1. Al Ahly whipped home and away for the first time since 2002 in the CCL group stage by DOWNS
It was master against the apprentice. Pitso Mosimane vs Manqoba Brilliant Mngqithi. The latter assisted the former for seven years at Sundowns, both won together and learnt a lot from each other. These two South African managers are now bosses and are both enjoying life in their respective clubs. Mngqithi eulogised Pitso ahead of their crucial fixture: crediting Mosimane for all the successes Downs are relishing now.
History was made on Saturday afternoon when Peter Shalulile’s 27th-minute strike earned Sundowns a wonderful double over the African kings. History was made this afternoon as Downs became the first team since ASC Jeanne d’Arc in 2002 to defeat Al Ahly home and away in the group stages of the CAF Champions League. 2-1 defeats for The Red Devils in both games. The apprentice showed the master that he has come of age.
2. Zamalek exit the group stage for the second year running
Much was expected from The Royal club when the competition got started a couple of months ago. Patrice Carteron and his champions were much buoyed by the Egyptian league triumph heading towards the 2021/22 CCL group stages. After 4 games, Zamalek can not make it to the knockout stage for the second straight year.
They have scored just 3 goals, conceded 6 and has amassed 3 points.
It is very shambolic considering stars like Gabaski, Mahmoud Hamdi, Emam Ashour, Youssef Obama, Zizo and Achraf Bencharki are still in the team. Jesualdo Ferreira replaced Carteron this week and began his second stint with a defeat.
3. Jwaneng Galaxy’s fairy tale story is over
Eliminating Simba was the pinnacle for Galaxy. The debutants were drawn in the same group with 3 North African giants. How will they cope? 6-2 on aggregate scoreline against Belouizdad, 11 goals conceded so far, two games against Tunisian giants await. A win against any of these giants will be the icing on the cake.
They have enjoyed the competition. Minnows hosting Esperance, Etoile and Belouizdad is pure football heaven.
4. Petro Atletico showed Sagrada how it is done in Africa
The Brazilian quartet of Tiago Azulao, Gleison, Willian Soares, and Wellington has been excellent for Petro Atletico.
Tiago Azulao’s brace and a 95th-minute goal capped off a wonderful afternoon for the home team. Sagrada won 2020/21 Girabola and did the double over their rivals. Petro has revenged in a grand style and has taught Sagrada how it is done in Africa. The 3-0 defeat has ended Sagrada’s
5. Horoya finally scored and won
The West Africans eventually scored on matchday 4. It has been an impoverished campaign for the Guineans, struggling in the first 3 games. It was a beautiful victory for H.A.C after going a goal down to Hamid Ahadad’s 9th-minute strike.
A team lacking confidence in the competition, how did they bounce back? Two goals in 3 minutes from Burkina Faso international Ocansey Mandela and Yakhouba Barry of Guinea turned the fixture around. Will it be the turning point for Horoya AC? It will be a great campaign if they can qualify for the knockout stages.
Raja Casablanca tasted their first defeat in the competition but just needs a point to book their place in the knockout stage.
6. Esperance proved to Etoile Sahel that they rule Tunisia
A whopping 11 victories difference now between the two Tunisian giants. Tunisian Classico as the fixture is affectionately known for lived up to the billing in the second half.
Tunisian internationals Abdelkader Bedrane and star midfielder Mohamed Ben Romdhane scored the goals and killed their rivals’ chances of progressing. Ben Romdhane is a bonafide goal scoring midfielder. His goal was a very beautiful one. He is now the joint top scorer in the competition with 4 goals, alongside Petro Atletico’s Brazilian forward Tiago Azulao.
7. Can Al-Hilal Omdurman or Al-Merreikh qualify.
Sundowns have qualified, Al Ahly, Al-Merreikh and Al-Hilal Omdurman all are on 4 points. Al Ahly has not topped their group in the last two seasons yet they have won the last two so no wonder Pitso Mosimane after their 1-0 defeat at home to Sundowns, refused to belittle their chances of making it to the knockout stages. Can any of the Sudanese teams qualify? All to play for but Al Ahly remains the overwhelming favourites to qualify considering their quality and experience.
8. Amazulu could be in trouble
The debutants had lost their last 4 away games ahead of this trip to Algeria. They needed a point to boost their chances of qualifying but lost 2-0 to ES Setif and are now 3rd on the log. Amazulu will host Raja in their next game and travel to Guinea in their last game.
It is rumoured that Benni McCarthy is no more the popular figure in Amazulu’s dressing room and failure to progress to the next stage will be a big blow to him.
Victories by ES Setif and Horoya AC this weekend has made the group-wide open.
Source: Amakye Ansah