Monomotapa sails through to the Group stage

Champions Al Ahly of Egypt and Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast have both crashed out of the African Champions League 

On Saturday defending champions Al Ahly lost on the away goals rule by Nigeria’s Kano Pillars, while on Sunday in Zimbabwe, Monomotapa beat Asec 2-0.

Monomotapa becomes the second club after Dynamos FC to qualify for the African Club Champions League stage.
 
The Zimbabwean champions opened the scoring in the third round second leg game after just five minutes with a goal from Charles Chiutsa.

The tie looked like it was heading for a penalty shootout but then in stoppage time at the end of the match Daniel Kamunenga found the target to complete a 2-1 aggregate win.

Ahly’s game in Cairo ended 2-2 to make it 3-3 on aggregate with Pillars advancing thanks to the goals they scored in Egypt.

Pillars took a two goal lead as they found the target twice early in the second half.

First Victor Namo tapped the ball home after Palestine-born goalkeeper Ramzi Saleh parried a Hillary Chukwu shot into his path four minutes after half-time in.

Then Saleh was badly positioned and was beaten by a Rabiu Mohamed lob midway through the second half.

Ahly reduced arrears on 75 minutes thanks to their Angolan stars with Flavio scoring with a near-post header off a corner from Gilberto.

Flavio set up the equaliser four minutes from full-time with a pass to Mohamed Barakat, who fired past goalkeeper Joel Theophilus from close range to set up a tense climax.

However, five minutes of stoppage time failed to deliver another Ahly goal and the club that has been in the last four finals and won three of them was eliminated.

A 2-1 win at home for Zambia’s Zesco United over Mali’s Djoliba put them through to the group stages of the African Champions League.

That was also the aggregate score after the two sides drew 0-0 in the first leg in Mali two weeks ago.

The result in Ndola means that Zesco are the first ever Zambian club into the group phase of the Champions League.

Djoliba opened the scoring just before half-time through Janvier Abouta.

Lottie Phiri equalised for the hosts in the 66th minute and the win was completed 10 minutes later as Enock Sakala found the target.

Last year’s runners-up Coton Sport have crashed out after being held to a 1-1 draw in Cameroon by Heartland, that made it 3-2 on aggregate to the Nigerians.

Heartland increased their overall lead with a goal in the 42nd minute from Ike Thankgod.

Coton Sport then equalised just three minutes later through Salif Keita but the Nigerians held on to claim their spot in the group phase for the first time.

Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel are also through after beating visitors Libya’s Al Ahly Tripoli 2-0 and that was the same score on aggregate.

Ghanaian striker Sadat Bukari opened the scoring in Sousse for the 2007 winners after 17 minutes and defender Ammar Jemal also found the net just before the break.

Big-spending Al Merreikh of Sudan are into the group phase for the first time with a 2-1 aggregate win over KCC from Uganda.

Merreikh advance despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home in Omdurman on Saturday.

Nigerian Endurance Idahor, who scored the winner in Kampala in the first leg, was once again the hero for the Sudanese side scoring with a second-half header.

Highly-rated Bryan Omony scored the equalizer for KCC but it was not enough for the Ugandan side.

Former champions TP Mazembe managed a 0-0 draw in Morocco against Al Ittihad Khemisset, the DR Congo side win the tie 1-0 on aggregate.

The losers from the third round will now play in the Confederation Cup and will be battling for a place in the group phase of that tournament instead.