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DR Congo duo AS Vita and TP Mazembe go through in Champions League | Published on March 10, 2014
AS Vita Club before their game against Zimbabwe champions Dynamos on 3.9.2014
AS Vita Club before their game against Zimbabwe champions Dynamos on 3.9.2014 | Enlarge
DR Congolese duo AS Vita Club and TP Mazembe have sealed their places at the 1/8th round of the 2014 Orange CAF Champions League.

The two sides, all formers winners of the premier continental club championship, went through on a weekend that saw holders Al-Ahly of Egypt squeezed past Tanzanian champions Young Africans to remain on course for an unprecedented ninth title.

Teddy Etekiama’s 38th minute strike from the spot was enough for Vita Club to reach the next round at the expense of Dynamos of Zimbabwe in Kinshasa, after managing a barren draw in the previous fixture in Harare.

Elsewhere in the mining city of Lubumbashi, Salif Coulibaly, Jonatahn Bolingi and Jonas Sakuwaha scored for Mazeme in their 3-0 romp of Cameroonian side, Astres and march on 4-1 on aggregate.

Holders Ahly, joined bitterest rivals Zamalek at the next round, but it took the heroics of goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy to hand the holders a ticket into the next round. Left-back Sayed Moawad scored on 71 minutes to cancel out Young Africans’ win in the first leg, but Ekramy saved twice from the spot as Ahly survived in the encounter held behind closed-doors in Alexandria 4-3.

“Most people thought Young Africans were going to be a walkover, that’s not true; they are a very good team. Every Champions League game is very difficult. We missed many chances but what count is we won and qualified,” said Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef after the game.

Earlier on Friday, Zamalek played out a barren draw against Angolan champions, Kabuscorp in Luanda, with Mahmoud Fathallah’s lone strike in the first in Cairo proving vital for the White Knights.

It was double agony for Angolan representatives as Primeiro de Agosto also bid farewell despite a 2-0 win over AC Leopards of Congo, the latter progressed 4-3 on aggregate.

The biggest casualties were former winners’ Enyimba and Raja Club Athletic, and the two clubs with five titles between them will play no role at the last 16 of the premier continental championship.

Nigerian giants, Enyimba won by a lone goal against Malian challengers, AS Real in Bamako thanks Bala Zaka’s first half effort, but it was little enough to see them through. The Malians, 2-1 winner in the previous fixture in Aba advanced on the away goal rule after a 2-2 tie.

The round of 16 marks the farthest AS Real have reached in a major continental club championship since finishing as losing finalists in 1966 edition of the same competition, with a side that featured the legendary Salif Keita.

In Casablanca, Guinean champions, Horoya, also a dominant force in continental club championship in the late 70’s and 80’s accounted for the exit of Raja. Striker Mouhcine Iajour scored the only goal of the encounter three minutes from time forcing the game into penalties, and Horoya emerged superior 5-4.

Zambian champions, Nkana also cut short the fairytale story of Ugandan torch bearers, Kampala City Council with a shocking 2-1 win Kampala. The visitors went up on 31 minutes through Claude Bwalya before Brian Majwega drew level four minutes after recess. On 59 minutes, Christopher Munthali scored the winner to send Nkana through 4-3 on aggregate.

Elsewhere in Maputo, Zimbabwe-import Knowledge Musona netted a hat-trick to inspire Kaizer Chiefs to a 3-0 win over hosts Liga Muculmana, and the South Africans going through 7-0 aggregate.

Ghana and Ethiopia were left with no torch-bearers, after Berekum Chelsea and Dedebit suffered loses away from home. Chelsea lost 2-0 to Ahly Benghazi of Libya allowing the latter to advance 3-1 on aggregate whilst Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Ghazi Challouf scored in the second half to aid CS Sfaxien over power Dedebit in Tunis, and progress 4-1 overall.

Coton Sport bounced back from a lone-goal defeat against Flambeau of Burundi to win 5-0 in Garoua. Rostand Kako scored twice whilst others from Ephraim Yosanguim, Daouda Kamilou and Moussa Souleymanou sealed victory for the Cameroonian champions.

Al-Hilal kept high the flag of Sudan with a 2-0 win over visiting Stade Malien of Mali in Khartoum. Strike partners Mudathir El-Taieb and Mohamed Bashir were on target in either half as Hilal went through 2-0 on aggregate.

The match between Esperance and Gor Mahia rescheduled after torrential rains in Rades last Sunday will take place on Monday, 10 March 2014 at 16h00 local time.

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