied with a point each following a 1-1 draw. Wydad will still fancy their chances of progression as they travel to MC Alger on Matchday 6 with Egyptian giants Al Ahly hosting Espérance ST on Friday night.
Inter Luanda’s 4-1 thrashing of Nigerians Kaduna United means that they guarantee themselves the first semi-final spot of the 2011 CAF Confederation Cup. Club Africain look the most likely to join Inter into the semi-finals from Group A as they have eight points, three more than Kaduna United whom they must face on Matchday 6 hopeful of gaining just a solitary point to qualify. MAS Fez currently top Group B with eleven points and need just a point at home to Congolese side Motema Pembe to be certain of semi-final football. Motema Pembe along with Nigerians Sunshine Stars lie on eight points but the latter seem more likely to progress as they have a home match against JS Kabylie on Matchday 6 with the Algerian side remaining pointless after five games.