Title holders Moghreb walk CAF Cup tightrope
Title holders Moghreb Fes of Morocco take a slender lead to AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville this weekend as they seek a place in the Orange CAF Confederation Cup mini-league phase. An early second-half goal from Hamza Abourazzouk was all the Moroccans had to show for the first-leg dominance of opponents reduced to 10 men when Nzamba Mombo was red carded just before the match-winner.
After winning the second-tier CAF club championship last year by edging Club Africain of Tunisia in a penalty shootout, Moghreb qualified for the 2012 Champions League only to be eliminated in the final qualifying round. So Fes dropped down to the Confederation Cup along with Al Hilal and Al Merreikh of Sudan, Djoliba and Stade Malien of Mali, AFAD Djekanou of Ivory Coast, Coton Sport of Cameroon and Dynamos of Zimbabwe.
Leopards fell in the first round of the 2010 and 2011 Confederation Cup, but caused the biggest shock so far this year in the competition by eliminating twice winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia at the same stage. Seemingly doomed after a 2-1 home loss, Leopards made the long journey north to Mediterranean city Sfax and triumphed 2-0 with Eric Niamba scoring late in each half. The Congolese then upset Heartland of Nigeria with Mombo converting a last-minute spot kick to give Leopards a place among the last 16 on the away goal rule and the tie with Moghreb could prove equally close. Club Africain have an even tougher obstacle to clear than Fes having lost 2-0 to Djoliba in Bamako with an early Idrissa Traore goal followed by a second from Janvier Abouta just before half-time.
Former Confederation Cup title holders Stade Malien are best placed of the three Malian challengers thanks to a 3-0 home win over COD Meknes of Morocco with Lamine Diawara, Moussa Coulibaly and Ousmane Cisse scoring. But Cercle Bamako have it all to do having lost 2-0 against Al Hilal of Sudan with the potentially crucial second goal in Omdurman scored by Zimbabwe-born Edward Sadomba. Sudan are another country with three hopefuls and the other two have varied tasks with Al Merreikh defending a 3-2 lead over Black Leopards in South Africa while Al Ahly Shandy must overcome a 1-0 loss when they host Coton Sport.
As Moghreb Fes walk a tightrope and Meknes seek a mini-miracle to survive, Wydad Casablanca should ensure Morocco have at least one qualifier for the pool phase as they enjoy home advantage and a 1-0 lead over Djekanou. Angolan police outfit InterClube reached the Confederation Cup semi-finals last year and should progress at the expense of Dynamos having forced a 0-0 stalemate in Harare.
The two-group mini-league phase will be played between August 3 and October
21 followed by the semi-finals and final with $660,000 going to the ninth winners of a competition that replaced the African Cup Winners Cup and CAF Cup.
CC:Read More From Source
Related ArticlesLink Building
Jun 18, 2013, 2013 02:45:40 AM
Frozen berry mix sparks hepatitis A outbreak in 5 states
Jun 02, 2013, 2013 08:13:09 AM
Novel Coronavirus: 5 Things To Know About the SARS-Like Infection
Jun 02, 2013, 2013 08:06:19 AM
Anti-government protests spread across Turkey
Jun 02, 2013, 2013 08:01:44 AM
Strong earthquake jolts central Taiwan
Jun 02, 2013, 2013 07:57:12 AM