Dramatic triumph for Simba, Leopards through
A stoppage-goal from Emmanuel Okwi gave Tanzanian team Simba an unexpected passage to the last 16 of CAF Confederation Cup this weekend. The Dar es Salaam outfit lost 3-1 at 2009 runners-up Entente Setif in western Algeria, but squeezed into the third qualifying round on away goals having triumphed 2-0 at home two weeks ago.
Simba suffered an early blow as centre-back Juma Nyoso was red carded and fell behind on 35 minutes when Mohamed Amine Aoudia scored his first goal for the Black Eagles. He rose highest in the penalty area to nod a lobbed pass under the body of goalkeeper and captain Juma Kaseja and struck again just after half-time by springing an offside trap and flicking the ball past the onrushing stopper.
Former African champions Setif were dominant and Mokhtar Benmoussa made it 3-0 before the hour mark via a low shot from inside the box that flew under the diving Kaseja. All seemed lost for Simba until one minute into added time when Uganda-born Okwi drilled a 25-metre shot past Mohamed Benhamou to secure a second round showdown with Al Ahly Shendy of Sudan or Ferroviario Maputo of Mozambique.
Also through are South African side Black Leopards, who led and trailed before snatching a last-gasp 2-2 draw away to Saint Eloi Lupopo of Congo DR in Lubumbashi. Zimbabweans scored for each side with Carrington Gomba cancelling an early David Zulu goal for Leopards and Kenneth Nkhatha levelling in the final minute after Kitumbo Mpiana had nudged Lupopo in front.
Trailing 4-2 from the first leg, Lupopo laid siege to the Leopards goalmouth for much of the final quarter, knowing a third goal would take them through on away goals. But Nkhatha broke Congolese hearts with his strike as relegation-threatened Leopards from the north-eastern Limpopo province defied the odds having upset Motor Action of Zimbabwe in a preliminary tie.
Next up for Leopards are Warri Wolves, who ended the giant-killng dreams of Sierra Leone visitors FC Kallon with a 2-0 win in south-east Nigeria courtesy of second-half goals from Gift Atulewa and Michael Okoyoh. The Freetown club - owned by former Monaco and Inter Milan midfielder Mohamed Kallon -shocked Union Douala of Cameroon in the previous round before being held goalless at home by Wolves.
Jean Michael Seri netted twice during the first half to propel 1998 CAF Champions League winners ASEC Mimosas of Côte d'Ivoire to a 2-0 victory over Etoile Filante of Burkina Faso in Abidjan after a drawn first encounter.