CAFCC set for thrilling Sunday

CAFCC set for thrilling Sunday
Pyramids players

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Dec 03, 2021. 12:00

The CAF Confederation Cup is set for thrilling do-or-die action on Sunday 5 December, with most of its 16 playoff round ties set to be decided across the continent with second-leg matches.

The exceptions are the clashes between Nigeria’s Enyimba and Libyan side Al Ittihad Tripoli, which will be the first leg after their scheduled meeting in Tunisia last weekend was postponed, as well as Algeria’s JS Kabylie v Eswatini’s Royal Leopards, which has been put on hold due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The big names in action include Ghanaian champions Hearts of Oak, who take a 2-0 lead to Algeria for their clash with JS Saoura, though coach Samuel Boadu is worried that his team did not put their opponents to the sword last weekend.

The Phobians are worried of a repeat of their recent exit from the CAF Champions League, which saw them head to North Africa with a 1-0 lead against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca, only to suffer a 6-1 thrashing.

“I’m not happy with the scoreline because we created a lot of opportunities but [it] is quite unfortunate we couldn’t take all those chances,” said Boadu. “We have learnt a lot from the WAC [Wydad] game heading into the second leg.”

Elsewhere, Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien, Cameroon’s Cotonsport and RS Berkane of Morocco will look to make best of home advantage and a 0-0 aggregate score line in their clashes against Kenya’s Tusker, Nouadhibou of Mauritania and Rwandan club APR respectively.

DR Congo heavyweights TP Mazembe take a 1-0 lead to South African rookies Marumo Gallants, while the latter’s compatriots, Orlando Pirates, should be comfortable with a 2-0 lead ahead of hosting Liberia’s LPRC Oilers.

“We could have scored more but we are happy with a two goal difference. It still gives your opponents a chance, we are not taking anything for granted in the second leg,” said Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi.

“They are a good side, with good players, so we always have to be mindful when they come to South Africa. But at least we have an advantage.”

Egyptian sides Pyramids FC and Al Masry will be at home to DRC AS Maniema Union and Nigeria’s Rivers United respectively, with the latter tie seeing the hosts chasing a come-from-behind victory in Port Said.

Masry have even filed a complaint with CAF after alleged ill treatment in Aba: “What we saw in our visit to Nigeria is something I have never seen in my whole life,” club vice president Mohamed El-Kholy said.

“The game was not broadcast on TV, and when we tried to record it on our cell phones they were taken from us violently. We were not protected on the pitch, we are preparing to file an official complaint to CAF. Considering the poor treatment and refereeing mistakes in the game, we did well, and our response will be on the pitch, in the second leg in Port Said.”

The aggregate winners of each tie will advance into the group stage of the CAFCC. Note that the fixtures could be cancelled or amended at short notice due to the evolving Covid-19 situation.

CAF Confederation Cup fixtures – Playoff round, second leg.

Aggregate score in parenthesis, times CAT.

Sunday 5 December

15:00: Gor Mahia v AS Otoho (0-1)

15:00: Red Arrows v Simba (0-3)

15:30: Marumo Gallants v TP Mazembe (0-1)

16:00: Motema Pembe v USGN (0-2)

16:00: Interclube v ASEC Mimosas (0-2)

16:00: Cotonsport v FC Nouadhibou (0-0)

16:30: Enyimba v Al Ittihad Tripoli (first leg)

17:30: Orlando Pirates v LPRC Oilers (2-0)

18:00: Al Ahli Tripoli v Stade Malien (0-1)

18:00: Al Masry v Rivers United (1-2)

18:00: Pyramids FC v AS Maniema Union (1-0)

18:30: Binga FC v Zanaco (0-3)

18:45: JS Saoura v Hearts of Oak (0-2)

19:00: CS Sfaxien v Tusker (0-0)

20:00: RS Berkane v APR (0-0)

Postponed: JS Kabylie v Royal Leopards (0-1)

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