Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Africa: MAS Fez win Confederation Cup on penalties (video)

Posted in African Football by peterbein on December 4, 2011

CAF Confederation CupMoroccan side MAS Fez have won the 2011 CAF Confederation Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Tunisians Club Africain.

The Moroccans, who trailed 1-0 from the first leg, restored parity on aggregate in today’s return fixture thanks to Moussa Tigana’s goal three minutes into first half stoppage time. With no further scoring for the rest of the game penalties were necessary to determine the outcome of the cup for the third time in the competition’s short history since 2004. The Moroccans would eventually get the better of Club Africain as the shoot-out extended beyond the normal level of five kicks each with MAS Fez prevailing with a 6-5 victory.

MAS will get the chance to compete in the 2012 CAF Super Cup against CAF Champions League winners Esperance early next year.

MAS FEZ v CLUB AFRICAIN – FINAL, 2ND LEG GOAL

MAS FEZ v CLUB AFRICAIN PENALTY SHOOT-OUT

FIFA: Club World Cup Team Guide – Espérance Tunis

Posted in African Football by peterbein on December 4, 2011

Esperance logoTunisian giants Espérance will make their maiden appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup following their second CAF Champions League title win, their first such title for seventeen years, which was achieved with a 1-0 aggregate victory over Moroccans WAC Casablanca in the final. Should the Tunis based side overcome the challenge of Asian champions Al Sadd in the quarter-finals, a glamour tie against UEFA Champions League winners FC Barcelona will be on the cards for one of Africa’s most famous clubs.

Espérance began their successful 2011 CAF Champions League campaign by knocking out ASPAC FC from Benin 5-2 on aggregate before Senegal’s Diaraf FC were put to the sword with a 6-0 drubbing. The 24-time Tunisian champions then managed to top their CAF Champions League group ahead of WAC Casablanca, MC Alger and record champions Al Ahly Cairo with a record of two wins and four draws from their six games. Espérance, along with WAC, both went through to the semi-finals of the competition and were able to dispose of Al-Hilal Omdurman and Enyimba FC in their respective matches to set up a showpiece two-legged meeting in the final. In a tight contest the first leg, played in Casablanca, ended up as a goalless stalemate and the return fixture in Tunis was settled by just the one goal which came from Harrison Afful in the 20th minute. The narrow 1-0 aggregate win gave Espérance a long-awaited second African crown and the chance to show off their talents in Japan this year.

Since winning the CAF Champions League in November a new domestic league season has begun in Tunisia with Espérance suffering a mixed bag of results. They opened their 2011-12 Tunisian league account with a 1-1 draw away to EGS Gafsa before recording their first win with a 3-0 score line over Monastir. Their most recent league game saw them lose 2-1 to early season pacesetters Bizertin which leaves Espérance in eighth place of the sixteen team league with just four points to show for their efforts. The only good thing about the timing of their oncoming FIFA Club World Cup quarter-final against Al Sadd is that the Qatari outfit is also in poor domestic form having lost their last two matches in the Stars League. With neither side on a high ahead of their match it is too close to call a winner but, if one thing is certain, it is that both sides will give their all in the hope of meeting the European champions in the semi-finals.

ESPERANCE TUNIS v WAC CASABLANCA, FINAL 2ND LEG GOAL

ESPERANCE TUNIS – CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNING CELEBRATIONS

CAF: Club Africain hold narrow lead going into second leg (+video)

Posted in African Football by peterbein on November 19, 2011

In the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final, Africa’s equivalent of the Europa League or Copa Sudamericana, Tunisians Club Africain secured a slender 1-0 advantage over MAS Fes going into the second leg which takes place in Morocco in a fortnight’s time.

Alexis Mendemo scored the only goal of the game as early as the 8th minute to keep hopes of a Tunisian double in African competition alive following Esperance Tunis’ triumph in the CAF Champions League last weekend. To make matters worse for MAS Samir Zekroumi was sent off just before the hour mark to leave the Moroccans with ten men.

MAS will hope to turn the tie around in the second leg on December 4th in which they will enjoy home advantage over the Tunisians.

FIFA: Draw made for 2011 Club World Cup

FIFA Club World CupFC Barcelona, FIFA Club World Cup champions in 2009, will face either African champions Esperance Tunis or Asian champions Al-Sadd in the semi-finals of the 2011 edition.

The tournament, which returns to Japan this time following a two year stint in the United Arab Emirates, will open up on December 8th with the Japanese national champions, as yet undecided, facing off against Oceania champions Auckland City with both clubs hoping for a quarter-final meeting with North and Central American winners Monterrey CF three days later.

The winner of that quarter-final will then go on to face South American champions Santos FC who hope to restore some pride to their continent following last year’s shock exit of Internacional of Porto Alegre at the hands of Africans TP Mazembe.

The competition will be completed on Sunday, December 18th in Yokohama.

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Africa: Wydad and Espérance hold first leg advantage (+video)

Posted in African Football by peterbein on October 3, 2011

The African Champions League saw the first legs of the semi-final stage this weekend with narrow wins for Moroccans Wydad Casablanca and Tunisians Espérance.

Wydad Casablanca, African champions back in 1992, were fearful of wasting home advantage as their game against Nigerian champions Enyimba FC looked to be heading to a goalless stalemate. However their nerves were spared in the last minute of the game after Benin international Pascal Angan scored the goal which separates the two sides going into the return leg. Espérance won their opening leg away to Sudanese outfit Al-Hilal Omdurmam by a similar score line but, in contrast to Wydad, bagged their goal early on in the game thanks to Youssef Msakni in the 4th minute. The Tunisians, who claimed their only tournament win two years after Wydad in 1994, will have home advantage in the return fixture.

WYDAD CASABLANCA 1-0 ENYIMBA FC

Both of those teams have already faced each other on two occasions in this year’s tournament. Two drawn matches helped them both qualify for the last four of the competition having finished in the top two places of Group B in the competition league stage. Should both of the opening leg victors negotiate their way through tough second leg encounters, which will be played in just less than a fortnight’s time, then they will face off again in a two-legged final in November.

ESPERANCE 1-0 AL-HILAL OMDURMAM

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CAF: Enyimba and Luanda ensure semi-final spots

Posted in African Football by peterbein on September 12, 2011

CAF Champions League logoWith 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.

CAF Confederation Cup logoInter 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.

Egypt: Sayoud has last laugh following worst penalty ever (+video)

Posted in African Football by peterbein on September 7, 2011

Al-Ahly did what they were expected to do in the Round of 32 of the Egyptian Cup on Tuesday night as they swept aside the challenge of Kima Aswan, winning the game by four goals to nil. The game will forever be famous, however, for this dreadful penalty by Al Ahly’s Amir Sayoud. Following his embarrassing effort the player was shown a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct but I guess it’s best to try these things when you’re already 4-0 ahead with just minutes of the contest remaining. Definitely one to be watched again and again……

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CAF: Groups still to be decided in African cups

Posted in African Football by peterbein on August 29, 2011

CAF Champions League logoThe 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.

CAF Confederation Cup logoThe 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.

CAF: Halfway point in group stages remain interesting

Posted in African Football by peterbein on August 15, 2011

CAF Champions League logoAfrican football’s two main club competitions have reached the halfway stage in the group phase. Two teams continue to dominate in Group A of the CAF Champions League whilst Group B is a more competitive affair. In the CAF Confederation Cup things remain tight in both groups and there is no team who has yet laid down a marker for the rest of the tournament.

Sudanese champions Al-Hilal Club and their Nigerian counterparts Enyimba FC look set to be the two teams who will qualify from Group A for the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League. Both teams recorded home victories on Matchday 3 with Al-Hilal getting the better of Cameroonians Coton Sport thanks to a 2-1 score line whilst Enyimba FC saw off Moroccans Raja Casablanca with a comfortable 2-0 win. The victories leave both teams with a record of two wins and a draw from their first three group matches and the margin between them and the other two teams is six points with Coton Sport and Raja chalking up only one point each so far.

Group B is a tighter affair involving three of the giants of North African football. After three games Tunisians Espérance and Moroccans Wydad Casablanca lead the way on five points each with record six-time African champions Al-Ahly just one point behind. The table is propped up by Algerians MC Alger who have found it difficult to follow up their opening day draw to the group leaders. Matchday 3 saw MC Alger lose 2-0 in Cairo to Al-Ahly whilst Espérance and Wydad Casablanca fought out a 2-2 draw with the latter coming back from two goals down in front of their home supporters.

CAF Confederation Cup logoThe CAF Confederation Cup remains intriguing after three matches with both groups remaining competitive. Group A is topped by Tunisians Club Africain who have one win and two draws to show for their efforts so far and their five point tally is just one better than that of Inter Luanda (Angola) and ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast) who are second and third respectively. ASEC pulled closer to the leaders following their 2-1 win over Nigerians Kaduna United who, despite being bottom of the table, are still only three points behind the leaders whilst Club Africain top the group thanks to a 2-0 home win against Inter Luanda.

Group B is also a tight affair involving three clubs. Algerians JS Kabylie are almost certainly out of the picture following three straight defeats and it is left to MAS Fez (Morocco), Sunshine Stars (Nigeria) and Motema Pembe (Congo) to fight it out for the two semi-final places available from this group.  MAS leapfrogged over Sunshine Stars following a 1-0 win over the Nigerians on Saturday to lead the group with seven points. The Stars are just a solitary point behind the leaders whilst Motema Pembe are just two points further back following their 2-0 away victory against JS Kabylie on Friday.

South Africa: Champion Pirates open new season with win

Posted in African Football by peterbein on August 14, 2011

ABSA Premiership logoThe 2011-12 South African football championship kicked off this weekend with defending champions Orlando Pirates celebrating an away win at Black Leopards while there were also wins for Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, Bloemfontein Celtic and Platinum Stars. Three matches out of eight were drawn this weekend including the two Sunday fixtures.

Orlando Pirates, who scraped the ABSA Premiership title last season by virtue of goal difference from Ajax Cape Town, got their new campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 win at Black Leopards. Bongani Ndulula struck early after just eleven minutes to give the champions a dream start and the match was decided with twenty minutes remaining when Benni McCarthy, back in his homeland after fourteen years playing in Europe, scored to double the Pirates’ lead.

Last season’s runners-up Ajax Cape Town got off to a bad start, losing by the same 2-0 score line away at Platinum Stars with Lantshene Phalane and Elias Ngwepe (penalty) putting the visitors to the sword. Bloemfontein Celtic enjoyed the biggest win of the opening weekend with a 3-0 victory away at Golden Arrows with Clifford Mulenga bagging a brace for the visitors. Kaizer Chiefs (2-1) and Moroka Swallows (3-1) also started the season with victories with Jomo Cosmos and Santos Cape Town respectively on the receiving end of a defeat.

Six teams had to be content with a point on the opening weekend with Free State Stars and three-time champions SuperSport United drawing 1-1 on Saturday whilst the two Sunday fixtures involving Mamelodi Sundowns v AmaZulu (0-0) and Maritzburg United v Wits University (2-2) ending all square.