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CAF Champions League: Medeama reach group stage to end 11-year drought for Ghanaian clubs

A Ghanaian club will play in the group stage of the CAF Champions League for the first time since 2012 after Medeama SC did enough to secure a 4-3 aggregate victory over Guinea’s Horoya AC on Saturday. Jonathan Sowah’s early penalty kick gave the visitors from Ghana an early lead in Conakry before holding off a rally from their hosts, whose 2-1 victory was not enough to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg.

Horoya’s streak of three consecutive group stage appearances comes to an end while Medeama will be the first club to represent Ghana on the biggest stage in African club football since Berekum Chelsea in 2012. With a reported prize of $700,000 for reaching the group stage it is the biggest moment in the club’s 21-year history in every way.

Plenty of Africa’s most famous clubs were also in action on Saturday to secure passage to the group stage. South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns and Angolan champions Petro de Luanda advanced without any issues against Burundi’s Bumamuru and Mozambican club UD Songo. A 4-0 first leg victory for Sundowns made the mission easy in a routine 2-0 second leg victory back at home. A headed goal inside five minutes from Petro legend Tiago Azulão gave his club a two-goal lead on aggregate that was never challenged by visitors Songo.

In a second leg that promised to be intriguing, Moroccan champions ASFAR Rabat received an early red card that ruined any hopes of coming back from a 1-0 deficit against Tunisia Ligue 1 Professionnelle champions Étoile du Sahel. Étoile produced a 2-1 victory in Morocco to complete a 3-1 aggregate win with less difficulty than anticipated. Morocco will be represented by Wydad AC after the 2021-22 Champions League winners finished a 4-1 aggregate defat of Guinea’s Hafia FC.

Finally, Congolese club and 5-time African club champions TP Mazembe dominated in a 4-0 victory (5-0 on aggregate) over Malawian champions Nyasa Big Bullets to mark their return to the group stage. Mazembe were eliminated in the qualifying stages each of the last two seasons and supporters of the Ravens will enjoy seeing their team compete with Africa’s top clubs again after being forced to settle for two seasons in the Confederation Cup.

Highlights from some of the second leg matches on Saturday are below.

Scores

TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 4-0 Big Bullets (Malawi)

TP Mazembe advance 5-0 on aggregate

Petro de Luanda (Angola) 3-1 UD Songo (Mozambique)

Petro de Luanda advance 5-2 on aggregate

Espérance ST (Tunisia) 0-0 AS Douanes (Burkina Faso)

Espérance ST advance 1-0 on aggregate

Horoya AC (Guinea) 2-1 Medeama SC (Ghana)

Medeama SC advance 4-3 on aggregate

Mamelodi Sundowns (S. Africa) 2-0 Bumamuru (Burundi)

Mamelodi Sundowns advance 6-0 on aggregate

Young Africans (Tanzania) 1-0 Al-Merrikh (Sudan)

Young Africans advance 3-0 on aggregate

ASFAR Rabat (Morocco) 1-2 Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia)

Étoile du Sahel advance 3-1 on aggregate

Wydad AC (Morocco) 3-0 Hafia FC (Guinea)

Wydad AC advance 4-1 on aggregate

Highlights

Wydad AC 3-0 Hafia FC

Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 Bumamuru

Young Africans 1-0 Al-Merrikh

ASFAR Rabat 1-2 Étoile du Sahel

Horoya 2-1 Medeama

Espérance ST 0-0 AS Douanes

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