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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

CAF Champions League: Favorites advance comfortably, Medeama SC and Jwaneng Galaxy advance in dramatic fashion

The first round of the 2023-24 CAF Champions League is complete after the second legs were played late last week and over the weekend. The larger clubs on the continent progressed with few issues as Orlando Pirates, ASFAR Rabat, Étoile du Sahel and Young Africans advanced by comfortable margins. In other matches the joy and agony of Africa’s most important club competition was on full display with plenty of drama.

Orlando Pirates and Young Africans triumphed over far less pedigreed opponents. Following a lackluster 1-0 first leg victory in Comoros, Pirates defeated Djabal Club by a routine 3-0 score back home at the Orlando Stadium. Tanzanian champions Young Africans completed a 7-1 aggregate victory over Djibouti’s ASAS with a 5-1 thrashing at the Chamazi Stadium after a 2-0 first leg victory at the same venue.

Étoile du Sahel triumphed in the only North African duel in the first round as the Tunisian champions delivered two clean sheets in their 3-0 aggregate victory over Algeria’s CS Constantine. Moroccan champions ASFAR brushed aside Togo’s ASKO Kara with what was surprisingly the most lopsided result, an 8-0 aggregate victory after a 7-0 second leg destruction in Rabat.

There were plenty of close duels with thrilling finishes. Ugandan champions Vipers SC overturned a two-goal deficit at home against Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy only for Botswana national team player Gilbert Baruti to produce a late free kick goal to stun the Venoms. Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto left AS Vita Club supporters in dismay after Congolese forward Obed Mayamba eliminated his nation’s top club by scoring the crucial equalizer in a 1-1 draw to advance Primeiro de Agosto on the away goals rule.

Ghana’s Medeama SC were defeated 1-0 by Remo Stars in Nigeria but goalkeeper Felix Kyei became the Man of the Match after saving three penalty kicks in a row to help his team progress following a 1-1 aggregate score. ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast, Ethiopia’s Saint George, Rwandan champions APR FC, Mauritania power club FC Nouadhibou and Malawi’s Big Bullets were also among the teams that advanced while Senegalese champions Génération Foot suffered a heartbreaking elimination on away goals at the hands of Guinea’s Hafia FC with a 2-2 draw at home.

All the scores from the second legs are below followed by the matches of the second round and then highlights from the matches played over the weekend.

2nd Leg Scores

Gaadiidka (Somalia) 0-2 APR FC* (Rwanda)

APR FC advance 3-1 on aggregate

Bumamuru FC* (Burundi) 5-1 CS Bendje (Gabon)

Bumamuru FC advance 6-2 on aggregate

Al-Merrikh* (Sudan) 0-0 AS Otohô (Congo)

Tied 1-1 on aggregate; Al-Merrikh advance on the away goal rule

Orlando Pirates* (S. Africa) 3-0 Djabal Club (Comoros)

Orlando Pirates advance 4-0 on aggregate

Green Mamba (Eswatini) 1-1 UD Songo* (Mozambique)

UD Songo advance 2-1 on aggregate

Power Dynamos* (Zambia) 1-0 African Stars (Namibia)

Tied 2-2 on aggregate; Power Dynamos advance on away goals

Young Africans* (Tanzania) 5-1 ASAS (Djibouti)

Young Africans advance 7-1 on aggregate

Étoile du Sahel* (Tunisia) 1-0 CS Constantine (Algeria)

Étoile du Sahel advance 3-0 on aggregate

Vipers SC (Uganda) 2-1 Jwaneng Galaxy* (Botswana)

Jwaneng Galaxy advance 3-2 on aggregate

ASFAR Rabat* (Morocco) 7-0 ASKO Kara (Togo)

ASFAR Rabat advance 8-0 on aggregate

Big Bullets* (Malawi) 2-0 Dragón FC (Eq. Guinea)

Big Bullets advance 3-0 on aggregate

Saint George SC* (Ethiopia) 3-1 KMKM (Zanzibar)

Saint George SC advance 5-2 on aggregate

AS Vita Club (DR Congo) 1-1 Primeiro de Agosto* (Angola)

Primeiro de Agosto advance 2-1 on aggregate

Coton Sport (Cameroon) 0-2 Real Bamako* (Mali)

Real Bamako advance 2-0 on aggregate

Enyimba (Nigeria) 0-0 Al Ahly Benghazi* (Libya)

Al Ahly Benghazi advance 4-3 on aggregate

Al Ahli Tripoli (Libya) 1-0 FC Nouadhibou* (Mauritania)

FC Nouadhibou advance 2-1 on aggregate

Remo Stars (Nigeria) 1-0 Medeama SC* (Ghana)

Tied 1-1 on aggregate; Medeama SC win 3-2 in penalty kicks

LISCR FC (Liberia) 0-1 Bo Rangers* (Sierra Leone)

Bo Rangers advance 2-1 on aggregate

ASEC Mimosas* (Ivory Coast) 2-0 Coton Sport (Benin)

ASEC Mimosas advance 2-0 on aggregate

Génération Foot (Senegal) 2-2 Hafia FC* (Guinea)

Tied 2-2 on aggregate; Hafia FC advance on away goals

AS Douanes (Burkina Faso) and Al-Hilal Omdurman (Sudan) advance after AS GNN (Niger) and Salaam FC-Bor (South Sudan) forfeit

Second Round Matchups

Hafia FC (Guinea) v Wydad AC (Morocco)

AS Douanes (Burkina Faso) v Espérance ST (Tunisia)

Bo Rangers (Sierra Leone) v CR Belouizdad (Algeria)

Medeama SC (Ghana) v Horoya AC (Guinea)

Saint George SC (Ethiopia) v Al Ahly (Egypt)

APR FC (Rwanda) v Pyramids FC (Egypt)

Bumamuru FC (Burundi) v Mamelodi Sundowns (S. Africa)

Power Dynamos (Zambia) v Simba SC (Tanzania)

UD Songo (Mozambique) v Petro de Luanda (Angola)

Big Bullets (Malawi) v TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Al Ahly Benghazi (Libya) v ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast)

Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia) v ASFAR Rabat (Morocco)

Real Bamako (Mali) v FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania)

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

Al-Merrikh (Sudan) v Young Africans (Tanzania)

Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana) v Orlando Pirates (S. Africa)


Young Africans 5-1 ASAS