Team set to compete in the inaugural edition of the African Football League (AFL) have secured places in the group stages of the Total Energies CAF Champions League after the completion of the second round fixtures this weekend.
Defending champions AL Ahly of Egypt had been the first to progress after a well worked victory over Ethiopia’s St. George.
Last season’s losing finalists Wydad Athletic also cruised into the groups after beating Hafia of Guinea 3-0 in Cassablanca, progressing 4-1 on aggregate. Hafia had held the three-time champions to a 1-1 draw in the first leg two weeks ago, but Wydad rose to the occasion at home.
They led 2-0 at the break, with Moroccan international Attiyat Allah giving them a 1-0 lead after eight minutes before Hamdou Elhouni doubled their tally in the 24th minute. Hafia tried to put in some pressure, but couldn’t make a comeback.
They went to the break trailing 2-0, but seemed determined to prove their worth in the second half.
But, their hopes of making a comeback were thwarted when Ayoub El Amloud scored the third in the 57th minute, essentially wrapping up the game for the home side.
Elsewhere, Esperance du Tunis progressed by the skin of their teeth after being held to a goalless draw at home by As Douanes of Burkina Faso.
Taraji had won the first leg played in Ivory Coast 1-0, and were just lucky to ensure the return tie ended even to earn them a slot in the groups.
At the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, Mamelodi Sundowns also earned their slot in the group phase after seeing off Bumamuru of Burundi 2-0 on the day and 6-0 on aggregate. They had won the first leg 2-0 in Dar es Salaam.
In the return tie at home, Sundowns resisted a fierce challenge from the Burundians, but Mothobi Mvala and Teboho Mokoena sacored in either half to hand them victory.
In Dar es Salaam, Simba SC had to work their socks off and were beneficiaries of an own goal to progress to the group stage on the away goal rule. They came from behind to draw 1-1 with Power Dynamos of Zambia, taking the aggregate score to 3-3. Clatous Chama’s late equalizer in Ndola two weeks ago was the difference, the 2-2 draw away from home enabling them to sneak through on the away goal rule.
Andy Boyeli had given Dynamos the lead in the 16th minute, but the home side rallied with Kondwani Chiboni scoring in his own net trying to cut off a cross from the right in the 68th minute.
In Bandeira, Petro de Luanda also made it into the group phase after beating UD Songo of Mozambique. Skipper Tiago Azulao gave them an early lead with a fourth minute goal, one they kept till the break.
The Mozambicans offered some massive resistance, but Eddie Afonso gave them a two goal cusion with 10 minutes to play. John Banda found the back of the net in the 87th minute for Songo, but Alexandre Guedes scored at the stroke of 90 minutes to seal the victory for Petro.
In Lubumbashi, TP Mazembe thrashed Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets 4-0 to make it into the group phase, with a 5-0 aggregate score.