Enyimba survive blow to force CAF Cup draw in SA

FRUSTRATED:  Gavin Hunt says he has not seen anything like what his club is going through before. (Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix)
FRUSTRATED: Gavin Hunt says he has not seen anything like what his club is going through before. (Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix)

Johannesburg - Enyimba of Nigeria, Al Masry of Egypt and Rayon Sports of Rwanda are poised to reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stage for the first time after achieving impressive results on Friday.

The Nigerians recovered from the shock of conceding a second-minute goal in Johannesburg to draw 1-1 with Wits of South Africa in the first leg of a play-off.

Masry also drew 1-1 away, against Mounana of Gabon in Libreville, while Rayon trounced Mozambican visitors Costa do Sol 3-0 in Kigali despite finishing with 10 men.

Goalless draws will suffice for Enyimba and Masry when they host the return matches on April 17 or 18 while Rayon can afford to lose the second leg by two goals and still qualify.

A dramatic start in South Africa saw veteran Daine Klate give Wits a second-minute lead only for Mustapha Ibrahim equalise three minutes later.

Former African champions Enyimba looked dangerous during the opening half, but resorted to time wasting under pressure in the closing stages and two Nigerians were yellow-carded.

Ghana-born Enyimba goalkeeper Fatau Dauda made a string of fine saves to keep Wits at bay.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt fielded a near-full strength side to silence critics who believe he does not take African competitions seriously.

But the South African have lost all five previous away matches in CAF competitions and the Nigerians should exploit home advantage to secure a last-16 place.

Enyimba are among four title contenders from Nigeria with Plateau United playing Saturday and Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) and Akwa United a day later.

In Libreville, Ahmed Gomaa scored his third CAF goal this season to put Masry ahead after 14 minutes in the central African coastal city.

But Egyptian goalkeeper Ahmed Masoud misjudged a corner 12 minutes into the second half and Abdou Atchabao took advantage to nod the equaliser.

Mounana seem destined for a second overall loss to Egyptian opponents this season as they dropped to the Confederation Cup having been eliminated from the Champions League by Al Ahly.

In Kigali, Burundian Shabani Hussein bagged a brace and Kevin Muhire also scored as a Rayon side coached by Belgian Ivan Minneart built a big advantage over Costa.

Another Burundian, Pierrot Kwizera, was red-carded on 82 minutes after a second caution when his team were two goals ahead.

Should Rayon qualify, they will be the first Rwandan club to reach the group stage of a CAF competition.

CAF Confederation Cup play-off first-leg results on Friday:

Mounana (GAB) 1 (Atchabao 57) Al Masry (EGY) 1 (Gomaa 14)

Rayon Sports (RWA) 3 (Hussein 44, 84, Muhire 79) Costa do Sol (MOZ) 0

Wits (RSA) 1 (Klate 2) Enyimba (NGR) 1 (Ibrahim 5)

Playing Saturday

Generation Foot (SEN) v Renaissance Berkane (MAR), Plateau Utd (NGR) v USM Alger (ALG), Saint George (ETH) v CARA (CGO), Songo (MOZ) v Al Hilal Obied (SUD), V Club (COD) v La Mancha (CGO), Williamsville (CIV) v Deportivo Niafeng (GEQ), Young Africans (TAN) v Welayta Dicha (ETH), Zanaco (ZAM) v Raja Casablanca (MAR)

Sunday

Aduana Stars (GHA) v Fosa Juniors (MAD), Al Hilal (SUD) v Akwa Utd (NGR), ASEC Mimosas (CIV) v Belouizdad (ALG), Gor Mahia (KEN) v SuperSport Utd (RSA), MFM (NGR) v Djoliba (MLI)

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