Big names look for Champions League progression

Big names look for Champions League progression
Kaizer Chiefs players warming up

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Dec 04, 2020. 09:00

The 2020-21 CAF Champions League will wrap up its preliminary round with 20 second-leg matches across the continent this weekend, with some major names looking for progression into the next phase of the competition.

Nigerian and Ghanaian fans will have a close eye on Enyimba, Plateau United and Asante Kotoko, who are all in varying positions of strength or peril in their respective ties.

Enyimba look well placed to advance thanks to a 1-0 away win over Burkina Faso’s Rahimo last weekend, but Plateau find themselves needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit away to Tanzanian giants Simba.

Despite their away win this past weekend, Simba coach Sven Vandenbroeck has urged his team not to take anything for granted against their Nigerian opponents: “I think we need to be very happy with the victory, it is a very great result but we still haven’t finished the job yet, because next week we have 90 minutes.”

Asante Kotoko are locked at 1-1 in their tie with Nouadhibou of Mauritania, but coach Maxwell Konadu is confident of victory in the return game in Accra (with their usual home in Kumasi unavailable).

“We have taken the 1-1 result in good faith, we will go home and work harder to ensure we beat them by at least one or two unanswered goals so we can progress to the next stage,” said the Porcupine Warriors’ boss.

Elsewhere, South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs hold a one-goal lead over Cameroonian debutants Bamenda ahead of hosting the return game, while the same can be said for Sudan’s Al Hilal against Uganda’s Vipers (1-0) and Stade Malien over Guinea’s Ashanti de Siguiri (2-1).

Teams who already have one foot in the next round include Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy (4-0 up away to Comoros’ Zilimadjou) and Tunisian heavyweights CS Sfaxien (5-0 up at home to Mlandege of Zanzibar).

The 20 aggregate winners will advance into the first round to join Al Ahly Benghazi, Gazelle FC (who had walkovers), Wydad Casablanca, Raja Casablanca, Horoya, Al Ahly, Esperance de Tunis, Zamalek, TP Mazembe, Mamelodi Sundowns, AS Vita and Primeiro de Agosto (who all had byes).

CAF Champions League fixtures, 4-6 December

Preliminary round, second leg – aggregate scores in parenthesis

Friday 4 December

US Zilimadjou v Jwaneng Galaxy (0-4)

MC Alger v Buffles de Borgou (1-1)

Kaizer Chiefs v PWD Bamenda (1-0)

Al Merrikh v AS Otoho (1-1)

Saturday 5 December

Gor Mahia v APR (1-2)

AS Bouengiudi v Forest Rangers (0-0)

FC Platinum v Costa do Sol (2-1)

CS Sfaxien v Mlandege (5-0)

Nkana v Bantu (1-0)

Petro de Luanda v Akonangui (1-0)

Simba v Plateau United (1-0)

Mogadishu City v AS SONIDEP (0-2)

Stade Malien v Ashanti de Siguiri (2-1)

Sunday 6 December

Al Hilal v Vipers (1-0)

Le Messager Ngozi v Young Buffaloes (0-0)

Al Nasr v CR Belouizdad (0-2)

Enyimba v Rahimo (1-0)

Asante Kotoko v FC Nouadhibou (1-1)

ASKO Kara v RC Abidjan (0-1)

Teungueth v Gambia Armed Forces (1-1)

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