Zamalek of Egypt (Photo: CAFOnline.com)
With the exception of defending champions Al Ahly, Orlando Pirates, TP Mazembe, Esperance of Tunis, Coton Sport Garoua Ã‚Â and Stade Malien, all winners away from home Ã‚Â and Ã‚Â CA Bizerte, FUS Rabat and Kano Pillars the latter three with a Ã‚Â good margin of three-goal lead, the other eight games in this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Orange CAF Champions League are far from being complete.
Among the clubs most at risk of getting knocked out is Ã‚Â Zamalek who take a narrow Ã‚Â 1-0 win from the first leg in Alexandria Ã‚Â to Kinshasa where the AS Vita Club will be the hosts in the return leg. Unless the Egyptians encouraged by their last league win over Ismaily buckle up , it could be a bumpy ride in the DR Congo. El Merreikh entertains Angolan side Recreativo Libolo Ã‚Â trailing 2-1 from first leg but the Sudanese side need to be wary because it seems that of late Omdurman has become less dangerous for visiting sides than it used to be a few years ago where the local clubs had become accustomed home victories.
The two finalists of the last Orange Confederation Cup, AC Leopards and Djoliba have mountains to climb if they are to remain in the competition. Ã‚Â The Congolese club suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat in Kano and it will be a tall order to overcome the Nigerian sideÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã‚Â three-goal lead. Djoliba of Ã‚Â Malian need to reverse a 2-0 deficit against Ã‚Â EthiopiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã‚Â Saint George a side that Ã‚Â seem to have been Ã‚Â boosted by the return of the national teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s popularity achieved Ã‚Â during the last AFCON finals in South Africa. Ã‚Â And with Ã‚Â the Malian team currently going through a difficult period, it does not look bright for them as they seek to overturn this score line.
Across the continent, sides that take away victories into ties at home will be looking to proceeding to the second round which is Ã‚Â the last round before the sides reach the group phase part of the competition. Cafonline.com Ã‚Â will follow with interest all the matches and see among other scenarios Ã‚Â if Ã‚Â the clubs from North Africa, seven (Al Ahly, Zamalek, EST, CA Bizerte, Entente Setif, JSM Bejaia, FUS Rabat) will try again this year to continue their stranglehold on the competition.
The weekend Fixtures:Ã‚Â
AS Vita. Club (DR C) – Zamalek (Egy) (0-1)
Djoliba (Mli) – Saint George (Eth) (0-2)
Dynamos (ZIM) – CA Bizerte (Tun) (0-3)
Al Ahly (Egy) – Tusker (Ken) (2-1)
Orlando Pirates (Rsa) – Zanaco (Zam) (1-0)
TP Mazembe (DR C) – Centre Chiefs (Bot) (1-0)
Enugu Rangers (Nga) – Vital’O (Bdi) (0-0)
El Merreikh (Sodan) – Recreativo Libolo (Ang) (1-2)
Asante Kotoko (Gha) – JSM Bejaia (Alg) (0-0)
Esperance (Tun) – 1Ã‚Âº de Agosto (Ang) (1-0)
Union Douala (Cmr) – FUS Rabat (Mar) (0-3)
El Hilal (Sudan) – SÃƒÂ©wÃƒÂ© Sports (Civ) (1-4)
Coton Sport (Cmr) – AFAD DjÃƒÂ©kanou (Civ) (1-0)
Stade Malien (Mli) – Casa Sports (Sen.) (2-1)
AC Leopards (Cgo) – Kano Pillars (Nga) (1-4)
Entente Setif (Alg) – ASFA Yennenga (Bfa) (1-2)