Esperance, Wydad & Mazembe win through

Esperance, Wydad & Mazembe win through
Esperance Sportive de Tunis celebrate

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jan 06, 2021. 20:56

Continental heavyweights Esperance de Tunis, Wydad Casablanca and TP Mazembe won through the group stage of the CAF Champions League as 18 first round, second-leg matches were played across two African club competitions on Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Esperance secured a dramatic 3-2 (3-2 on aggregate) home win over Libya’s Al Ahly Benghazi, narrowly avoiding an away-goals exit thanks to an 87th-minute strike from Alaa Marzouki, while Wydad Casablanca overpowered Stade Malien 3-0 (3-1 on aggregate) and TP Mazembe proved too strong for Gabon’s AS Bouenguidi, winning 2-1 (4-2 on aggregate) with goals from Thomas Ulimwengu and Tandi Mwape.

Elsewhere in the Champions League, Nigeria’s Enyimba defeated Sudanese giants Al Merrikh 2-1 but it was not enough to avoid a 4-2 aggregate defeat, while CR Belouizdad, AS Vita, MC Alger, Simba, Horoya and Petro de Luanda also put themselves into the group stage.

The CAF Confederation Cup’s headline result saw Senegal’s ASC Diaraf secure a 2-1 win away to Ivorian side San Pedro, levelling the West African derby at 2-2 and seeing the visitors advance on the away goals rule.

Uganda’s KCCA also fell victim to the away goals rule despite a 3-1 win (3-3 on aggregate) over Rwandan opponent AS Kigali, who were joined in progression by TAS Casablanca, NAPSA Stars, US Monastir, Etoile du Sahel and Salitas.

CAFCC title holders RS Berkane saw off the threat of Mauritanian side Tevragh-Zeina, winning 2-0 both on the night and on aggregate, thanks to a brace of goals from Mouhcine Iajour – though the second only arrived in injury time at the end of the game when the reigning champs were still vulnerable to an away-goal exit.

Two matches were postponed on the day: in the CAFCL Asante Kotoko’s visit to Al Hilal in Sudan was called off due to a high number of positive Covid-19 tests in the away team (though the Ghanaian club strongly disputes this and claim foul play), while Bloemfontein Celtic’s visit to Rivers United in the CAFCC was scrapped due to surging cases of the virus in Nigeria.

The draw for the Champions League group stage will be held on Friday 8 January in Cairo, with Matchday 1 scheduled to be held on 12-13 February.

The Confederation Cup’s playoff round, which features the 16 winners from the competition’s first round, as well as the 16 losers from the Champions League’s first round, is scheduled to be played across 14 and 21 February.

CAF Champions League results, Wednesday 6 January

First round, second-leg matches. Aggregate score in parenthesis.

Gor Mahia 1-2 CR Belouizdad (1-8)

Al Hilal v Asante Kotoko (1-0) – Postponed

AS Vita 4-1 Young Buffaloes (6-3)

TP Mazembe 2-1 AS Bouenguidi (4-2)

Esperance de Tunis 3-2 Al Ahly Benghazi (3-2)

CS Sfaxien 1-0 MC Alger (1-2)

Simba SC 4-0 FC Platinum (4-1)

Enyimba 2-1 Al Merrikh (2-4)

Horoya AC 1-0 RC Abidjan (2-1)

Petro de Luanda 1-0 Nkana FC (2-1)

Wydad Casablanca 3-0 Stade Malien (3-1)

CAF Confederation Cup results, Wednesday 6 January

First round, second-leg matches. Aggregate score in parenthesis.

ESAE 1-1 TAS Casablanca (1-5)

KCCA 3-1 AS Kigali (3-3 – Kigali advance on away goals)

UD Songo 1-1 NAPSA Stars (1-1 – NAPSA advance on away goals)

Al Ahly Tripoli 0-0 US Monastir (0-2)

Rivers United v Bloemfontein Celtic (2-0) – Postponed

FC San Pedro 1-2 ASC Diaraf (2-2 – Diaraf advance on away goals)

Etoile du Sahel 2-1 Al Mokawloon (2-1)

Orlando Pirates v Sagrada Esperanca (1-0) – Walkover, Pirates advance

RS Berkane 2-0 Tevragh-Zeina (2-0)

Salitas 2-0 Al Amal Atbara (3-0)

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