African Champions’ League: Surprises and tests


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The first round of the 2010 Champions League was a no nonsense phase. Three power houses were eliminated in the preliminaries. Now, it’s time for a round up before moving on to the next phase.

 South African teams

Gaborone United of Botswana pulled a shocker Saturday as they stunned Orlando Pirates with two dramatic late goals to dump them out. Pirates, fading giants of South Africa where cruising to a comfortable 2-0 win with five minutes left of play but that all changed in dramatic 2 minutes.

The 1995 African champions Orlando Pirates conceded an own goal and
another to levels the scoreline 2-2.

The draw was good for Gaborone United to advance to the next round.
The first leg of this first round tie was played in the Botswana
capital two weeks ago and ended goalless. The loss could also signal the end of coach Ruud Krol’s two year stay at Pirates, having failed to win the Absa Premiership and now suffering defeat to the minnows of Botswana.

The exit of Pirates leaves SuperSport United as South Africa’s only
representatives in Africa’s premier club competition after beating
Swaziland champions Mbabane Swallows 5-3 on aggregate.

 Zimbabwe teams

What a fine weekend for Zimbabwe’s three representatives. All three teams Gunners, Caps United and Lengthens powered their way
to glory, by clearing their preliminary round hurdles.

Gunners dumped Zanzibari side FC Mafunzo out of the African Champions League at Rufaro this week-end. Gunners won 4-0 Sunday bringing the aggregate to 6-1. However, Gunners pedigree in African football would be under tested as they book a date with crack African giants Al-Ahly of Egypt in the first round of the competition on the weekend of March 13-15.

Caps United laboured to an 8-7 win after penalties over Mbabane
Highlanders in Swaziland in another Confederation Cup preliminary
round.

For the triumph Caps United will face South African Premiership side
Moroka Swallows. But the build up, according to media reports as characterised by a hive of activity off the pitch.

A local pastor Bongikosi Maseko made a passionate appeal to Mbabane
Highlanders not to use any juju substance. Maseko told the local media that he had a vision in which he saw the “Bull” goring CAPS United 3-1.

“I have a message for Mbabane Highlanders from the Lord that they
should desist from using anything that would compromise God against
the Zimbabwean team.

“The Lord has shown me a vision that the local team will win 3-1
against the visitors,” Maseko said. Lengthens battled their way into the first round, with a gallant show in holding AS Adema 0-0 in Madagascar in the Confederation Cup on Saturday.

Having just scraped to a nervy 2-1 win in the first leg in Harare
Lengthens was expected to fall in Madagascar in their debut show on
the continent.

 Zambia

Zanaco of Zambia bashed dispatched Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) FC 4-0 to wipe out a 1-0 deficit they were carrying from the first leg.
Zanaco will now host ASEC Mimosa of Ivory Coast in Lusaka in a
first-round first-leg game on March 20.

 Next round:

APR (RWA) – Tout Puissant Mazembe (RDC)

Djoliba (MLI) – ASc Linguère (SEN)

Ismaïly (EGY) – USS Tamponnaise (REU)

Africa Sports (CIV) – El Hilal (SOU)

Raja Casablanca (MAR) – Petro Atletico (ANG)

Club Africain (TUN) – JS Kabylie (ALG)

Gazelle (TCH) – El Merreikh (SOU)

Espérance Tunis (TUN) – ASFA Yennenga (BUF)

Starlight (MAU) – Gaborone United (BOT)

St Eloi Lupopo (RDC) – Dynamos (ZIM)

Gunners (ZIM) – Al-Ahly (EGY)

Ittihad (LBY) – Difaa El Jadida (MAR)

Zanaco (ZAM) – ASEC Mimosas (CIV)

Union Douala (CMR) – Entente Sétif (ALG)

Tiko United (CMR) – Heartland FC (NGA)

SuperSport United (AFS) – Ferroviario Maputo (MOZ)

First leg on March 19-21; return game on April 2-4.

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