Zambia’s Nkana extended its unbeaten streak at home to an incredible 64 matches in a Confederation of African Football (CAF) competition by beating Morocco’s Tihad Casablanca 2-0 on 14th February 2021.
DR Congo’s Freddy Tshimenga gave Nkana the lead after 18 minutes and Zambia’s very own Obeddy Masumbuko made it 2 just 4 minutes later to seal the deal for the Kalampa.
This victory has given the Zambian side an advantage going into the second leg where they will play in Morocco on 21st February.
Nkana may be unbeaten at home, however, has still failed to win an African (continental) club competition with the closest being way back in 1990. In 1990, they lost to Algerian side JS Kabylie in the Cup of Champions Clubs final.
Nkana and Casablanca were not the only teams in action as 14 other matches were also played in the Confederation Cup playoff.
Nigeria’s Enyimba beat fellow Nigerian side Rivers United 1-0 as Cyril Olisema found the back of the net after 59 minutes in a game that was marred by torrential rain in the first half. It was the young starlet Anayo Iwuala who picked out Olisema with a perfect pass to give the former CAF Confederation Cup winners an all-important lead going into the second leg.
It was a hard-fought victory for Enyimba who were forced to play with 10 men after Tosin Omoyele was sent off in the 75th minute. Enyimba is the only Nigerian club to have won this competition and they will be hoping to repeat history once again.
Algerian club Entente de Setif came out on top in Accra as they beat Ghana’s Asante Kotoko 2-1 to secure a huge advantage going back home to Setif with 2 away goals and a lead. Naby Laye Keita’s missed penalty could prove crucial, which could have given Asante hope of making it through the playoffs. The side has an uphill task in front of them now.
All is not lost for the Ghanaian Porcupine Warriors who played really well but will be disappointed with their defensive performance. Prince Opoku gave Asante Kotoko the lead but that was quickly cancelled out by Mohamed Amoura and then Ahmed Kendouci secured the comeback victory for the Black Eagles.
Senegalese side Jaraaf secured an away goal and victory over Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum in Harare. Silas Songani’s penalty was saved by Jaraaf goalkeeper Pape Ndiaye, which cost the Zimbabwean side dearly in the end.
South Africa’s Orlando Pirates cruised to victory over Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy in Gaborone to make it almost certain to go through to the round of 16 with a 3-goal advantage and 3 away goals.
South African captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, Linda Mntambo and Congolese Jean-Marc Mundele, scored for the Buccaneers to secure an emphatic win.
CS Sfaxien of Tunisia proved why they are historically one of the best teams in the continental club competitions with a 4-1 win over Rwanda’s AS Kigali in Sfax. The record 3-time Confederation Cup winners are going to travel to Rwanda with a 3-goal advantage and pretty much guaranteed a place in the final 16.
Kenya’s Gor Mahia lost 1-0 at home to Zambia’s Napsa Stars and there is all to play for in the second leg, however, the Zambians do have a crucial away goal.
Another Tunisian side also ended up on the winning side with Etoile du Sahel winning against Young Buffaloes in Eswatini, 2-1.
Gabon’s Bouenguidi held onto a 1-0 win at home over Burkina Faso’s Salitas so this tie is far from over. It was no surprise in Niger as Cameroonian club Coton Sport prevailed over SONIDEP with a 1-0 victory.
The other Casablanca side in the competition, Raja Casablanca had a different fate as they edged out Tunisia’s US Monastir 1-0 going into a second leg that has all to play for.
Stade Malien from Mali won 2-1 against Algerian side JS Kabylie while Libyan side Al Ahly Benghazi and DR Congo’s DC Motema Pembe played out a 1-1 draw.
The Pyramids of Egypt trumped RC Abidjan in Ivory Coast with a comfortable 2-0 victory, giving them a big advantage going into the second leg.
Current holders Renaissance Berkane from Morocco, received a bye whereas Primeiro Agosto vs Namungo has been postponed due to COVID-19 security protocols. The Angolan and Tanzanian sides should face each other soon.
21st February will be the day we will arrive at our final groups of the CAF Confederation Cup. Stay tuned!