Ittihad progress in grand style
Libya champions, Al-Ittihad progressed to the next round of the Orange CAF champions League in grand style with a 6-0 routing of AS Tempete Mocaf of Central Africa Republic in a second leg prelims clash on Saturday.
The Tripoli-based club recorded the biggest win on a day that saw Ismaily of Egypt, Algerian duo of J.S. Kabylie and Entente Setif, South Africa champions, SuperSport United and El Merikh of Sudan book places at the 1/16th stage of the premier club competition.
There were no major surprises as the ‘big guns’ proved that the competition is meant for the experienced ones.
At the June 11 Stadium in the Libyan capital, a brace each from Ahmed Zuway and Burkinabe-import Pan-Pierre Koulibaly coupled with efforts from Ali Rahuma and Mansour Mabrouk was more than enough to earn Ittihad a place at the next round. The Libyans advanced 8-1 on aggregate.
Former winners, Ismaily also saw off Kenyan debutants Sofapaka FC with a 2-0 win in Ismailia. Captain Mohamed Homos scored the opener on 55 minutes and Abdallah Said sealed victory with a superb effort 12 minutes later as the “Samba boys” advanced 2-0 on aggregate.
It was however a joyous moment for Algerian football, as flag bearers J.S. Kabylie and Entente Setif beat Armed Forces of Gambia and Diables Noirs of DR Congo 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.
The attention was in the Northern part of Algeria and in the west, thus Tizi Ouzou, goals from Nassim Oussalah, Mohamed Meftah and Mohamed Seguer was enough to crumble the continental hopes of Gambian debutants. J.S. Kabylie, winners in the first leg advanced 5-1 on aggregate.
And at the northeastern town of Setif, defender Mourad Delhoum was the hero of the ‘Black Eagles’ as his first half brace was enough to overturn a 2-3 loss from the first leg and go through 4-3 on aggregate.
In Omdurman, St. Georges of Ethiopia saw their aspirations fizzle into thin air after a 1-3 loss against Al-Merrikh, and the latter progressed 4-2 on aggregate. Striker Abd Al-hamied Alsoudey and Nigerian import Endurance Idahor were on target for the Sudanese giants.
Elsewhere in Pretoria, SuperSport United had their league title celebration spoiled by Swazi champions, Mbabane Swallows, who held them to a 2-2 draw, yet the “Matsatsantsa” advanced 5-3 on aggregate.
Ugandan international Brian Umony opened the scorings on 38 minutes before Cicce Bougonta leveled for the Swazis after the interval. Substitute Brent Carelse restored the hosts’ lone goal lead on 66 minutes before Mfankile Nzimande restored parity four minutes later.
SuperSport Gavin Hunt described the game as a tough test for his side coming just few days after the clash with Wits that handed them their third successive PSL crown.
“It was always going to be tough after a hard game against Wits on Wednesday.The most important thing is that we are through to the next round.”