CAF Cup hold­ers Raja on track to win play-off after away draw

The Borneo Post - - SPORT -

JOHANNESBURG: CAF Con­fed­erat ion Cup tro­phy­hold­ers Raja Casablanca and for­mer win­ners CS Sfax­ien and Stade Malien all drew Satur­day in play- off first legs.

But while Moroc­cans Raja and Tu­nisians Sfax­ien will fancy their chances of over­all vic­to­ries next week­end after draw­ing away, Malians Stade are in trou­ble hav­ing be­ing held at home.

Raja, whose Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup tri­umph last year was their sixth in all CAF com­pe­ti­tions, came from be­hind to force a 1-1 dead­lock against Namib­ians African Stars in Wind­hoek.

Alpheus Han­dura put the semipro­fes­sional home side ahead three min­utes be­fore half- time and Soufi­ane Rahimi lev­elled six min­utes after the break.

In a qual­i­fier for the play- offs, Raja slammed five goals past Gabonese out­fit Cer­cle Sportif Mberi in Casablanca and a sim­i­lar wide over­all win­ning mar­gin is now on the cards.

Record three-time Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup win­ners Sfax­ien held Vipers SC from Uganda 0- 0 in Kampala and it is hard to imag­ine them not win­ning the re­turn match in Sfax com­fort­ably.

Stade Malien, sur­prise win­ners of the 2009 Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup, could not de­fend a lead in Ba­mako and had to set­tle for a 1-1 draw with An­golan vis­i­tors Petro Atletico.

Ali Badra Sylla put the hosts ahead mid­way through the first hal f only for Vladimiro ‘ Va’ Et­son to equalise within seven min­utes.

Al­though Petro will be­lieve the tie has tilted in their favour, the re­sult did end a per­fect four­vic­tory record in the com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son for the Luanda out­fit.

The only team to win Satur­day was Nkana from Zam­bia, who built a 3- 0 lead in Kitwe over FC San Pe­dro from the Ivory Coast.

Ron­ald Kam­pamba broke the dead­lock just be­fore half-time and sec­ond- half goals from Joseph Mu­sonda and Fes­tus Mbewe com­pleted an un­ex­pect­edly wide win­ning mar­gin.

An­other Zam­bian club, Zesco United, host Kaizer Chiefs from South Africa Sun­day in a high­light of the nine-fix­ture sched­ule.

Ag­gre­gate win­ners after the re­turn matches next week­end go into the group draw on Jan­uary 21 with twice tro­phy-hold­ers Etoile Sa­hel from Tu­nisia, who were given a play- offs bye.

The Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup is the sec­ond- tier African club com­pe­ti­tion and the play- offs pit 15 sur­vivors from two qual­i­fy­ing rounds against CAF Cham­pi­ons League round- of- 30 losers. — AFP

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