African giants escape heavy falls
Cameroon giants Canon Yaounde restored their reputation with an away win in the CAF African Champions League to avoid what would have been an embarrassingly early exit from the continent's top club competition.
A goal from Liliba Boma just before half-time ensured a 1-0 win for the three-time African champions as they beat lowly Inter Star of Burundi 1-0 in Bujumbura on Sunday to escape with a narrow 2-1 aggregate triumph. Canon had been threatened with shock elimination after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by their modest opponents in the first leg of their tie at the end of last month.
Their escape from potential humiliation was matched by Al Merreikh of Sudan, ASO Chelf of Algeria and the Nigerian champions Kano Pillars.
Al Merreikh held out for a goalless draw in Kigali away against Rwandan champions Atraco which secured them a narrow 2-1 aggregate victory.
The Sudanese, who have spent heavily in an effort to assemble a squad with which to go far in this year's competition, held a slender edge from the first leg. Among their new signings are Stephen Worgu, whose goals for Enyimba of Nigeria made him the CAF Champions League's top scorer last year. Atraco needed just a 1-0 win to go through on the away goals rule but striker Hamis Kitagenda was caught offside too often in the first half. After the break, Peter Kagabo wasted two clear chances in the 68th and 80th minutes to put his side ahead. With four minutes to full time, Kabagambe failed to convert another clear chance after the goalkeeper fumbled a cross.
ASO Chlef were 1-0 up from the first leg of their tie against Fello Star Labe and went into the second leg in Conakry with some trepidation, only to have their nerves soothed when Mustapha Gouaiche extended the aggregate lead in the 25th minute. Although Fello Star Labe pulled a goal back they needed another two to win the tie and it was Chlef who eventually pulled clear 2-1 on the day as substitute Paul Emile Biyaga, who is originally from Cameroon, netted a second half winner.
"We are really overjoyed after qualifying for the next round. I think it was amply merited and our win is a response to all of those who doubted us," Chlef's striker Bouabdellah Daoud told FIFA.com after the game.
Ambitious Kano Pillars of Nigeria also faced danger on their trip to Ndjamena after winning just 2-0 at home in their first leg against unheralded Elec Sport. But Saturday's return match ended goalless, allowing Pillars to advance.
Goals rained in on the Indian Ocean islands where Comoros' Etoile d'Or Mirontsy lost 6-0 at home in Moroni to Young Africans of Tanzania to go out 14-1 on aggregate. Mauritius champions Curepipe Starlight conceded five goals in their meeting with SuperSport of South Africa while Reunion's Stade Tamponnaise thrashed Academie Ny Antsika from Madagascar 6-0 at the Stade Klebert Picard with Michel Fontaine and Eric Barro both scoring twice.
Defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt did not play in the first round, having been handed a bye along with last year's runners-up Coton Sport of Cameroon.
CAF Champions League second round draw
Primeiro Agosto (Angola) - anon Yaounde (Cameroon)
AS Douanes (Senegal) - kano Pillars (Nigeria)
Club Africain (Tunisia) - Djoliba (Mali)
Kampala City Council (Uganda) - SuperSport United (South Africa)
Heartland FC (Nigeria) - Royal Armed Forces (Morocco)
TP Mazembe Englebert (DR Congo) - Petro Atletico (Angola)
ASEC Abidjan (Ivory Coast) - Etoile Filante (Burkina Faso)
JS Kabylie (Algeria) - Al Ahli Tripoli (Libya)
Asante Kotoko (Ghana) - Ittihad Khemisset (Morocco)
Etoile Sahel (Tunisia) - ASO Chlef (Algeria)
Coton Sport (Cameroon) - Mangasport (Gabon)
Ajax Cape Town (South Africa) - Monomotapa (Zimbabwe)
Al Ahli (Egypt, holders) - Young Africans (Tanzania)
Al Hilal (Sudan) - Stade Tamponnaise (Reunion)
Africa Sports (Côte d'Ivoire ) - ZESCO United (Zambia)
Al Ittihad (Libya) - Al Merreikh (Sudan)