Simba earn CAF CL group stage slot as Yanga misses out

Simba beat Angola’s Primero in Dar
Yanga lost to Al Hilal in Khartoum
Defending champions Wydad also progressed

Tanzanian giants Simba SC clinched a place in the group stages of the CAF Champions League after edging out Angola’s Primero de Agosto 1-0 in the return tie of their second round fixture in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

Simba progressed with a 4-1 aggregate score, having won the first leg away from home 1-0.

Zambian Moses Phiri once again proved to be Simba’s big man as he scored the winning goal, a rasping low shot from inside the box after 32 minutes.

Interim coach Juma Mgunda was pleased with the result and praised the team for their resilience.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough match but I am happy with the players because they fought till the final minute. It is a huge milestone for us to be in the group stages but now we must plan well for good performances,” Mgunda said after the match.

While it was all joy for Simba, their arch rivals Yanga SC did not progress after a 1-0 loss away to Sudan’s Al Hilal. They had hoped to make the group phase for the first time since 1998, but the defeat dented their hopes.

Abdelrahman scores vital goal

Al Hilal players celebrate their victory. PHOTO/Hilal

Mohamed Abdelrahman’s goal in the third minute was the vital winner for Hilal who made another consecutive place in the group stage. The first leg tie between these two sides ended 1-1 in Dar es Salaam.

Yanga will now drop to the play-off round of the CAF Confederation Cup, where they will seek to make a group stage berth in the second tier continental competition.

Meanwhile in other results, defending champions Wydad Athletic Club ran riot, thrashing Nigeria’s Rivers United 6-0 in Casablanca to make it into the group phase

Wydad needed a huge performance after losing the first leg 2-1 against Rivers, and they sure did so with skipper Yahya Jebrane and Bouly Sambou hitting a brace each.

After a period of resistance in the opening half hour, Wydad finally found their breakthrough when Ali El Amlouda broke the deadlock after 32 minutes.

Tide against the Nigerians

The tide went against the Nigerian visitors as they were reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Mutawakilu Seidu was sent off with a straight red card after appearing to have elbowed Jebrane needlessly, as he prepared to launch the ball upfield.

Wydad’s El Amloud celebrates his goal. PHOTO/Wydad

The Nigerians had to make a change, with Malachi Ohawume being sacrificed for reserve goalkeeper Victor Sochima. The substitute’s first task was to face a Jebrane penalty and he could not do much as the hosts went 2-0 up at halftime.

Wydad would be more assertive in the second half, using their numerical advantage to score four unanswered goals. Sambou scored his brace within seven minutes, hitting the back of the net in the 49th and 46th minutes.

Jebrane completed his brace of penalty goals in the 69th minute before Hamid Ahadad completed the rout at the stroke of 90 minutes.

Horoya, Cotonsport also progress

Elsewhere, Guinea’s Horoya also progressed despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home against Ivory Coast’s Asec Mimosa. They had won the first leg 1-0 away from home and thus progressed with a 2-1 aggregate score.

In Garoua, Souaibou Marou and Patient Gouegoue Wassou scored in the first half as hosts Cotonsport edged out eSwatini’s Royal Leopards 2-1 to progress to the groups 3-2 on aggregate, following a 1-1 draw away from home last weekend.

There is only one spot left to be filled for the 16 group stage places, with Burkina Faso’s AS Kadiogo and DR Congo’s AS Vita yet to play their second leg match. They played the first leg tie on Sunday, the game ending 0-0.

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