Enocent Mkhabela of Platinum Stars during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Platinum Stars and Golden Arrows at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, South Africa on 07 March 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Thursday Mar 16, 2017. 17:30
AfricanFootball looks ahead to this weekend’s CAF Confederation Cup action, which will see 16 teams secure their passage into the competition’s playoff round.
Friday sees just one match, with Renaissance du Congo hosting MC Alger in Kinshasa. The visiting North Africans will be looking to defend a 2-0 lead they established in the first leg in Algiers last weekend.
Saturday features no less than 10 matches across the continent, most of them fairly well balanced after the first legs. Only three-time Confed Cup champions CS Sfaxien and Egypt’s Smouha will be very confident of progression, given their 5-0 and 4-0 leads over Yong Sports Academy and Ulinzi Stars respectively.
The three games to watch see JS Kabylie host Etoile du Congo with their tie locked at 0-0, Al Masry will look to home advantage to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Djoliba, and South Africa’s Platinum Stars will seek to overcome Vipers SC’s 1-0 lead when the teams meet in Rustenburg on Saturday night.
The pick of Sunday’s games see another South African side, SuperSport United, looking to overturn a 3-2 deficit when they host Egypt’s Al Ahly Shendy, while ASEC Mimosas, Azam and Sanga Balende all have first leg leads to take on their tough away trips.
Club Africain, meanwhile, will in all likelihood enjoy a relaxed Sunday match in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They lead hosts RSLAF by the small margin of 9-1 after last weekend’s massacre in Rades.
The 16 aggregate winners will advance to the playoff round, where they will be joined by the 16 losers from the first round of the Champions League. The playoff round ties will be played on 7-9 and 14-16 April.
CAF Confederation Cup first round, second leg matches
Aggregate scores in parenthesis
Friday 17 March
Renaissance du Congo v MC Alger (0-2)
Saturday 18 March
Ngezi Platinum Stars v Recreativo do Libolo (1-2)
Yong Sports Academy v CS Sfaxien (0-5)
Ulinzi Stars v Smouha (0-4)
SC Gagnoa v Maghreb Fes (1-3)
Le Messager de Ngozi v Zesco United (0-2)
Rayon Sports v Onze Createurs (0-1)
IR Tanger v AS Kaloum (0-1)
JS Kabylie v Etoile du Congo (0-0)
Al Masry v Djoliba (0-2)
Platinum Stars v Vipers SC (0-1)
Sunday 19 March
RSLAF v Club Africain (1-9)
APEJES v Asec Mimosas (0-2)
Mbabane Swallows v Azam (0-1)
SuperSport United v Al Ahly Shandy (2-3)
Al Hilal Al-Ubayyid v Sanga Balende (0-1)