Moroccan 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
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.
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.
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.
African 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.
The 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.
Despite the lack of winners and losers in the opening round of matches in the CAF Champions League group stages this weekend there was still plenty to shout about. The CAF Confederation Cup, Africa’s second-tier competition, almost followed suit with two of this weekend’s four matches ending in a stalemate. Only Nigerian club Sunshine Stars and Moroccans MAS Fez managed to get three points from their opening group stage fixtures.
Two teams who were recently crowned their respective national champions, Raja Casblanca (Morocco) and Coton Sport (Cameroon) could only muster a 0-0 draw in their opening Group A fixture. Their group rivals Enyimba FC (Nigeria) and Al-Hilal Omdurman (Sudan) shared four goals between them with Edward Sadomba’s brace for Al-Hilal cancelled out by goals from Valentine Nwabili and Uche Kalu for Enyimba. In Group B there was an exciting six goal thriller in Egypt as record champions Al Ahly were just seconds away from enjoying an opening day victory. However Mouhcine Lajour equalized in the 89th minute to seal a point for Wydad Casablanca as the Moroccans salvaged a 3-3 draw. In Algeria there were two early goals as Oussama Darragi opened the scoring after seven minutes for Espérance ST (Tunisia) only for the home side MC Alger to equalize ten minutes later through Mohamed Megherbi.
The two games in Group B of the CAF Confederation Cup went the way of Sunshine Stars and MAS Fez who enjoyed wins over DR Congo’s Motema Pembe and Algeria’s JS Kabylie respectively. Sunshine Stars, who currently lie second in their domestic championship, were grateful to goal scorers Dayo Ojo and Ajani Ibrahim in their 2-0 home win whilst MAS Fez won by a solitary goal from Chemseddine Chetaibi in their Group B fixture. Both matches in Group A ended in a 1-1 score line with Kaduna United (Nigeria) tied with Inter Luanda (Angola) and ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast) drawing with Club Africain (Tunisia).
In the third round of qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup, African football’s second-tier competition similar to the UEFA Europa League or Copa Sudamericana, defending champions FUS Rabat have been knocked out by Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto.
Following the first leg a fortnight ago, in which the Angolans equalized in the last minute to gain a 1-1 draw, Primeiro de Agosto put the title holders to the sword thanks to a 34th minute penalty which was scored by Amaro Da Costa. The nine-time champions of Angola can now look forward to the play-offs which sees eight winners from the Confederation Cup 3rd qualifying round meet the eight losers from the CAF Champions League. The full line-up of teams to meet at this stage will not be known until next weekend as a number of games have either been postponed or re-scheduled due to bouts of violence and unrest that is sadly affecting some African nations at the moment.
The second leg of Africa’s second club competition, the CAF Confederation Cup, was won today by Moroccans Fath Union Sport (FUS) de Rabat. Following the goalless first leg, which was played in Morocco a week ago, Saturday’s second leg ended in triumph for the Moroccan capital side as they sealed their maiden tournament victory with a 3-2 over two-time winners CS Sfaxien on their home ground in Tunisia. Both of these teams have got to know each other pretty well this season as they had earlier played each other twice in the group stages of the competition – both teams winning their home match at this stage – as well as last week’s opening leg of the final which finished in a goalless draw. So not only would the winners of today’s game get the better of the head-to-head record but they would also carry off the silverware.
CS Sfaxien wanted to give their fans something to shout about on home turf but it was FUS Rabat, a finalist in their first attempt in the competition, who took the lead after just seven minutes. Abdelfettah Boukhriss scored the goal which silenced the home crowd and they would have to wait until a minute before half-time before they were celebrating. Hamdi Rouid restored parity for the home side and the game would be turned on its head just four minutes after the break when Kamel Zaiem would give CS Sfaxien the lead from the penalty spot. For the visitors it seemed that luck could finally be running out and that the Tunisian club’s experience would win out in the end but things changed once more in the 75th minute after Rachid Rokki equalized and the tide had once more turned in FUS’ favour. With only sixty seconds left to play the Moroccans sealed the deal when Mohamed Zouidi scored the winner which gave FUS the 3-2 win and a place in the history books. For a club who were playing in the Moroccan
FUS Rabat will now play against CAF Champions League winners TP Mazembe early next year in the African Super Cup.
SEE CS SFAXIEN v FUS RABAT 2ND LEG GOALS HERE:
The CAF Confederation Cup, Africa’s equivalent of the UEFA Europa League or Copa Sudamericana, played out the first leg of the final this weekend with two north African teams scrapping out a goalless draw in the first leg.
FUS Rabat from Morocco have really taken to this competition in what is their first ever continental campaign. Having been a second division club just a few years ago the team from the Moroccan capital are an ambitious club who are on the up and they have shocked many a side on the way to their first ever African final. Their opponents CS Sfaxien of Tunisia are experienced campaigners in this tournament having won it twice before in 2007 and 2008 and were hoping to take something back home from the first leg.
In what was a tight game both teams had a few chances to break the deadlock but it proved to be beyond both teams to trouble the goalkeepers. Both teams had a measure of safety-first about their play and no doubt that Sfaxien will be the more content of the two teams as they host the second leg which will be played on Saturday, December 4th. The winner of the competition will play CAF Champions League winners TP Mazembe in the 2011 African Super Cup early next year.
The Confederation Cup, Africa’s second club competition, is at the semi-final stage and for Moroccan side FUS Rabat the dream of a first continental title is still strong following their 2-1 away victory in Libya against Ittihad. Two-time champions CS Sfaxien of Tunisia have a narrow one goal advantage to take into their second leg tie against Sudan’s Al-Hilal.
FUS Rabat were away in the Libyan capital Tripoli for their first leg tie against Ittihad and in front of a 50,000 crowd stunned the home support with a 2-1 victory to set themselves up for the home leg in fine style. The opening goal of the game came just thirteen minutes in and was somewhat fortunate to creep into the net after Hacham El Fatihi’s shot bobbled along the ground past Ittihad keeper Samir Aboud. The game then featured two fantastic free-kick goals in the second half in terms of goalscoring action with Mohammed Benchrifa doubling FUS Rabat’s lead in spectacular fashion just two minutes after the break, this despite having ten men on the pitch following Alhassane Issoufou’s red card in the 40th minute. Younes al Shabani reduced the arrears by half with just sixty seconds remaining following a well worked free-kick but the Libyan champions have to be content with a one goal deficit going into the second leg which is played in the Moroccan capital on November 12th.
CS Sfaxien have a tremendous record in this competition having won it back-to-back in 2007 & 2008 and are hoping to win it for a third time since the tournament took its current format six years ago. They were at home to Al-Hilal who are hoping to become only the second Sudanese team to reach the final of this tournament following their arch-rivals Al-Merreikh’s appearance in 2007. The only goal of the game was scored after 36 minutes thanks to midfielder Kamel Zaiem, who is in good form having scored three goals in his team’s last three matches, and it proved to be the difference ahead of the second leg which will be played in Al-Hilal’s home city of Omdurman on November 14th.
WATCH ITTIHAD v FUS RABAT GOALS HERE: