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CAFCC Group B: Al-Ittihad triumph over Orlando Pirates in thriller while JS Saoura ease past Royal Leopards

Sunday saw the 2021-22 CAF Confederation group stage debuts of Libyan club Al-Ittihad Tripoli and Eswatini club Royal Leopards with varying results for the two clubs. Al-Ittihad played out a thriller in the second game of a doubleheader at the Martyrs of February Stadium and emerged victorious in a 3-2 thriller over South Africa’s Orlando Pirates. A 4-goal first half saw former Wydad Casablanca center back Sanad Al-Warfali open the scoring and Muad Eisay tally for the hosts while Bandile Shandu scored a first half brace for the Bucs to make it 2-2 at the half. However, all three points would go to the Libyan team courtesy of a 53rd minute winner from Omar Al Khouja.

The other match had much less suspense as Eswatini underdogs Royal Leopards put up a valiant effort but ultimately fell 2-0 to Algerian hosts JS Saoura at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers. Belaid Hamidi converted from the penalty spot in the 9th minute after Abdeljalil Saad was tripped up by Leopards goalkeeper Phephisani Misibi to put the hosts up. Leopards had their looks to equalize but lacked quality in the final third, and another penalty kick in second half stoppage time from Mohamed Hammia wrapped up three precious points for JSS.

Highlights are below from both matches. Al-Ittihad’s victory ties them with Orlando Pirates and Saoura on three points at the top of Group B with the Libyan side still having a game to make up. Royal Leopards also still have a game to make up as they sit in last place on zero points.

Al-Ittihad (LBY) 3-2 Orlando Pirates (RSA)

JS Saoura (DZA) 2-0 Royal Leopards (ESW)

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