Thursday 21 April 2016, 04:52

Crows crash out as group stage set

The draw for the group phase of the CAF Champions League will be split evenly between North Africa and the rest of the continent as four teams from the region are left standing after this weekend. One of the clubs to fall victim to the trend is holders TP Mazembe, who were knocked out by Morocco's Wydad Casablanca. The winners and runners-up of the two groups advance to the semi-finals with the ultimate winner of the competition representing the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan later this year.

Game of the week* MO Bejaia 1-1 Zamalek* Cairo giants Zamalek can thank not just one, but two goalkeepers for their progress in the competition. Defending a 2-0 lead from the first leg, the five-time champions were pegged back into their own half for much of the game as a frenetic home crowd urged the Algerian side forward. Ahmed El Shenawy pulled off a number of fantastic stops in the first half to deny Bejaia, but the Egyptian international had to be replaced at half-time after picking up an injury. Substitute Mahmoud 'Gennesh' Abdel Rahim picked up right where the starter left off by pulling off a string of remarkable saves before he was finally beaten in the 57th minute through Faouzi Yaya. Although Bejaia then threw everything forward, they could not find a second goal, and it was the visitors who scored late in the match through substitute Ahmed Hamoudi to advance 3-1 on aggregate.

The surprise* Etoile du Sahel 3-0 Enyimba *Having won the first leg 3-0, Enyimba were expecting a fairly simple challenge in Tunisia against the 2007 champions. However, Hamza Lahmar scored in the first half and Diogo Acosta equalled matters with two in the second half. With the crowd ebullient and the home side dominating, the People's Elephant showed mighty resolve to keep the aggregate score at 3-3 all the way to penalties despite massive pressure. The Nigerian side then prevailed in the ensuing shoot-out, winning 4-3 behind goalkeeping hero Theophilus Afelokhai.

Other matches TP Mazembe's hopes of achieving back-to-back titles ended at home in Lubumbashi after being held to a 1-1 draw, which left them out 3-1 on aggregate to John Toshack's Wydad Casablanca. Salif Coulibaly gave Les Corbeaux some hope with a first-half goal, and the champions dominated the match, twice hitting the woodwork. However, they could not find the second goal they needed, and instead allowed Reda Hajhouj to score an equaliser in stoppage time. Al Ahly of Cairo, who have won the competition a record eight times, needed a goal four minutes into stoppage time to end a gallant effort from Tanzanian visitors Young Africans, who held the Red Devils to a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes, thereby equalling the score from the first leg. Skipper Hossam Ghaly gave the Egyptian giants the lead shortly after the break, but Donald Ngoma stunned the home crowd with an equaliser. As the match seemed to be heading to penalties, Abdallah Saied scored with a powerful header to take Al Ahly through.

ES Setif, who won the competition twice, also suffered a scare as they were held to a goalless draw by last years' semi-finalists Al Merreikh. As the first leg in Sudan ended in a 2-2, the 2014 winners go through on the away-goals rule. ASEC Mimosas lost 2-1 against Libyan club Al Ahli, but went through having won the first leg 2-0, while ZESCO United became the only club to win both second round legs when they added a 2-1 home win to the 3-1 victory they had at Stade Malien in the first leg.

Player of the week Young AS Vita Club striker Kule Mbombo was the tie-winner for his club as the 2014 finalists advanced to the group stage on away goals against South African club Sundowns. The 19-year-old scored an injury-time winner for his club in the first leg and then followed that up with the all-important away goal in Pretoria to give Vita Club a two-goal lead, which proved to be just enough in the tie that ended 2-2.

The stat 2–The number of goals that ASEC Mimosas goalkeeper Herve Kouakou Koffi has conceded in the six games he has played in the competition. Both of those came in the return leg against Libyan club Al Ahli this week.

What they said "We are paying our school fees. We're learning, gaining experience. We are babies in this game. We have moved one step further , so we are learning," Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

Have your say Can ZESCO United become the second club from Zambia to advance to the final of the showpiece event of African club football. In 1990 Nkana Red Devils lost on penalties to JS Kabylie.