AFC Confederation Cup holders FUS Rabat of Morocco were knocked out and JS Kabylie of Algeria staged a heroic recovery during a weekend of third round drama. Primeiro Agosto of Angola edged FUS 1-0 in Luanda via an Amandio da Costa penalty to qualify 2-1 on aggregate for the last-16 stage of the second-tier continental club competition.
Former African champions Kabylie overcame the absence of half their first choice side to triumph 3-0 at home against Missile FC of Gabon and win a penalty shootout by the same score. Moghreb Fes of Morocco also advanced to play-offs later this month against AFC Champions League third round losers despite a 2-0 loss at Al-Khartoum of Sudan as they took a four-goal advantage into the second leg.
A further four fixtures are scheduled for today while Kaduna United got a bye when Etoile Sahel of Tunisia refused to play them in Nigeria, citing security fears amid deadly post-presidential election violence.
Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel made a perfect start as successor to Serb Ljubinko Drulovic at military club Primeiro as they toppled another African Confederation Cup title holder. Regular African campaigners Primeiro ended the two-year reign of CS Sfaxien of Tunisia with a fourth round victory on penalties in 2009 to reach the group stage.
Champions pay penalty
After snatching a last-minute 1-1 draw in Morocco, Primeiro became slight favourites and after a tentative start by both teams the decisive goal arrived on 34 minutes at the Coqueiros Stadium. Defender Youssef Chafik cinceded a penalty and Da Costa duly stepped forward to drill the spot kick past Moroccan goalkeeper Aissam Badda in the Angolan capital.
African rookies Missile surrendered a three-goal lead within an hour in eastern Algerian town Tizi-Ouzou as Saad Tedjar bagged a brace for the 'Canaries' and Ben Ali Cherif-Yahia also scored. It got worse for the Libreville club in the shootout as they failed to convert a single kick while Ali Rial, Tedjar and Mohamed Khoutir-Ziti netted for Kabylie, who have won three of the five African club competitions.
Khartoum's hopes of going one better than Kabylie and overcoming a 5-1 first leg drubbing soared as goals from Saleh al-Amir and Hamid al-Ammari halved the deficit within 16 minutes of the kick-off. But Moghreb settled to prevent further damage although leading Confederation Cup scorer Tarek Sektioui could not add to his five-goal haul from five other matches this season.