Africa– Enugu Rangers of Nigeria pulled off a stunning CAF Confederation
Cup triumph away to Pyramids of Egypt on Sunday, but it was in vain as they
were eliminated after matchday five.
Having won 1-0 in Cairo through an Ifeanyi George goal,
Enugu needed Nouadhibou of Mauritania to avoid defeat against Al Masry of Egypt
a few hours later.
The Group A match remained goalless for 86 minutes before
Saidou Simpore netted to give Masry a 1-0 victory and second place, and Enugu
Pyramids have 12 points with one series of matches to come
on February 2, Masry nine, Enugu five and Nouadhibou two with the top two
finishers qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Despite lacking seven of their squad through injuries and a
suspension, Enugu fulfilled a promise to attack Pyramids and seek revenge for a
3-1 home loss in the opening matchday.
Ghanaian John Antwi of Pyramids and Emmanuel Madu of Enugu
were foiled by the woodwork during a lively opening half.
The only goal came on 73 minutes when George burst on to a
pass from Isaac Loute and fired past goalkeeper Mahdy Soliman for his third of
the African campaign.
It was the first group victory for Enugu after two draws and
two losses while Pyramids surrendered a 10-match unbeaten run since the
Confederation Cup season began.
Pyramids are sure of first place despite the setback as they
have a superior head-to-head record against Masry, who could draw level on
The leaders are away to Nouadhibou in the final matchday
while Masry visit Enugu in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.
– Recovered from shock –
Elsewhere, Renaissance Berkane and Hassania Agadir of
Morocco, Horoya of Guinea and Al Nasr of Libya booked places in the February 9
Berkane, runners-up to Zamalek of Egypt last season,
recovered from the shock of conceding a first-minute goal to trounce African
rookies ESAE of Benin 5-1 in Group B.
Alaedine Ajaray bagged a hat-trick for Renaissance in
Porto-Novo and Hamdi Laachir claimed his fifth goal of the campaign.
Moussa Souleymane netted in stoppage time to give Zanaco of
Zambia a 2-1 comeback win over Daring Club Motema Pembe of the Democratic
Republic of Congo in Lusaka.
The Zambians hold a two-point advantage over the Congolese
but have a potentially much tougher final fixture, away to Berkane, than Motema
Pembe, who host ESAE.
Group C leaders Horoya overcame 10-man Bidvest Wits of South
Africa 2-1 in Conakry to retain a three-point lead with Boniface Haba scoring
the winning goal during the second half.
Djoliba of Mali were expected to be the other qualifiers
from the section, but bowed out after a shock 1-0 home loss to Nasr in Bamako
with Moataz al Mehdi scoring.
Leaders Agadir made a perfect start away to Enyimba of
Nigeria in Group D with Youssef el Fahli netting after three minutes, but
Austin Oladapo levelled in a 1-1 draw in Aba.
Twice African champions Enyimba will be sure of a place in
the knockout phase provided they avoid defeat in the Ivory Coast against
San Pedro, who drew 0-0 with Paradou in Algeria.