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Sunday, October 1, 2023

CAF Confederation Cup Playoff Round: Simba and Orlando Pirates in excellent position after comfortable first leg victories

The 2021-22 CAF Confederation Cup playoff round opened up with the first legs on Sunday with sixteen group stage spots up for grabs. A couple of teams look to have their tickets booked following the first leg as Tanzanian champions Simba SC delivered a 3-0 first leg victory at home and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates secured a 2-0 road win against Liberia’s LPRC Oilers to put themselves in good position heading back to Johannesburg. The remainder of the ties still have plenty to resolve heading into the second legs that will take place next weekend, and the matchup between Libya’s Al-Ittihad and Nigerian club Enyimba saw their first leg postponed.

Simba needed to bounce back after being ousted from the CAF Champions League, and the team’s stars stepped up to help achieve a 3-0 victory over Zambia’s Red Arrows. Ghanaian playmaker Bernard Morrison scored twice and Rwandan forward Meddie Kagere contributed a goal to complete a dominant victory in Dar es Salaam. The other 3-0 result saw last season’s Zambia Super League runners-up ZANACO defeat Binga FC of Mali with two goals from forward Moses Phiri leading the way. Ghana’s Hearts of Oak shook off a rough patch of form in league play to defeat Algeria’s JS Saoura 2-0 at home, but will need to keep their focus in the return leg.

Egypt’s Pyramids FC are in good shape after winning 1-0 on the road against AS Maniema Union of DR Congo, while Al Masry have an away goal to take back for their home leg following a 2-1 defeat against Nigeria’s Rivers United. DR Congo’s teams struggled in general, with Maniema and DC Motema Pembe dropping their opening results while champions TP Mazembe managed to scrap out a 1-0 home win against South Africa’s Marumo Gallants.

Highlights from several first leg ties are below.

Tusker FC (Kenya) 0-0 CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

APR (Rwanda) 0-0 RS Berkane (Morocco)

AS Maniema Union (DRC) 0-1 Pyramids FC (Egypt)

TP Mazembe (DRC) 1-0 Marumo Gallants (South Africa)

Royal Leopards (Eswatini) 1-0 JS Kabylie (Algeria)

Simba SC (Tanzania) 3-0 Red Arrows (Zambia)

ZANACO (Zambia) 3-0 Binga FC (Mali)

AS Otohô (Rep. of Congo) 1-0 Gor Mahia (Kenya)

Hearts of Oak (Ghana) 2-0 JS Saoura (Algeria)

Rivers United (Nigeria) 2-1 Al Masry (Egypt)

USGN (Niger) 2-0 DC Motema Pembe (DRC)

ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast) 2-0 Interclube (Angola)

LPRC Oilers 0-2 Orlando Pirates (South Africa)

FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania) 0-0 Cotonsport (Cameroon)

Stade Malien (Mali) 1-0 Al Ahly Tripoli (Libya)

Al Ittihad (Libya) vs. Enyimba (Nigeria)- Postponed

Simba SC 3-0 Red Arrows

LPRC Oilers 0-2 Orlando Pirates

Hearts of Oak 2-0 JS Saoura

AS Maniema Union 0-1 Pyramids FC