Etoile Sahel may have made a convincing start to the defence of their CAF Champions League title, but their weekend win was overshadowed by a hat-trick of hat-tricks elsewhere. Fankele Traore, Edward Sadomba and Stephen Worgu all posted trebles for their respective clubs on Sunday as the second round, first leg matches produced some unexpected results.
Traore, who hails from Niger, was the scorer of the last three goals as Coton Sport of Cameroon defeated newcomers Gombe United 5-0 in Garoua. The Nigerians were three goals down by half-time, and Traore added two more in the second half to ensure a comfortable lead for the return match next month.
Sadomba got all the goals for Zimbabwe's Dynamos as they won at home to Costa do Sol from neighbouring Mozambique. The winger was shifted into a makeshift striker's role for the Zimbabwean champions at Gwanzura, and he revealed afterwards: "This was not any easy game, but at Dynamos we have learnt to play as a team."
But it was the Sadomba's individual contribution that made the difference, and the Dynamos fans responded by showering him with cash. Indeed, wads of notes were thrown at him after the match and he needed two small cardboard boxes to carry the cash home.
Nevertheless, Dynamos coach David Mandigora felt the three-goal margin of victory could have been larger. "We created a lot of chances and should have scored many more goals," he said.
Worgu, who had scored four goals in the first round for Enyimba in their first round success against Congo's Diables Noirs, added three more in a 4-0 home win for the former African champions on Sunday. Enyimba, winners in 2003 and 2004, easily beat Simba of Tanzania in front of 25,000 in Aba as they underlined their title credentials.
The first goal came as early as the sixth minute and the second was an ingenious piece of skill from Worgu, who picked up on an errant clearance from the goalkeeper and slammed it back into the net from 35 metres out. Worgu completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the second half after Simba had been reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Henry Joseph.
Etoile Sahel delivered a statement of intent by beating AS
Douanes of Senegal 5-0 at home. Etoile were one of six teams who
were handed byes into the second round. Al Ahly of Egypt got a
further bye into the third round when Al Tahrir of Eritrea withdrew
last week, while JS Kabylie (Algeria), Al Hilal (Sudan) and Al
Ittihad of Libya were all winners at home this weekend.
But ASEC Abidjan from Côte d'Ivoire suffered an embarrassing 1-1 draw at home to Guinea's AS Kaloum. Ahmed Diomande put ASEC in front just before the quarter-hour mark, but Abdoul Karim Domingo equalised before half-time and Kaloum then held out in the second half to leave them in a strong position ahead of next month's second leg.
However, Kaloum coach Kanfory Bangoura is taking nothing for granted. "This result does not guarantee us qualification to the next round," he warned. "The second leg is going to be a whole different struggle."