Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Free State Stars on the 07 November 2018 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Monday Dec 24, 2018. 09:00
Group stage field completed after 15 matches across the continent.
The group stage field for the 2018/19 CAF Champions League has been finalised after the completion of 15 first round, second-leg matches across the continent this past weekend.
Saturday’s headline result was Senegal’s ASC Diaraf defeating 2017 champions Wydad Casablanca 3-1 in Senegal – though the result was not enough to eliminate the Moroccan heavyweights, who advanced on away goals after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate.
WAC were certainly not the only team to take advantage of the away goals rule: Nigeria’s Lobi Stars defeated Gor Mahia of Kenya 2-0 in Enugu to draw the tie 3-3 overall and squeeze through, while Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum drew 0-0 at home to Congo’s AS Otoho and advanced with the tie at 1-1 overall.
South African sides Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates put up impressive performances to advance: the former crushed Libya’s Al Ahly Benghazi 4-0 in Tshwane to triumph by the same aggregate score, while the latter won 1-0 in Windhoek against African Stars to edge the tie.
Saturday also saw TP Mazembe, Ismaily and CS Constantine secure their spots in the group stage, while Sunday’s feature result was Horoya defeating Al Nasr 6-2 to overturn a 0-3 deficit from the first leg and advance 6-5 on aggregate.
Also on Sunday, Al Ahly advanced despite losing in Ethiopia to Jimma Aba Jifar, Tanzania’s Simba defeated Nkana 3-1 to progress 4-3 on aggregate, and ASEC Mimosas, AS Vita, JS Saoura and Club Africain all booked their spots in the group phase.
The 15 aggregate winners join 2018 competition winners Esperance de Tunis in the group stage, while the losers ‘drop’ into the playoff round of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup.
CAF Champions League results, 22-23 December 2018
Final aggregate scores in parenthesis
Saturday 22 December
Lobi Stars 2-0 Gor Mahia (3-3 – Stars advanced on the away goals rule)
FC Platinum 0-0 AS Otoho (1-1 – Platinum advanced on the away goals rule)
Mamelodi Sundowns 4-0 Al Ahly Benghazi (4-0)
Zesco United 1-1 TP Mazembe (1-2)
Coton Sport 2-1 Ismaily (2-3)
African Stars 0-1 Orlando Pirates (0-1)
Vipers 0-2 CS Constantine (0-3)
ASC Diaraf 3-1 Wydad Casablanca (3-3 – Wydad advanced on the away goals rule)
Sunday 23 December
Jimma Aba Jifar 1-0 Al Ahly (1-2)
Bantu 1-1 AS Vita (2-5)
Simba SC 3-1 Nkana (4-3)
ASEC Mimosas 1-0 Stade Malien (2-0)
Ittihad Tanger 1-0 JS Saoura (1-2)
Horoya 6-2 Al Nasr (6-5)
Al Hilal 1-0 Club Africain (2-3)