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CAF Confederation Cup: Plenty to play for on the final day

Two groups know which two teams will advance following the completion of five matchdays in the 2021-22 CAF Confederation Cup group stage, setting up plenty of potential drama on the final day. See all the highlights and the latest situation on each group following Sunday’s action below:

Group A

Egyptian club Pyramids FC and Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli appeared to have the top two slots secured heading into the fifth matchday and following Ahli’s 1-0 home victory over the Cairo side, the Libyan club head into the final day with a two-point edge. Omar Gaber’s own goal finished off a comical series of headers from Pyramids defenders following a hopeful Ahli cross into the penalty area to deal the visitors their first loss in the competition.

Last placed Zanaco finally earned their first three points in the group stage with a 1-0 home victory to knock Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien out of contention for a knockout round spot. Boyd Musonda’s crashing drive from distance gave the struggling Zambian side something positive from a rough season that has them currently sitting in tenth place in the Zambia Super League.

Al Ahli Tripoli (LBY) 1-0 Pyramids FC (EGY)

Zanaco (ZAM) 1-0 CS Sfaxien (TUN)

Group B

Group B had three teams fighting it out for two spots and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates were the winners on the day. The Bucs looked to be in danger of losing in Algeria but came out inspired after the halftime break to score two goals early in the second half to take down JS Saoura 2-0. Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Kabelo Dlamini struck in the 48th and 51st minutes to move Pirates top of the group on 12 points.

Eswatini’s Royal Leopards looked so close to getting their first point of the competition with an excellent effort against Libya’s Al-Ittihad but once again came up short by a 3-2 score in Benghazi. The underdogs came back from conceding a Sanad Al-Warfali penalty kick goal just before halftime to take a shock lead but it was Al-Warfali who fired home from close range to win it in second half stoppage time, completing a brace for the Libya national team center back.

Saoura trail Ittihad by three points for second place and will need to defeat Royal Leopards and hope that Ittihad fail to get a result at Orlando Pirates on the final day.

JS Saoura (ALG) 0-2 Orlando Pirates (RSA)

Al-Ittihad (LBY) 3-2 Royal Leopards (ESW)

Group C

The picture in Group C is much clearer following positive results for the top-2 sides, Egypt’s Al Masry and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Al Masry continued to look unbeatable in defense while finding their scoring touch in a 2-0 shutout of Cameroon’s Cotonsport, the goals coming from Mohamed Grendo and Ahmed Alaa Eldin.

In a duel between the top sides from the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lubumbashi giants TP Mazembe drew 2-2 against AS Otohô in Kinshasa. Otohô have been unable to host any of their home games in the group stage but despite going down a player with ten minutes to go, Jaures Ngombe produced a late equalizer to save a point.

Otohô are three points behind Mazembe but Sunday’s result means they are eliminated from top-2 contention because Mazembe holds the edge in the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Al Masry (EGY) 2-0 Cotonsport (CMR)

AS Otohô (COG) 2-2 TP Mazembe (DRC)

Group D

Group D is by far the most suspenseful group with all four teams looking capable of finishing in the top-2, and after matchday five no teams have been eliminated yet. Ivorian champions ASEC Mimosas put themselves top with a decisive 3-0 victory over Tanzania’s Simba SC to give Les Jaunes et Noirs some breathing room before they travel to Morocco to play RS Berkane. Stephane Aziz Ki scored his fourth goal of the competition and phenom Karim Konaté scored again in the win.

Niger’s USGN nearly launched themselves into second place but could not finish the job in a 2-2 home draw against RS Berkane of Morocco in Niamey. Star striker Victorien Adebayor equalized and then gave the hosts the lead in the 62nd minute, but Berkane substitute Mouad Fekkak leveled in the third minute of stoppage time to give his side a huge point on the road.

ASEC lead Group D with nine points while Simba and Berkane are level on seven points. USGN now need to win at Simba to have any chance of advancing while RSB host ASEC hoping to complete a perfect record at home in the group stage.

ASEC Mimosas (CIV) 3-0 Simba SC (TZA)

USGN (NER) 2-2 RS Berkane (MAR)


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