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Sunday, October 1, 2023

CAF Champions League: Espérance and CR Belouizdad win on the road, Jwaneng Galaxy edge Orlando Pirates

Everything is at stake in the final qualifying round of the 2023-24 CAF Champions League and the first legs took place over the weekend for every matchup except for defending champions Al Ahly who will begin against Ethiopia’s Saint George next weekend. Other giants of North African football were in action with Tunisia’s Espérance ST, 2021-22 champions Wydad AC of Morocco and Algeria’s CR Belouizdad all taking favorable results back home for the second leg. Read more on Sunday’s action below.

Click here to read more on the matches from Saturday.

Wydad did not get a victory from their first leg against Guinea’s Hafia FC but a 1-1 result in Conakry should be enough for the Moroccan club to progress when the teams meet again for the second leg in Casablanca. Espérance defeated AS Douanes of Burkina Faso by a 1-0 score in Ivory Coast courtesy of a penalty kick from Algerian defender Mohamed Amine Tougai. Algerian champions CR Belouizdad overcame an early goal from hosts Bo Rangers to defeat the champions of Sierra Leone by a 3-1 score in the country’s Southern Province.

Numerous vocal supporters showed up to cheer on the champions of Botswana, Jwaneng Galaxy, who responded with a strong performance in their 1-0 first leg victory over South Africa’s Orlando Pirates. Pirates coach José Riveiro paid the price for fielding a team that rested several important players and his team were fortunate to escape back to South Africa without a larger deficit to overcome in the second leg.

Ghanaian champions Medeama took a big step closer to being the first club from the country to reach the group stage in ten years. Medeama defeated Guinea’s Horoya AC 3-1 at home to leave them in decent shape for the return leg in Conakry. Legendary Congolese club TP Mazembe did well to leave Lilongwe with a 1-0 lead over Malawian champions Big Bullets thanks to an excellent strike from Cheick Fofana.

See the full list of scores from the weekend below followed by highlights from many of the first leg matches.



Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya) 0-0 ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast)


APR (Rwanda) 0-0 Pyramids FC (Egypt)

Big Bullets (Malawi) 0-1 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana) 1-0 Orlando Pirates (S. Africa)

UD Songo (Mozambique) 1-2 Petro de Luanda (Angola)

Medeama SC (Ghana) 3-1 Horoya AC (Guinea)

Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) 0-0 Al-Hilal Omdurman (Sudan)

AS Douanes (Burkina Faso) 0-1 Espérance ST (Tunisia)

Bo Rangers (Sierra Leone) 1-3 CR Belouizdad (Algeria)

Hafia FC (Guinea) 1-1 Wydad AC (Morocco)


Al-Merrikh (Sudan) 0-2 Young Africans (Tanzania)

Power Dynamos (Zambia) 2-2 Simba SC (Tanzania)

Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia) 1-0 ASFAR Rabat (Morocco)

Real Bamako (Mali) 0-3 FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania)


Bumamuru FC (Burundi) 0-4 Mamelodi Sundowns (S. Africa)


Jwaneng Galaxy 1-0 Orlando Pirates

Big Bullets 0-1 TP Mazembe

Hafia FC 1-1 Wydad AC