FUS Rabat fairytale continues
The fairytale run of FUS Rabat in this year's CAF Confederation Cup was extended at the weekend after the modest Moroccan side qualified for the semi-finals of the competition.
Three years ago, FUS Rabat played in the lower leagues in Morocco, but after a 2-1 win at home to CS Sfaxien of Tunisia they are now just two matches away from an unlikely final appearance. The Rabat outfit bounced back from a first-half penalty by two-time winners Sfaxien to turn the game on its head win with goals from Hicham El Fatihi and Jamal Triki.
FUS now top Group B with 13 points, three points more than Sfaxien, and will meet Libya's Al Ittihad, 2-0 winners at home over closest rivals Djoliba of Mali, in the semi-final. It is the first semi-final appearance for either side.
First-half goals by Togo international Sapol Mani and crowd favourite Ahmed Alzowi killed off whatever dreams Djoliba had of reaching the last four of Africa's second club competition.
Ittihad therefore finished behind Group A winners Al Hilal of Sudan with 12 points from six matches. Al Hilal were held to a goalless draw by bottom team ASFAN of Niger in Niamey and sit on 13 points.
Last year, Al Hilal reached the semi-final of the more prestigious CAF Champions League. They also played in the last four of that competition in 2007. Army team ASFAN recorded two points but made history in reaching the mini-league stage of the Confederation Cup.
In the other Group B match at the weekend, Egypt's Haras Al Hadood were held to a 1-1 draw by Zambia's Zanaco in Alexandria and finished bottom of the group with 3 points, while the Zambian bankers have six points from as many games.
The semi-final first leg match between Sfaxien and Al Hilal in Tunisia as well as the Ittihad clash versus FUS Rabat will be played on 31 October. The second leg matches are fixed for 14 November.
The winners of the Confederation Cup, founded in 2004 following a merger of the African Cup Winners Cup and the CAF Cup, will earn a prize money of $660,000.