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Vita, Sfaxien soar; Ahly, Mazembe crush in Champions League - March 24, 2014
AS Vita Club
AS Vita Club | Enlarge
AS Vita of DR Congo and CS Sfaxien of Tunisia kept alive hopes of progressing to the group-stage of the champions league on a weekend of some shock wins as first leg matches of the 1/8th round lit the African football scene at the weekend.

Holders Al-Ahly and four-time winners, TP Mazembe suffered losses away from home.

AS Vita, winners in 1973, earned themselves the tag of ‘club of the week’ following their 3-0 thumping of South African champions, Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday in Kinshasa. Though Chiefs dominated their hosts, a hat-trick from Mubele Ndombo puts ‘Amakhosi’ in a tight corner for the return leg this week.

Ndombo scored in the 10th minute, added a second nine minutes to half time before firing in the third two minutes from recess to maintain the impressive run of ‘Les Dauphins Noirs’.

While Kinshasa was in jubilant mood, it was the opposite for Lubumbashi after the city’s adored TP Mazembe went down 2-1 to Ivorian side Sewe Sport in Abidjan. Roger Assale and Koffi Kouame gave the hosts a two-goal lead before Tanzania-import Mbwana Samata reduced the deficit and gave Mazembe a precious away goal on the stroke of full-time.

In Conakry, Sfaxien maintained their one-hundred percent record in the competition by beating Horoya by a lone goal in front of their teeming fans. Playmaker Fakhreddine Ben Youssef scored on the hour mark.

Holders Al-Ahly’s poor away record continued, losing 0-1 to Ahli Benghazi of Libya on Friday. Zimbabwe-import Edward Sadomda scored the only goal of the encounter on 67 minutes, capitalizing on a blunder by Ahly captain Wael Gomaa to give his side a first leg cushion.

It was the second successive loss for the eight time winners who suffered a similar fate against Tanzanian champions, Young Africans in the previous round in Dar es Salaam.

Egypt’s other representative Zamalek forced a barren draw against Zambian champions, Nkana in Kitwe.

The only surviving Malian club AS Real was held to a 1-1 draw by former champions, Esperance in Bamako. A 27th minute own-goal by defender Moussa Ballo gave the Tunisians the lead before Moussa Doumbia drew level from a well-taken free-kick on 77 minutes.

Esperance coach, Ruud Krol observed that “It was a good match" and expressed optimism of winning the return fixture in Tunis.

Mohamed Camara, captain of the Malian side was left disappointed over their inability to secure victory, blaming ill-luck.

“We are disappointed. The gods of the stadium were not with us tonight. If we prepare well, we can make it in the return leg,” lamented Camara.

El-Hedi Belameiri’s 44th minute goal handed Entente Setif a victory over visiting Cameroonian side, Coton Sport in Setif. AC Leopards of Congo and Al Hilal of Sudan played out a 1-1 draw in Dolisie. Mudathir Eltaib ‘Careca’ scored for Hilal on 22 minutes before Rudy Bhebey Ndey restored parity just before half time.

The second leg matches will be played on the weekend of 28-30 March 2014 with the winners advancing to the lucrative mini-league stage.


Friday, 21 March 2014

Ahli Benghazi (Libya) 1-0 Ahly (Egypt)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

AS Real (Mali) 1-1 Esperance (Tunisia)

Nkana (Zambia) 0-0 Zamalek (Egypt)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sewe Sport (Cote D’Ivoire) 2-1 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Horoya (Guinea) 0-1 CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

Entente Setif (Algeria) 1-0 Coton Sport (Cameroon)

AC Leopards (Congo) 1-1 Al Hilal (Sudan)

AS Vita Club (DR Congo) 3-0 Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa)

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