Injuries and other circumstances left Egyptian giants Zamalek without a few key players ahead of their trip to Tanzania for the first leg of their 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup but supporters of The White Castle did not expect the nightmare that occurred on Saturday. Zamalek fell to a shock 2-0 first leg defeat against Djibouti’s AS Arta leaving them with a deficit to come back from in Egypt. Elsewhere from the second round of the Confederation Cup there were first leg victories for Ghana’s Dreams FC, AFAD Djékanou of Ivory Coast as well as South Africa’s Sekhukhune United.
On a night where African footballing legends Shikabala and Alain Traoré (pictured above) represented Zamalek and AS Arta as the captains, it was Ghanaian-born Djibouti national team member Gabriel Dadzie and Doualeh Elabeh who scored the goals for Arta in a historic victory for the ambitious Djiboutian big spenders. Zamalek played without several key players including star attacker Ahmed Sayed “Zizo” and defensive leaders that included Egypt national team members Mahmoud Hamdi “El Wensh” and Ahmed Fatouh. Several players are also involved in disputes with the club over payments owed in a disastrous period that continues for Zamalek.
Nigeria’s Bendel Insurance encountered difficulties at home and could only manage a 2-2 draw with two-time Confederation Cup winners RS Berkane of Morocco. Bendel Insurance took the lead twice but Berkane responded including a late leveler from Mohamed El Morabit. It was an excellent result for the Moroccan club in Benin City where conditions were difficult underheavy rain.
South Africa’s representatives each earned positive results. Sekhukhune United defeated Congolese club Saint-Éloi Lupopo by a 3-1 score at home but will need to be sharp when the teams meet again in Kinshasa on October 1. SuperSport United were denied victory in Botswana by an incredible long distance strike from Gaborone United’s Sheikh Sesay in the final seconds. However a 1-1 draw gives SuperSport the advantage ahead of the second leg that will take place in Johannesburg.
Highlights from several first leg matches on Friday and Saturday are below following the list of scores.