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CAF Champions League: Al Ahly advance comfortably, Vipers shock TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi

While there was little suspense on Friday in the CAF Champions League with most matchups already decided after the first leg, Saturday was a different story with numerous ties remaining close until the final moments. The most notable upset involved Africa’s most successful sub-Saharan club, TP Mazembe. The Ravens were in good position to finish the job at home in Lubumbashi against Ugandan champions Vipers SC following a 0-0 draw but Mazembe’s attack failed to threaten and their supporters left disappointed when the Congolese side fell 4-2 in a penalty kick shootout after another scoreless draw.

Many questions surround the most successful team in CAFCL history, Egypt’s Al Ahly, as the Egyptian Premier League season approaches but the Red Devils dominated Tunisian club US Monastir with a 3-0 victory in Cairo to win 4-0 on aggregate. Hamdi Fathi scored twice after dynamic attacker Ahmed Abdelkader opened the scoring in the 17th minute as Ahly experienced no trouble clinching their spot in the group stage.

It was a different story for Tunisia’s top club, Espérance ST. Following a 2-1 first leg defeat in Lagos to Nigerian side Plateau United, the Blood and Gold struggled to break down the Jos-based team’s defensive bunker and needed a late penalty kick that was awarded under controversial circumstances. Tunisia national team midfielder Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane sent his spot kick just under Plateau goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso after the referee awarded EST’s penalty for a foul that appeared to be committed outside the penalty area.

Moroccan club Raja CA did their work in Niger with a 2-0 win in the first leg against ASN Nigelec, winning 1-0 at home to confirm their advancement. Algeria’s JS Kabylie edged Togolese champions ASKO Kara 3-2 on aggregate despite a goal of the week candidate from ASKO’s Bruno Avotor in the 1-1 second leg draw in Tizi Ouzou. Al-Merrikh of Sudan narrowly held on in Libya against Al Ahli Tripoli, opening the scoring from the penalty spot which was just enough for Merrikh to win on the away goal rule after Ahli scored three goals to even the aggregate score at 3-3.

Highlights from all of Saturday’s matches are below.

Scores

TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 0-0 Vipers SC (Uganda)

Tied 0-0 on aggregate; Vipers SC win 4-2 in penalty kicks

Al Ahly (Egypt) 3-0 US Monastir (Tunisia)

Al Ahly win 4-0 on aggregate

Espérance ST (Tunisia) 1-0 Plateau United (Nigeria)

Tied 2-2 on aggregate; Espérance advance on away goal rule

Al Ahli Tripoli (Libya) 3-1 Al-Merrikh (Sudan)

Tied 3-3 on aggregate; Al-Merrikh advance on away goal rule

Raja CA (Morocco) 1-0 ASN Nigelec (Niger)

Raja CA win 3-0 on aggregate

JS Kabylie (Algeria) 1-1 ASKO Kara (Togo)

JS Kabylie win 3-2 on aggregate

Highlights

Al Ahly 3-0 US Monastir

TP Mazembe 0-0 Vipers SC (Penalty kick shootout)

Espérance ST 1-0 Plateau United

Raja CA 1-0 ASN Nigelec

Al Ahli Tripoli 3-1 Al-Merrikh

JS Kabylie 1-1 ASKO Kara

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